Spring Girls Soccer Preview 2023

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We go between the nets. How will Metea Valley look after winning a state championship last season? I will walk you through girls soccer. This preview is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Waubonsie Valley hoping to maintain its good form

We start off our girls’ soccer preview with the Waubonsie Valley Warriors. Last year was a nice bounceback season for Coach Bergstrom’s side. In 2021 the Warriors finished with a 4-8 record, last season, that improved to an 11-6-3 tally. However, in a strong DVC conference, the green and gold finished 4th in the conference with a 2-3 record only beating Neuqua Valley and DeKalb. That led to the Warriors being seeded 7th in the Naperville Central Sectional where the Warrior’s season ended in double overtime to 10th-seeded Lockport. For the 2023 season, the team is losing some key players such as Isabel Langenkamp, Brooke Nelson, Taylor Mathews, and Isra Khan. The good news for the Warriors is that 13 players from last year’s roster such as Eleanor Oster, Asa Potts, and Lauren Bornhoff are making a return this season and with the addition of players like Taylor Ahmadian the Warriors hope that they can maintain their good form.

Naperville North looking for another strong showing

Moving on to Naperville North girls soccer. It’s no surprise that the Huskies had another strong showing in the 2022 season finishing with a 19-3-3 record. The blue and orange finished in second place in the DVC behind Metea Valley, who were the Huskies’ only conference loss of the season. In the state tournament, the Huskies picked up another regional plaque beating Lockport by a score of 3-1 in the regional final. In the sectional semifinals Coach Goletz’s squad breezed past Oswego East 6-0. The Huskies season ended in a 1-0 loss in the sectional final to the eventual state champions Metea Valley. The squad is going to look a lot different this season after losing 14 seniors to graduation including Abby Haskell, Lucy Iverson, Norah Berry, and Madison and Taylor Korosec, only leaving eight players from last season’s roster set to return.

Benet Academy returns several key players

It was another dominant season for Benet Academy girls soccer. The Redwings finished top of the East Suburban Catholic Conference with a perfect 7-0 record. The Wings cruised through the early stages of the state tournament outscoring their opponents 23-1 leading them to a regional and sectional plaque. In the super sectionals, the red and white took down Dunlap by a score of 1-0 then won a thriller against Deerfield 3-2 to advance to the 2A State Final. In a hard-fought 1-0 game at North Central College the Redwings fell short to Triad finishing as the runner-up. After only losing four seniors to graduation, Coach Oconer has a strong contingent of girls returning this season.

“So we have 17 players returning from our team last year, including eight starters, and we’re really excited about some of the new players that we have, some of the new young talent combined with all that veteran experience that we have because there’s really no replicating the experience of going downstate and just having that feeling and being so close to winning the ultimate championship,” said Coach Gerard Oconer

Neuqua Valley looking to build off last season’s regional title run

Our next team is Neuqua Valley girls soccer. It was a tough regular season for the Wildcats who finished with a 7-9-2 record and 5th place in the DVC with their only conference win coming against DeKalb. Although the regular season was tough for the blue and yellow, they made a statement in the state tournament by beating Plainfield East 8-0 in the regional semifinals. In the regional final the Wildcats played #1 seeded Naperville Central and in a shocking turn of events, Neuqua knocked off the Redhawks in 3-1 fashion to win the regional championship, the team’s 4th consecutive win. The Wildcats bowed out of the tournament in the sectional semifinal round to Metea Valley by a score of 2-0. The Wildcats will be losing 12 players this season including stand-out player Brooke Miller, the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Illinois. Neuqua will also be without legendary head coach Joe Moreau, who retired at the end of last season. However, players such as Zoe Fabian, Selma Larbi, and Lauren Milani will be returning, and the Cats are looking to build on the regional title under new head coach, Arnoldo Gonzalez.

Naperville Central marches on without Ed Watson

Naperville Central girls soccer had another good season under long-time head coach Ed Watson, who retired after over 30 years as head coach at the end of 2022. The Redhawks ended their regular season with a 15-3-1 record and a 3-1-1 mark in the DVC. The red and white started their state-run with an 8-0 win over Yorkville. The RedHawks season ended in a surprising upset loss to Neuqua Valley in the regional final. Like a lot of our teams this season, the Redhawks will be losing 10 players including some standout names like Abigail O’Connor, Molly O’Rear, and Sarah McCracken. The good news for Naperville Central is that Lauren Thorne, Ella Burke, and Megan Norkett will be back for another season. The Redhawks also tapped longtime boys soccer head coach, Troy Adams, to lead the girls program as well. Coach Adams hopes to keep the good times rolling after leading the Central boys to their first State title last fall.

Metea Valley defending its state title

Last but not least we have Metea Valley girls soccer. The Mustangs turned in what was far and away the best season in program history last year finishing with a record of 22-2-1. You could sense a special year was brewing when Metea won the DVC with a perfect 5-0 record. The black and yellow started off the IHSA tournament strong with wins over West Aurora and Plainfield North to secure a regional championship. The Mustangs then took down DVC opponent Neuqua Valley in the sectional semifinal before finally dethroning Naperville North 1-0 in the final, winning the first ever sectional title for the program. In the super sectional, Metea eliminated Edwardsville followed by a 2-0 State semifinal win over Lincoln-Way Central putting the Mustangs in the 3A State Final against Barrington. Through 100 minutes of play, the game was scoreless sending the game into penalties in which then-senior goalie Julia Straub made two saves before Abigail Andrus slotted home the winning penalty giving Metea Valley the program’s first-ever state title. Coach Whaley says the team will look a little different this season but there’s still a lot to be excited about.

“We have a decent amount of seniors that contributed a lot and whether it was as starters or as role players. And so it’s going to be a challenge to replace them. We return Tyra King. She’s a leading goalscorer. Jordan Lang, of course, who both of them were All-State players last year, and as well as Lucy Burke, who led the team in assists. So, I feel like we’ve got some power on the offensive side of the ball. Ultimately, you know, we work really hard because we want to have fun. We want to compete at a high level and the girls have really enjoyed that mentality and that experience. So,” said Coach Chris Whaley.

Check out the other previews here!