2011 may not have been the best year for Girls Soccer when it comes to State Championships, but there is no doubt in my mind that Girls Soccer is still alive and well in the South West Suburban Area. All three Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Classifications were represented this season. In Class 1A, Herscher made it to the Final but lost 5-0 to Alton Marquette. Class 2A saw Lemont take 3rd Place by defeating Wheaton Academy 2-1 in a Double Overtime Thriller. In Class 3A Naperville North made it to the Final before losing to Granite City 1-0. Two 2nds and a 3rd may not be sitting well with those who competed, but, given how hard it is to make the Final Four - it was a great achievement.
Soccer was, and still is, my sport of choice. Unfortunately my high school team, of which I was a charter member, never made it Downstate. Never the less, between High School , Amateur Club Teams and beyond - I have seen just about everything that can go right or wrong on the pitch. Winning Championships requires not only skill, but it also requires a measure of luck. Especially when it comes to staying healthy. And even though the game is played with eleven players, it will still invariably come down to a few "special players" that will put a squad over the top. And I have to tell you, the South West Suburbs are loaded when it comes to special players! Boys and Girls!
You must forgive me, but I must start with the Southwest Prairie Conference since that is my home conference these days. I guess having a son playing two sports in the conference doesn't give me much of a choice either, lol. Then again, it is also the conference I see play most often. First of all, my congratulations go out to the Lady Tigers of Plainfield North. They won their conference convincingly and with style while advancing to their Regional Final. Sadly, North lost a 1-0 heart breaker to Naperville Central. All in all, though, I am extremely proud of the entire conference.
As for "my home school," Plainfield South had a decent season. However, I not only expect bigger and better things for them next season, but I can foresee them doing exactly that. Especially if Alex Trular continues her smart all-around play. Truhlar is one of those special players that I alluded to earlier. She will be integral to the success of the Cougars next season. Naturally, Plainfield North will still be the team to beat, but the conference is so loaded with talent it will push the conference to its limits. Talent has a way of making everyone better.
The Southwest Prairie All-Conference Team was as good as any in the metropolitan area.
The SPC All-Conference Team
SPC MVP: Callie O'Donnell
|ALL SPC TEAM||Alex Truhlar *
|Cynthia Pineda *
||Plainfield E||Kelsey Pruett||Plainfield S|
|Kelsey Graefen||Plainfield C||Alysha Alonzo||Minooka|
|Lauren Kulaga||Plainfield C||Sam Gewalt||Minooka|
|Bailey Wysocki *
||Plainfield C||Jillian Hetfleisch *
|Ashley Auble *
||Plainfield N||Becca Sutton *
|Katie Cox||Plainfield N||Erin Apolzan||Oswego|
|A. Handwork *
||Plainfield N||Lisa Bajkowski||Oswego|
|Callie O'Donnell *
||Plainfield N||Cindi Chavez||Oswego|
|Anna O'Donnell||Plainfield N||Cathy Tram||Oswego|
|Hayley Wegrzyn||Plainfield N||A. Phetchanpheng||Oswego E|
|Laura Miler||Romeoville||Carli Schlaker||Oswego E|
* - Named to the 2011 Herald News All-Area Team
Herald News 2011 Player of the Year: Chris Reed Providence Catholic
Ashley Auble Junior/Midfield Plainfield North
Michelle Balcerzak Senior/Goalkeeper Lincoln-Way North
Corinne Brennan Sophomore/Forward Lincoln-Way West
Shannon Briggs Junior/Forward Lemont
Leslie Claire Senior/Forward Morris
Elise Cody Senior/Defender Lemont
Lexi Cozzi Junior/Forward Lockport
Rita Craven Junior/Midfield Lincoln-Way North
Morgan Graves Senior/Forward Joliet West
Ashley Handwork Sophomore/Forward Plainfield North
Jill Hetfleisch Junior/Forward Minooka
Haley Hooper Junior/Goalkeeper Wilmington
Kaci Jazo Senior/Forward Lincoln-Way North
Kim Jerantowski Freshman/Midfielder Lemont
Morgan McCormick Junior/Sweeper Wilmington
Callie O’Donnell Junior/Forward Plainfield North
Cynthia Pineda Sophomore/Midfield Plainfield East
Rachel Post Junior/Forward Lincoln-Way Central
Jenna Proctor Senior/Backer Lincoln-Way Central (Michigan Tech.)
Chris Reed Senior/Forward Providence (Herald-News Player of the Year)
Becca Sutton Senior/Midfielder Minooka
Alex Truhlar Sophomore/Midfield Plainfield South
Bailey Wysocki Senior/Forward Plainfield Central
Rachel Zampa Sophomore/Midfield Joliet Catholic
Herald-News 2011 All-Area Girls Soccer Honorable Mention:
Gabby Pontrelli, Katy Rees, Nikia Smith, Bolingbrook; Stefani D’Andrea, Joliet Catholic; Samantha Herrera, Maria Zamora, Joliet Central; Taylor Adler, Kristin Plyer, Jackie Wysocki, Joliet West; Kelly Trojak, Amy Skowronski, Sydney Goushas, Lemont; Kim Rietveld, Somer Druszkowski, Meghan Killinger, Katie Sieloff, Lincoln-Way Central; Erin Mangia, Kelly McGovern, Lincoln-Way East; Jessica Bean, Mandy Beniac, Alexa Eggert, Lincoln-Way North; Lea Gindville, Lincoln-Way West; Ally Brehm, Brynn Feeley, Jessica Liutkus, Cassandra Pullia, Lockport; Jordan Cummings, Morris; Kelsey Graefen, Lauren Kulaga, Plainfield Central; Ally Togliatti, Plainfield East; Katie Cox, Anna O’Donnell, Hayley Wegrzyn, Plainfield North; Kailyn Haski, Kelsey Pruett, Plainfield South; Kyleigh Maday, Providence; Laura Miller, Nsude Okekeewo, Romeoville; Minooka’s Alysha Alonzo.
(Note: Comments and Stats By Joe Trost)
1. Neuqua Valley 24-1 (1)
Forward Zoey Goralski headlines a talented Class of 2013.
2. Loyola 24-1-3 (2)
Since 2004, Loyola has gone unbeaten in 158 of 197 games.
3. Huntley 19-2-1 (3)
Red Raiders own a 104-12-3 record the past five seasons.
4. Naperville North 18-6-1 (4)
Huskies will have new coach and also a lot of talent in 2012.
5. York 21-5-1 (NR)
Dukes knocked off Lyons twice this spring.
6. Lyons 20-5-1 (9)
Fell to Neuqua Valley and Loyola 1-0 in Pepsi and Naperville title games.
7. New Trier 17-3-7 (7)
Three losses were to Loyola, Lyons and Waubonsie Valley.
8. Conant 21-5 (8)
Courtney Raetzman did a little bit of everything.
9. Fremd 18-5-3 (6)
Spotlight will be on Michelle Mottonen next spring.
10. Plainfield North 17-3-2 (10)
Tigers will be a preseason top five team in 2012.
Others: Barrington, Lake Forest, Waubonsie Valley, St. Charles North, Naperville Central, Glenbrook South, Homewood-Flossmoor.