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Sports

Girls Soccer: Previewing teams in the Kane County Chronicle coverage area

The girls soccer season gets underway soon. Here are previews of teams from around the Kane County Chronicle coverage area.

Batavia Bulldogs

Coach: Mark Gianfrancesco

2019 record: 17-5-2

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Grace Salyers sr. F

Abby Zipse sr. M

Bella Zink sr. M

Outlook: Batavia looks poised for a potential deep playoff run, returning 14 from last year’s varsity roster. Hailey Flannagan (Illinois Institute of Technology), Zipse (Northern Illinois) and Zink (Wisconsin-Parkside) headline the experienced group who made it to a sectional semifinal appearance last year.

“On paper, the arrow is pointing up for sure, but we still need to play the games,” Gianfrancesco said. “The DuKane [Conference] will be very competitive, and we play a pretty challenging schedule to improve our play throughout the season.”

Burlington Central Rockets

Coach: Jessica Arneson

2019 record: 14-5-1

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Zoey Kollhoff sr. F

Maddie Menke sr. F

Kirsten Wyse sr. D/M

Outlook: The Rockets return some high-profile pieces, headlined by Illinois recruit Zoey Kollhoff, who had 29 goals and 13 assists last season. Wyse, who will play collegiately at Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Menke also bring back plenty of offense. The Rockets will need to replenish their back line and bring along some youth.

“We have a team that jells very well together. We have a pretty even split between the different classes, and that had helped us stay balanced,” Arneson said. “We move into a new, tougher [Fox Valley] Conference this year, but expect to still be successful.”

Geneva Vikings

Coach: Megan Owens

2019 record: 11-6-2

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Katie Montgomery sr. G

Anna Spindle sr. M

Chloe Frison sr. D

Outlook: The Vikings return their experienced goalkeeper in Montgomery, but replacing lost offensive production will be interesting to watch. Geneva graduated top standouts in Jenna Dominguez, Stephanie Howe and Sydney Gratz.

“We graduated a tremendous amount of talent last year, including our entire starting offense. While some might consider it a rebuilding year, we do have 15 returning players and have added some talented new players to our team,” Owens said. “We are excited to see who steps up to fill the shoes of last year’s graduates. The leadership of the 12 seniors on this year’s team will be key.”

Kaneland Knights

Coach: Scott Parillo

2019 record: 10-10-1

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Taylor Carlson jr. F

Sarah Baerenklau sr. D/F

Emma Hedlund jr. M

Outlook: The Knights are well-positioned for success early in the season, returning 11 players from last season’s regional finalist. Carlson was an all-sectional and all-conference selection, while Carroll commit Baerenklau will provide senior leadership for the new faces that include sophomores Avery Erickson and Audrey Salamon.

“We have many new faces, so we need to be a cohesive group from the start to get us going for a tough nonconference schedule,” Parillo said. “The key will be staying healthy. If we can do that, we will compete with the teams on our schedule.”

Rosary Royals

Coach: Amy McMahon

2019 record: 1-14

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Megan Cibulskis jr. D/M

Alaina Ferraro so. M

Maddie O’Brien jr. M

Outlook: The Royals had some tough sledding last season, but with McMahon aboard in her first season as coach, Rosary might be able to turn things around. The Royals were shut out in the Class 1A regional semifinal last season against Oregon, but they are hoping for solid campaigns from Cibulskis and others on the team.

“New coach this season with a young team with potential,” McMahon said. “The girls are working hard in the first week and hopefully will find success in the 2020 season.”  

St. Charles East Saints

Coach: Vince DiNuzzo

2019 record: 22-6-0

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Elle McCaslin sr. F

Alondra Carranza sr. M/F

Hannah Miller jr. F

Outlook: The Saints are loaded. The roster is headlined by Carranza and McCaslin, who had 29 goals last season and was an All-State selection. After reaching the sectional final last season, the Saints are expected to make a deep playoff run.

“Our team’s strength will be our ability to put teams under pressure with our style of play and our pace,” DiNuzzo said. “Another strength will be our team’s depth of talent at every position. The competition that the girls will receive during practice will push them to improve and reach their goals.”

St. Charles North North Stars

Coach: Brian Harks

2019 record: 19-2-2

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Sami Rydberg sr. M

Sarah Andrey sr. F

Makenna Collins jr. D

Outlook: The North Stars have knocked on the doorstep of a state tournament appearance each of the past four seasons, narrowly falling in the supersectional round. St. Charles North graduated top standouts in Kane County Chronicle Player of Year CeCe Wahlberg, Claudia Najera and Sara Maleski, but it has plenty coming back for what is expected to be another deep playoff run.

“St. Charles North soccer is returning a core group of players that are looking to uphold the traditions of past rosters,” Harks said. “It is a talented group, and it should be another fun year.”

St. Francis Spartans

Coach: Jim Winslow

2019 record: 9-7-2

Top players

NAME YEAR POS.

Ava Hensley sr. M

Emily Thill sr. M

Katherine Lemke jr. D

Adriana Rotondi sr. F

Anna Moran sr. D

Isabel DeFeo sr. M

Outlook: The Spartans lack the big-name Division I scorers of recent years, but the Wisconsin-Whitewater bound Thill and DeFeo, a North Central recruit who returns from injury, provide leadership along with Hensley, another college prospect who is uncommitted.

“This senior group has been through the battles and ready to take the helm of the program,” Winslow said. “We do have a lot of new faces that will need to step up and contribute. [The early schedule] is brutal and then we will see how it goes from there.”

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