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Sports

Girls Soccer: Previewing Glenbard East, IC Catholic Prep, Lemont, Montini, Timothy Christian, Willowbrook and York

Lemont's Erin Crispo (left) and St. Francis' Kaitlin Joniak (20) head the ball during the IHSA Class 2A girls state soccer semifinal at North Central College in Naperville on June 1.
Lemont's Erin Crispo (left) and St. Francis' Kaitlin Joniak (20) head the ball during the IHSA Class 2A girls state soccer semifinal at North Central College in Naperville on June 1.

The girls soccer season starts this week, as teams begin the quest to reach the state tournament at North Central College in Naperville. Here is a preview of area teams:

GLENBARD EAST RAMS

Coach: Kent Overbey

2018 record: 17-4-3

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Lindsey Novak sr. F

Amy Chiero sr. M

Sam Johnson sr. D

Maddie Weltin so. F

Outlook: The Rams have enjoyed a golden age lately, winning three straight conference and regional championships while moving into the ranks of the area’s elite. Staying there will be a challenge as half the roster is composed of freshmen and sophomores. But the forward line should be formidable. Novak, a North Central recruit, is an all-sectional pick who racked up 19 goals and 10 assists last year and Weltin tacked on eight goals and 10 assists while starting every game as a freshman. Denison-bound Chiero, who had 10 assists last season, and Elmhurst recruit Johnson are both three-year starters.

The freshman class, headlined by forwards Natalie Borcean and Sarah Liljestrand, midfielder Maia Zatarski and defender Ruby Campuzano, could make an immediate impact.

“Having graduated 10 seniors, including seven starters, the Rams have a tall order this season,” Overbey said. “We’ll have to rely on a lot of young players to produce. The learning curve will have to be quick. A definite strength is our returning attacking players.”

IC CATHOLIC PREP KNIGHTS

Coach: Antonio Godinez

2018 record: 16-11

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Olivia Hurt sr. F

Abi Wagner jr. M

Bella Leslie jr. M

Gabriela Smola sr. GK

Outlook: The Knights have some dynamic and experienced athletes in the attack. Hurt is a four-year starter and the team’s top scorer. Wagner and Leslie, whom Godinez calls “the engine of our midfield,” are beginning their third year on varsity. So is Smola, who recorded seven shutouts last season. The defense is green, although freshman Claire Wagner, Ari’s sister, is tall and athletic and led the basketball team in scoring this winter.

LEMONT INDIANS

Coach: Rick Prangen

2018 record: 25-2

Top players

Name Year Pos

Erin Crispo jr. F

Michaela Egan sr. M

Katie Knutte sr. F

Adriana Patino jr. M

Danielle Irwin jr. M

Outlook: Six starters return from a squad that finished third in Class 2A, including all-conference picks Crispo, Egan and Knutte. Crispo had 22 goals last year, while Olivet Nazarene-bound Knutte tallied 17 goals and seven assists and Egan was all-sectional. They will try to continue the legacy of last year’s senior class, which helped the Indians make three trips to the state semifinals in four seasons.

“We are going to have to find a way to replace our entire defensive back line and leading goal scorer,” Prangen said. “In addition, we have made our schedule more competitive by joining the Wheaton North Tournament and picking up non-conference games with Andrew and Neuqua Valley. But I would expect that we should contend for a conference championship and be able to be competitive in our sectional.”

MONTINI BRONCOS

Coach: Sue Brown

2018 record: 9-8-4

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Ellie Krick sr. D/M

Alivia Giantasic so. F

Shea Smith jr. F

Casey Ohm jr. D

Outlook: Forward Sawyer White, midfielder Hailey Cabon and defender Mackenzie Parente are the top newcomers along with junior defender Erin Carver.

“We want to do well in the GCAC and work on developing this very young team,” Brown said.

TIMOTHY CHRISTIAN TROJANS

Coach: Jon Hamelinck

2018 record: 9-7-1

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Emma Carter so. M

Abby Carstensen sr. M

Celeste Vandermeer sr. D

Jana Kunz jr. D

Outlook:The Trojans return most of their starting lineup but also have 14 freshmen and sophomores, leading Hamelinck to be positive about the present and the future. Carter was all-conference as a freshman after scoring 10 goals and six assists, while Carstensen and Vandermeer provide strong senior leadership. Defender Sophie Biscan and midfielder Ella Vandermolen are two freshmen who could make an immediate impact.

“This season has a lot of potential,” Hamelinck said. “Because we are such a young team, we are still learning how to play with each other and showcase each other’s strengths. We are excited for the potential that all of the young players bring to the program. We hope to continue some of the success that we had last year and continue to challenge for a conference championship.”

WILLOWBROOK WARRIORS

Coach: Julio Del Real

2018 record: 9-9-3

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Kaleigh Rugg sr. M

Lizzy Florey jr. F

Sara Fitzgibbon jr. M

Gracie Tumilty so. M

Outlook: Del Real is optimistic this could be a breakout spring for the Warriors, who return nine starters and have five freshmen who could all see playing time. Florey scored 13 goals and five assists last season, while Tumilty added seven goals and five assists as a rookie and Fitzgibbon had three goals and two assists.

“We hope to have a season to remember,” Del Real said. “The team has come together and adjusted very well. We are further ahead of previous teams at the school in terms of teamwork, experience and skill level. We hope to improve on last year’s record and hope to win at least a couple of game in the state tournament.”

YORK DUKES

Coach: Stevan Dobric

2018 record: 11-6

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Riley Haug sr. D

Michaela Ward sr. F

Emma Czech sr. D

Allie Milkowski sr. M/D

Siena Pinkerton sr. D

Lindsey Schiller sr. M

Outlook: First-year coach Dobric has nine players back from a team that tied for second in the West Suburban Silver. Illinois Wesleyan recruit Haug leads an experienced back line, while Ward, an all-conference and honorable mention all-sectional selection, is the top scoring threat. Senior forward Rene Sieracki and senior midfielder Maddie Welz are the top newcomers.

“The girls are motivated to push themselves and work hard,” Dobric said. “We believe that a conference championship is well within our reach as well as a strong run in the playoffs. The girls are focused on working hard and preparing for games to begin.”

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