Chicago Sun-Times
By Patrick Z. McGavin

June 2013 Archives

This year's all-area was especially difficult to compile given how many qualified players were on the outside looking in. Even more so than usual, there were far more distinguished players than available slots. As a result, some very good players were passed over; it was, in no way, a reflection of their play, just a crucial matter of math.

As a refresher, this was the all-area list for 2013:

First team

Abbie Boswell, So., Forward, Naperville North
Jasmin Carrera, Sr., Forward, Lane
Ashley Handwork, Sr., Forward, Plainfield North
Zoe Swift, Sr., Forward, Naperville North

Lacey Clarida, Jr., Midfielder, Lockport
Gianna Dal Pozzo, Sr., Midfielder, Neuqua Valley
Meegan Johnston, Sr., Midfieler, Carmel
Kelli Zickert, Jr., Buffalo Grove

Rachele Armand, Sr., Defender, Waubonsie Valley
Corey Burns, Sr., Defender, Loyola

Morgan Harris, Jr., Keeper, Hersey

Second team

Hope D'Addario, Sr., Forward, Neuqua Valley
Maddie Mulford, Jr., New Trier
Molly Pfeiffer, Sr., Forward, Barrington
Jenna Szczesny, So., Forward, Barrington

Alex Gage, Sr., Midfielder, St. Charles North
Bridget Hillsman, Sr., Midfielder, Fenwick
Jenn Jarmy, Sr., Midfielder, Hinsdale Central
Michelle Mottonen, Sr., Midfielder, Fremd

Nicole McKevitt, Sr., Defender, Lemont
Jenna Romano, Sr., Defender, Waubonsie Valley

Abby Hershik, So., Keeper, Naperville Central

Third team

Devin Burns, Fr., Forward, Loyola
April Cronin, Sr., Forward, Glenbrook South
Kristen Dodson, Jr., Forward, Waubonsie Valley
Lauren Gierman, Jr., Forward, Hersey

Cora Climo, Sr., Midfielder, Naperville North
Heather Handwork, Jr., Midfielder, Plainfield North
Christa Szalach, Sr., Midfielder, Naperville North
Natalie Winkates, Sr., Midfielder, St. Charles North

Amanda Alberts, Sr., Defender, Naperville Central
Emma Peele, Sr., Defender, Andrew

Hannah Luedtke, So., Keeper, Barrington

In alphabetical order, these are the other players who stood out this year.

Vanesa Abad, Lake Zurich senior forward; Olivia Amdur, Parker sophomore midfielder; Bryce Banuelos, York senior midfielder; Kelsey Bear, Prairie Ridge senior forward; Jessica Bicek, Lincoln-Way East defender; Ally Brehm, Lockport senior forward; Alyssa Brandt, St. Charles North junior midfielder; Corinne Brennan, Lincoln-Way West senior forward; Savannah Brija, Lemont sophomore midfielder; Sara Busse, Buffalo Grove sophomore forward; Mia Calamari, Barrington junior midfielder; Meghan Carmody, Sandburg senior forward; Leah Celarek, Conant sophomore forward; Liz Clark, Lake Forest senior keeper; Allison Curry, Maine South senior forward

Brooke Dennis, Mundelein senior keeper; Shayna Dheel, Plainfield North junior midfielder; Larissa Dooley, Prairie Ridge sophomore forward; Lucy Edwards, Lake Forest junior midfielder; Veronica Fairbairn, Glenbard East senior keeper; Evan Fencik, Parker senior forward; Kelly Fritz, Lemont junior keeper; Skylar Groth, Buffalo Grove junior midfielder; Jill Hetfleisch, Minooka senior forward; Tori Iatarola, Loyola junior midfielder; Allie Ingham, Buffalo Grove junior forward; Azia Javier, Young senior forward; Kim Jerantowski, Lemont junior midfielder; Kim Jimenez, Streamwood senior forward; Jenna Kentgen, Metea Valley senior forward; Brooke Ksiazek, Neuqua Valley senior midfielder; Alyssa Kovatchis, York sophomore midfielder; Ari Kowalski, Lyons senior midfielder; Emily Lange, Lyons junior forward; Leigh LaRocco, Lincoln-Way North senior defender; Amanda Lulek, Geneva senior forward; Tricia Lybrook, New Trier junior midfielder; Kyleigh Maday, Providence junior midfielder; Unique Manns, Lincoln-Way North senior forward; Morgan Manzke, Sandburg senior midfielder; Casey May, Hinsdale Central senior forward; Aleksandra Mihailovic, Lemont sophomore forward

Veronika Nowak, Payton senior midfielder; Sarah O'Connor, Buffalo Grove sophomore keeper; Grace Orndorff, Naperville Central junior midfielder; Montana Paley, Glenbrook North senior midfielder; Sofia Pavon, Lane sophomore midfielder; Leah Plescia, Lockport senior midfielder; Brittany San Roman, Loyola senior keeper; Ellie Vachuska, Payton junior midfielder; Natalie Wade, Lane sophomore midfielder; Jenna Weiner, Stevenson senior midfielder; Casey Weyhrich, Hersey senior forward; Lauren Wilkes, Oak Park-River Forest junior forward; Margaret Zahrah, Young junior midfielder; Colleen Zickert, Buffalo Grove junior midfielder.

A year ago this time, Naperville North survived St. Charles North 1-0 in four overtimes to complete its majestic 24-1-2 run in capturing the Class 3A state title. Immediately the question turned to whether the Huskies could repeat.

Flash forward a year, and the Huskies did just that, using two Zoe Swift goals to hold off Hinsdale Central 2-1 as Naperville North became the first large-school program since Waubonsie Valley to repeat.

Comparisons are inevitable, and naturally the question becomes which was the better team. Last year's team was better defensively. They had an All-American in Jen Korn (Northwestern) and a rising star in freshman Kayla Sharples. Korn graduated and Sharples elected to play club.

This year's edition was probably more explosive offensively. Even with Swift missing eight games with the ankle injury, causing her goal production to decline to 17 from 25, Naperville North had a lethal scoring attack with sophomore star Abbie Boswell.

Boswell finished the year with 28 goals and 11 assists; even with the time missed, Swift ended up with 17 goals and nine assists. The team's other double-figure scorer was senior midfielder Christa Szalach, who had 15 goals. Cora Climo, the co-captain with Szalach, had seven goals and 16 assists.

Naperville North's path was arduous. The Huskies beat Neuqua Valley twice (including a sectional semifinal), Naperville Central twice in five days, Buffalo Grove, Waubonsie Valley, Lockport and Geneva. The defense was not as smothering as a year ago. Still, the Huskies still recorded 12 shutouts, including a state semifinal over a powerful Buffalo Grove team.

Give a slight edge to this year's team.

Allow the Huskies their time to celebrate, but still, it is never too early to talk about next year.

Sure, Swift, Climo and Szalach and the crucial team player Emily Bromagen are all graduating. The sophomore nucleus of Boswell, keeper Fiona Baenziger, midfielder Claire Hilburger (who must recover from a serious knee injury) and midfielder Allison Svoboda to go with juniors Meghan Lee, Sarah Feder and Abby Mangefrida is a potent lineup. If Sharples returns to the high school team, the Huskies could be as good as ever.

The other Final Four teams look very imposing. If Naperville North is not the preseason No. 1 next year, Buffalo Grove is the likely inheritor of the crown. The Bison had a disappointing end to a magnificent season when they lost consecutive 2-0 games to Naperville North and MSL rival Barrington to finish fourth.

"We're going to miss our seniors, but we got the seasoning this year," coach Pat Dudle said after the Barrington loss. Junior midfielder Kelli Zickert, first-team all-area, is one of the best players in the state. Her twin sister Colleen Zickert (eight goals, nine assists) joins a gifted supporting cast of sophomore midfielder Jessica Kovach, junior midfielder Skylar Groth (eight goals, five assists), junior forward Allie Ingham (15 goals, eight assists) and sophomore forward Sara Busse (seven goals, 10 assists). Sophomore keeper Sarah O'Connor, a converted position player, was often spectacular in her first year in the net.

Third-place finisher Barrington must make up for a tremendous loss in the emotional and team leader, star senior Molly Pfeiffer (Marquette). The Fillies just showcased their next great star in sophomore forward Jenna Szczesny, who scored 25 goals and added eight assists. The other key Barrington players are junior midfielder Mia Calamari (six goals, 12 assists), sophomore midfielder Kelsey Muniz (five goals, six assists), sophomore midfielder Annalise Avers (seven goals), junior forward Ellie Ackermann (five goals) and sophomore midfielder Megan Fox. Sophomore keeper Hannah Luedtke, a third-team all-area selection, recorded 18 shutouts for the Fillies.

On paper, state runner-up Hinsdale Central appears the hardest hit. The Red Devils have their ace in the hole in the emergence of elite coach Michael Smith, who directed Hinsdale Central to a state title appearance in just his second year. "He's very composed," star senior Jenn Jarmy said, "and that gives us a lot of confidence in how we play." Junior Alison Cerny, who had the game-winner in the semifinal over Barrington, leads the list of returning players; others to watch for next year are junior Christa Kuhlman, sophomore midfielder Danielle Shayani, sophomore midfielder Kaitlyn Livingston, junior midfielder Megan Schick (who scored in the state title game) and junior midfielder Lily Chetosky. Junior keeper Riley Glenn was also sensational throughout the year for the Red Devils.

The other teams to watch in 2014 are: Neuqua Valley, Waubonsie Valley, Loyola, New Trier, Lockport and Naperville Central.

In Class 2A, state runner-up Prairie Ridge reloads behind sophomore forward Larissa Dooley, junior forward Erin Ginsberg and junior midfielder Erica Walsh. Fenwick, its best state finish ever third place finish, suffered serious graduation losses. Still, the Friars have some standout younger players in junior forward Caroline Murphy, junior forward Nora Madden and freshman midfielder Colette Jaslowski. Fourth-place finisher Lemont returns its three top scorers in star junior midfielder Kim Jerantowski, sophomore forward Aleksandra Mihailovic and sophomore midfielder Savannah Rhodes.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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