Katrina Barthelt, South Elgin
How does a team go from 3-11-2 to 14-4-3 and Upstate Eight Conference champions? It welcomes a super talented freshman like this one who scores 33 goals. “She was without a doubt our most valuable player this season because of her ability to put the ball in the net,” Storm coach Laura Snow said. “South Elgin has not had a player like that in a long time, and she energized her team to play some all around great soccer this season.” Added 2 assists.
Alondra Carranza, St. Charles East
As talented and successful as the Saints have been this season, there have been stressful, nail-biting type games for coach Vince DiNuzzo. But he’s able to rest easy knowing this all-sectional, all-conference junior defender is in back shutting opponents down. She had 6 goals and 7 assists while the Saints surrendered just 18 goals in 28 games.
Jenna Dominguez, Geneva
The Vikings had reason to be on cloud nine the past four seasons with this super talented senior scorer on the field. The St. Cloud State commit led the Vikings with 18 goals and added 6 assists, finishing her time at Geneva with 70 goals. “Jenna has been one of our top offense threats over the past 4 years and has been vital to our success,” Vikings coach Megan Owens said. “She is a prolific scorer and leaves her name in all of Geneva’s record books. “
Avery Fitzgerald, Huntley
As a playmaker and scorer, Fitzgerald blossomed this season for the Red Raiders scoring 13 goals and contributing 8 assists for a 10-9-2 team. “Avery is one of our program’s most improved offensive threats over the past 4 years,” Huntley coach Matt Lewandowski said. “She’s always had incredible pace and strength, but has grown into a true finisher and offensive asset.” The senior forward will play at Purdue University Northwest.
Sydney Gratz, Geneva
The mastermind behind the Geneva offense the past 4 years has been this senior who helped the Vikings enjoy an 11-6-2 season this spring and collect 59 victories during her run since freshman year. With 9 assists and 4 goals this season, the UIC recruit reached 30 career goals. “Her ability to play strong on both sides of the ball make her a rare, yet extremely valuable player,” Geneva coach Megan Owens said.
Anna Holcombe, Batavia
Batavia’s leader on and off the field this season led them to the inaugural DuKane Conference title with St. Charles East and a regional championship. This senior Indiana State recruit had 12 goals and 10 assists. “The growth that she has shown over the last 3 years as a person and player can be directly correlated to the success of our program,” Bulldogs coach Mark Gianfrancesco said.
Zoey Kollhoff, Burlington Central
With tremendous versatility, this junior University of Illinois recruit, made the seamless transition from playing up top on her club team to being a winger for the Rockets. “Zoey is a very positive person and has the potential to be one of the best leaders in program history,” Rockets coach Jess Arneson said. Despite drawing a ton of attention from opponents, Kolhoff finished with 27 goals and 13 assists.
Cassie Kowalski, Jacobs
On countless occasions this spring, the Golden Eagles received scoring opportunities via the leadership of this senior midfielder who finished with 14 goals and 9 assists in helping Jacobs compile a 13-10-1 record, winning 5 of their final 6 games. “Cassie is a very athletic and dangerous wing player,” Jacobs interim head coach Colin Brice said. “She created a lot of opportunities for us in the attacking third and has been a great leader on and off the field.”
Kelly Leon, Larkin
Arguably the most amazing thing about this prolific scorer is that she won’t officially begin her upperclassmen years until next season. “Kelly is a natural goal scorer who can also command the central midfield,” Larkin coach Ken Hall said. “She has a high soccer IQ and puts forth maximum effort all the time.” Finished her sophomore season with 32 goals and 14 assists, bumping her career goal total to 66 goals.
Rachael Lutter, Kaneland
One of the most versatile players to compete in the area, this senior tallied 7 goals and 9 assists this spring for the Knights in primarily a defensive role. “Rachael is a true student of the game,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. “She is like another coach on the field. She directs players on where they should be positioned. Absolutely great on corner kicks. She will be sorely missed.” Lutter will continue playing at the University of Cincinnati.
Elle McCaslin, St. Charles East
Last year at this time no one in St. Charles had heard of this junior transfer student from Michigan. Less than a year ago, she was under the knife due to an ACL injury. This spring she’s been nothing short of amazing for the Saints as the 6-foot speedster scored 29 goals and added 15 assists, earing seemingly all-everything accolades, including All-American and All-State.
Claudia Najera, St. Charles North
Overcame an early season knee injury to give the North Stars another potent scoring weapon as the senior forward scored 8 times and added 5 assists (through sectionals) this spring. “When she returned, the Stars’ attack was elevated to another level,” North Stars coach Brian Harks said. “She is creative with her runs, smart with her passes, and she is an excellent finisher.”
Jenna Nichols, Batavia
The presence of this senior on the back line allowed the Bulldogs to play a three back which set up their attack. “Most could not make that transition, but Jenna made it seamlessly,” Bulldogs coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. “As a person and a player, she was instrumental in continuing to build our culture at Batavia.” Batavia recorded 13 shutouts and had a .79 GAA average with their dual goalkeepers. Nichols will play at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.
Sami Rydberg, St. Charles North
This junior third-year player has experienced losing with the North Stars just four times (59-4-5). As talented a midfielder as you will find, she had 13 goals and 5 assists through the sectional. “She is a very smart passer and an excellent shooter,” North Stars coach Brian Harks said. “Her hard work off the ball creates a lot of space and opportunities for her teammates, and she is able to create opportunities for herself as well.
Grace Salyers, Batavia
Despite an assortment of injuries, she constantly suited up and delivered huge goals in the biggest of games time and time again, finishing with 10 goals and 4 assists. “Grace is the consummate competitor and always wants to win,” Bulldogs coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. “Whether in practice or games, she brings a level of competition that raises her teammates level of play, which has benefitted us over the last two seasons.” The best news for Gianfrancesco? She’s only a junior.
Guadalupe Sanchez, Elgin
Stats can’t tell you a ton about every soccer player. Some very good ones are probably more known for their jersey number than what they do in the stat column. This senior probably is one of them, although she did score 9 goals and have 2 assists, but she meant far more than digits. “Guadalupe is a strong midfielder with a powerful kick,” Maroons coach Alicia Knoll said. “She is always looking to back up her teammates or step up when needed offensively.”
Jenna Stayart, Cary-Grove
Want to have a fun debate about who is the top underclassmen in the area? This sophomore all-stater who finished with 28 goals and 5 assists definitely is in the discussion. “Jenna is dynamic both on and off the field as a player and a leader,” Trojans coach Ray Krystal said. “She is determined to succeed, fiercely competitive, and her positive energy is infectious. Truly an exceptional player, leader, and teammate.”
Audrey Stephens, West Aurora
West Aurora coach Laura Wagley doesn’t like to think how the Blackhawks would have fared this season without this junior forward. “She was our team’s MVP,” she said. “And without her we would have been a completely different team.” Led the Blackhawks with 17 goals and 9 assists during a 12-win campaign as the team’s go-to forward up top. “She was often man marked but continued to be a threat and dangerous,” Wagley said.
CeCe Wahlberg, St. Charles North
This year’s honorary captain has a familiar name for a reason since Wahlberg’s sister Gia earned such a title last spring. This senior midfielder scored 13 goals and had 8 assists in leading the North Stars into supersectional action. “She is a two-way player that defends as well as she attacks,” North Stars coach Brian Harks said. “Her ability to control the pace of the game is excellent, and she is a large part of the team’s success.”
Veronica Walker, Hampshire
The Whip-Purs struggled in finding the win column this spring, but it wasn’t because of this talented junior who scored 19 goals and had 11 assists. “Veronica is a very entertaining player to watch,” Hampshire coach Javier Rojo said. “She has pace, vision and an eye for goal. As a fan, you’re always up on your seat when she gets the ball facing net. You have a feeling she will make something happen.”
Taylor Abbott, Burlington Central; Sarah Andrey, St. Charles North; Mikayla Brown, Bartlett; Taylor Carlson, Kaneland; Katie Connor, Geneva; Caitlin Farrell, Geneva; Keely Frens, Westminster Christian; Katie Glowinski, Cary-Grove; Grace Griffin, St. Charles East; Maddie Jannusch, Cary-Grove; Kaleigh LaRue, South Elgin; Rachel Martini, St. Edward; Olivia McPherson, West Aurora; Hayly Munoz, Elgin; Hannah Miller, St. Charles East; Gracie Prather, West Aurora; Katelyn Skibinski, Dundee-Crown; Kayla Villa, St. Charles East; Baylee Vincent, Jacobs; Alyssa Xanos, Huntley; Abby Zipse, Batavia.
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