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Sports

Girls Soccer: Previewing Glenbard South, Glenbard West, St. Francis, Wheaton Academy, Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South

Wheaton Warrenville South's Maria Dohse (23) plays the ball against Naperville Central in Naperville April 17.
Wheaton Warrenville South's Maria Dohse (23) plays the ball against Naperville Central in Naperville April 17.

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 SOUTH RAIDERS

Coach: Kevin Berner

2018 record: 13-9-2

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Sam Schutte sr. F

Clare Willis sr. M

Erin Haslett jr. F

Abby Showalter jr. M

Emily Villesenor jr. GK

Outlook: The Raiders will be making their debut in the Upstate Eight Conference. They have a good offensive piece to build around in Schutte, a North Central College commit.

“We will try and repeat our regional championship form and then hope for the best after that,” Berner said. “These seniors are hungry to see how far they can get with the pieces around them. I don’t have much expectation for our conference season in the Upstate Eight, not sure what to expect from those big schools.”

GLENBARD WEST HILLTOPPERS

Coach: Adam Szyszko

2018 record: 9-13

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Liz Hughes sr. M

Caroline Hennessy sr. M/D

Katie Cavanaugh sr. D

Sarah Shellady sr. GK

Rosie Reynaga sr. M

Outlook: Hennessy, an Illinois State recruit who comes from club soccer, joins the Hilltoppers at the same time as Szyszko, who is still getting to know his personnel. Midfielders Brianna Hernandez and Sophia Lee and defender Emily Roberts are newcomers who will provide depth.

“First-year coach, tough conference, but we’ll be organized and we will compete,” Szyszko said. “We have a good mix of returning seniors and underclassmen.”

ST. FRANCIS SPARTANS

Coach: Jim Winslow

2018 record: 18-4-3

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Hannah Rittenhouse sr. F

Caroline Zimmer sr. F

Jill DiTusa sr. D

Emma Armbrust sr. D

Katherine Lemke so. D

Outlook: The reward for winning the Class 2A state championship was a bump up to Class 3A this season. That dims the Spartans' prospects for another title run but there is still a lot of talent and experience. The Iowa-bound Rittenhouse had 25 goals last season, while Zimmer netted 15. The defense, led by Southern Indiana recruit DiTusa, should be solid and there are some good newcomers, including junior Emily Thill, a Wisconsin-Whitewater commit.

“A good core is returning from last year but it will take some time to figure out where to play the new varsity kids,” Winslow said. “We will absolutely hit some speed bumps and we have a tough schedule again, but the kids are looking forward to the challenge and to see where we end up.”

WHEATON ACADEMY WARRIORS

Coach: Jeff Brooke

2018 record: 13-7-3

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Sophie Lindquist sr. M

AC Hardy sr. M

Emma Goebel jr. M

Amy Alexander so M

Kat Sezonov sr. D

Outlook: The Warriors don’t have a player the caliber of graduated star striker Erin Teevans, but most of their other top players are back and there is plenty of talent to choose from. The midfield could be exceptional as Lindquist, a Wheaton College commit, and Hardy were honorable mention all-sectional picks and Goebel and Alexander earned all-conference nods. Hardy and Goebel will continue their careers at Taylor, while senior midfielders Lydia Sedjo (Grove City) and Rebecca Steininger (Grace) also are playing college soccer.

“We have a solid team that can compete with quality sides,” Brooke said. “We will need to commit to a style of play and players will have to grow into new positions.”

WHEATON NORTH FALCONS

Coach: Tim McEvilly

2018 record: 4-14-2

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Anna Warfield sr. M

Kristen Szumski sr. D

Sarah Brcka sr. F

Leila Parente sr. F

Riley Winckler jr. M

Rachel Brady jr. D

Outlook: The Falcons aren’t deep in experience outside of Warfield, a four-year starter, and second-year starters Szumski and Brcka. But newcomers like sophomores Kayla Shebar and Ella Kocher could inject new life into a team that had more than its share of hard-luck losses last season.

“Twelve of our games last year were one-goal games or less,” McEvilly said. “We are hoping with a dramatic increase in speed, youth and athleticism that we can flip those close games in our favor this season. We will get better each week and we are hoping to finish in the top half of the DuKane Conference.”

WHEATON WARRENVILLE SOUTH TIGERS

Coach: Guy Callipari

2018 record: 15-8

Top players

Name Year Pos.

Paige Miller sr. M

Maria Dohse sr. D

Allie Anderson sr. M

Evelyn Demsher sr. M

Audrey Siebert sr. M

Abbey Brennan sr. GK

Outlook: With 10 returning seniors, this is a squad that is primed for a deep playoff run after losing on penalty kicks to Conant in the sectional semifinals last year. Five players – Miller, Dohse, Anderson, Siebert, and Demsher – are four-year varsity players. The Northwestern-bound Miller had 13 goals and 11assists last year, while Anderson added 11 goals and nine assists and Demsher had seven goals and five assists. Dohse is a shutdown defender and leads a solid back line that also boasts seniors Molly Fank and Maddie Monaco, both three-year varsity performers, and junior Sam Buol.

“Our speed of play should have us competing for a DuKane title, regional final and hopefully a sectional final,” said Callipari, who begins his 25th season with 361 career wins. “We’ll have a good mix of young players and experienced players, which coupled with team depth should carry us deep into the playoffs, barring injury.”

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