Originally Posted Online: March 10, 2013, 6:09 pm
Last Updated: March 10, 2013, 7:37 pm
Girls' soccer preview capsules
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Coach: Randy Bollman (3rd season)
2012: 8-12-1, 1-3-1 Western Big 6; lost to Princeton, 5-0, in Class 1A regional final
Season opener: Friday vs. Quincy, 6 p.m.
Returning starters: Srs.: Emma Taylor (D), Jessica Tucker (D); Jrs.: Sydney Johnson (D), Maggie Murphy (M), Kevan O'Hanlon (M), Mary Kim Tadda (M); Sophs.: Olivia Gonzalez (M), Ellie Mitton (D), Andria Sierra (F)
Other notables: Sr.: Macy Hoskins (GK); Fr.: Megan Erickson (D), Jordan Polito (M/F), Katie Lohse (D), Emily Bollman (M/F)
Bollman's view: "We are bringing back a lot of experience from last year while adding several quality players to the mix. We will show improvement again this year during regular season and postseason."
Geneseo Maple Leafs
Coach: Ian Kline (5th season)
2012: 19-2-1, 9-1 Northern Illinois Big 12; lost to Morton, 2-1, in Class 2A sectional semifinal
Season opener: March 19 vs. Galesburg, 6 p.m.
Returning starters: Srs.: Mallory Wirth (M), Danni Manna (M), Kylie Lembke (D), Rachel Morton (F); Jrs.: Heather Setser (M), Kylie Gerhardt (M), Darci Dietrich (GK); Soph.: Abby Wilebski (D)
Other notables: Jr.: Kaylie Piekos (M); Soph.: Hannah Pace (F)
Kline's view: "Our players are eager to learn and play at their highest level. They will gain experience with the understanding that with each game, they will learn to play as a cohesive group with a high soccer IQ."
Coach: Rick Sanchez (17th season)
2012: 15-7, 4-1 Big 6; lost to Normal Community, 3-1, in Class 3A regional final
Season opener: Saturday at Normal Community, 12:30 p.m.
Returning starters: Srs.: Kelsi Smith (F), Aubrey Foulk (M), Rachel McGuire (M), Bri Hughes (M/F), Alison Linden (M/F), Emily Knight (D); Jrs.: Rachel Holt (GK), Tara Wright (GK), Megan Geever (D); Sophs.: Jordin Wilson (D), Amber Maland (M/D), Sarah Hillbloom (F), Kaliah Dothard (D)
Other notables: Jrs.: Hannah Navarette (M/F), Cassie Shetler (M); Soph.: Madison Lindbloom (D/M); Fr.: Jamie Althiser (F/M), Katie Stewart (F/M)
Sanchez's view: "We feel pretty comfortable with the group we have coming back. We have a pretty good blend of experienced players as well as newcomers that we feel will be contributors this season."
Coach: Rick Cline (8th season)
2012: 14-4-2; lost to Princeton, 7-0, in Class 1A regional semifinal
Season opener: Saturday vs. Spring Valley Hall, 2:30 p.m.
Returning starters: Srs.: Cassidy Clark (GK), Alex Driscoll (D), Becky Kosek (M/F), Sydney Early (D), Laura Hamilton (M), Malerie West (F/M), Alicia Sierer (F), Katie Garrity (D); Jrs.: Lexy Larson (M), Baillie McCunn (M), Molly Adams (M)
Other notables: Jr.: Rachel Newman (M); Sophs.: Sarah Hanson (D/M), Emily Ferry (M), Tara Gambon (M), Madison Goodley (F/M), Isabelle Ausdal (M)
Cline's view: "This group has the potential to be very good. This is a real nice group of girls who are really growing in the game, and I'm looking forward to a fun and successful season."
Rock Island Rocks
Coach: Conan Dalton (6th season)
2012: 3-14-1, 0-4-1; lost to Dunlap, 3-1, in Class 2A regional semifinal
Season opener: March 25 vs. Princeton, 6:30 p.m.
Returning starters: Srs.: Maggie Williams (GK); Jrs.: Krissy Francis (D), Abbi Wieland (D), Izzi Wieland (M), Isabel Vallejo (M), Kaylee Lindburg (M)
Other notables: Sr.: Taylor Thornton (M); Jrs.: Kaitlyn Young (M), Mackenzie Leatherman (F), Adriana Blanco (D); Fr.: Annika Knudsen (M)
Dalton's view: "We're going to be better this year because this is a very hard-working group with great attitudes. They spent a lot of the time in the offseason working at getting better."
United Township Panthers
Coach: Phil Weaver (18th season)
2012: 13-10, 3-2 Big 6; lost to Geneseo, 3-0, in Class 2A regional final
Season opener: Tuesday at Machesney Park Harlem, 6 p.m.
Returning starters: Srs.: Laura Burrill (GK), Mariela Esparza (D), Alora Esparza (M), Katie Johnson (D), Kyleigh McLaughlin (F)
Other notables: Srs.: Jessi Tapia (D), Tajia Coleman (F), Miranda Fallon (M); Sophs.: Merriyah Myers (M), Fatima Munos (M)
Weaver's view: "I'd like to see us challenge for Western Big 6, regional and sectional championships this season. There's a lot of talent on the squad. How quickly they come together will be the determining factor."
By Daniel Makarewicz, email@example.com