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Sports

Boys Soccer: Previewing Glenbard South, IC Catholic, Lemont, Timothy Christian, Wheaton Academy, Wheaton North, Wheaton Warrenville South and York

York's Joe Meade heads the ball during a game against visiting Downers Grove North on Tuesday, Oct. 2. 2018.
York's Joe Meade heads the ball during a game against visiting Downers Grove North on Tuesday, Oct. 2. 2018.

The start of the high school boys soccer season initiates the drive toward Hoffman Estates for the Class 2A and 3A state finals in November. Here’s the outlook for area teams as they start their quest for glory.

Glenbard South Raiders

Coach: Adam Szyszko

2018 record: 8-11-2

Top players

Name Year Position

Josh Cohen sr. M

Gabe Alcala jr. M

Ryan Vozza sr. F

Lance Evans jr. F

Outlook: The Raiders graduated 12 players, including eight starters, three of whom were four-year varsity players, so Szyszko said this will be a transition year. Cohen is entering his fourth year on varsity and Vozza is healthy after missing most of last season because of injury. Senior Brennan Rzewuski and junior Dario Stojakovic join the defense, which figures to be a strength.

“Many of the juniors and seniors contributed last year and we’re looking for them to step up and take on bigger roles. We should be solid up top and defensively. Midfield play will be a key.”

IC Catholic Prep Knights

Coach: Miguel Garcia

2018 record: 2-18

Top players

Name Year Position

Thomas Sloan sr. M

Carlo Arenas so. D

Jake LaSpisa jr. D

Outlook: The Knights took their lumps last season, going 2-18. Fourteen players are back, including seven sophomores. This will still be a young roster as five freshmen, including goalkeepers Skander Tahri and Seamus Reilly, are among the newcomers.

“My overall outlook for the season looks extremely promising as long as the team works hard every practice,” Garcia said. “Our strength will be our defense. The weakness probably will be our mental toughness, if anything.”

Lemont Indians

Coach: Rick Prangen

2018 record: 14-7-1

Top players

Name Year Position

Andrius Alinkevicius sr. M

James Locascio sr. D

Peter Borzecki so. D

Kenny Benoit jr. G

Outlook: The Indians return four all-conference players – Alinkevicius, Locascio, Borzecki and Benoit – from a 14-win team. Alinkevicius tallied five goals and eight assists last year and should get scoring help from junior forward Anthony Gonzalez.

“We should compete for a conference title and are looking on improving last year’s sectional semifinal appearance, Prangen said.”

Timothy Christian Trojans

Coach: Joel Zielke

2018 record: 12-10-1

Top players

Name Year Position

Jonathan Stremler sr. F

Josh Wise sr. M

Mike Vogt jr. D

Zach Orange sr. GK/F

Carson Hooker sr. M

Outlook: Ten players graduated from a 12-10-1 team, but the Trojans are looking to reload thanks to some underclassmen who led the JV team to an 8-3-1 mark. Stremler, Wise and Hooker combined for 27 goals and 15 assists last year, while Orange is a two-way threat who scored three goals and had six assists as a field player and also helped the Trojans to nine shutouts as a goalkeeper. Vogt is the only returning defensive starter, so newcomers like junior Josh Pae and sophomores Brenton DuBuois and Ethan Lemkuil will have to acclimate quickly.

“The two biggest keys to a successful 2019 will be finding the back of the net consistently and developing strong on-field chemistry with only five starters returning,” Zielke said. “If this happens consistently, look for the Trojans to compete hard for a MSC Conference title and make a deep run in the 2019 postseason.”

Wheaton Academy Warriors

Coach: Cody Snouffer

2018 record: 20-3

Top players

Name Year Position

Logan Finnegan sr. F

Daniel Rychenkov sr. F

Chris Eklund sr. M

Andrew Hoekstra sr. G

Jack Liechty sr. D

Sam Froslid sr. D

Outlook: After three seasons as an assistant, Stouffer takes the helm from Jeff Brooke, who guided the Warriors to a 209-52-16 record in 11 seasons, including four Class 2A state trophies. Finnegan, who had five goals and six assists last year, and Rychenkov, who had six goals and two assists, are the top returning attackers from a 20-3 squad that lost to Benet in a Class 3A regional final.

“Wheaton Academy soccer will be younger than it has been in years past, with a larger number of underclassman getting their first varsity minutes,” Snouffer said. “We are excited to build on the legacy of coach Brooke and grow in our team identity.

“Wheaton Academy’s biggest strength this year will be a large number of players who are comfortable and creative on the ball. Our greatest challenge will be rising to all the leadership roles and level of play led by a large graduating class of 2018. As with many high school programs, meeting the expectations created by the previous year with a new set of players is a great opportunity.”

Wheaton North Falcons

Coach: Rob Stassen

2018 record: 10-9-2

Top players

Name Year Position

Ray Min sr. GK

Kyle Schauer jr. D

Graham Stephenson jr. M

Erik Rozanski jr. M

Outlook: Most of the players who were responsible for bringing the program back to respectability have graduated. Only four starters are returning from a squad that posted a 10-9-2 record and won a share of the inaugural DuKane Conference championship. The Falcons have a solid goalkeeper in Min, who along with Rozanski earned all-conference honors.

“We will be a young and aggressive team this year. We lost some of the overall finesse but have gained the pit bull mentality and have increased the energy of the team,” Stassen said. “The team has some great team leaders in the middle ... with the confidence of a rejuvenated back line. The possible weakness may be our complete team lack of experience at this level, but with the strength of schedule they play, the learning curve will be quick and exciting.”

York Dukes

Coach: Lukasz Majewski

2018 record: 14-6-1

Top players

Name Year Position

Joe Meade sr. F

Paolo Favuzzi sr. M

Jack Musial sr. M

Parker Gawne sr. F/D

Ethan Oder sr. M

Sam Musial so. M

Outlook: The Dukes bring back the bulk of their offense from a 14-win team that captured a share of the West Suburban Silver title. Meade, Jack Musial and Gawne are fast and can score, while Oder, Favuzzi and Sam Musial are skilled distributors and Favuzzi is a shutdown defender in the middle. The big question mark will be in the back as the defenders and goalkeepers are new.

“We are a fast and technically gifted squad with the ability to possess the ball for prolonged periods of time,” Majewski said. “We have the ability to pressure other teams into turnovers and capitalize on their mistakes.

“We have high hopes and even bigger expectations for the 2019 season. Our team motto this year is ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’ ”

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