Photo: Midfielder Sophie Blank participates in pre-season drills for Lady Knights soccer. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARKâ€”What happens when most of the Lady Knights soccer squad that scored a sizable upset over Hampshire in regional action returns?
Youâ€™ll have optimism and talent on a squad that tied its mark for most wins in club history.
â€œWe got the lead against Hampshire and held on to it,â€ KHS coach Scott Parillo said. â€œYou go back a few months and we lose a 3-0 lead at West Aurora. So that win was a â€˜get over the humpâ€™ moment for us.â€
Leading the charge are the five captains. Midfielder Colleen Gebauer, defenseman Megan Gil, forward Emily Heimerdinger, midfielder Haley Johnson and midfielder Shelby Koester bring talent, experience and a solid core familiar with big late-season victories.
â€œThey bring knowledge of the game and played big schools and small schools. Megan is a four-year varsity player, Emilyâ€™s a scoring machine, and Shelby, Colleen and Haley are all three-year varsity players. Theyâ€™ve all been in pressure-filled games,â€ Parillo said.
Returnee Sophie Blank, pivotal to the regional semifinal win, moves out of goal to midfield, her more natural position.
In goal is freshman Jordan Ginther, who has already managed a shutout this year.
One might ask why thereâ€™s a wealth of experience in the field and a freshman in goal.
â€œYouâ€™ve got to watch her play. Her club team is nationally ranked. She will blow peopleâ€™s minds,â€ Parillo said.
Joining Gil on the defense is teammate Natalie Swieca, back for a third year.
Savannah Webb returns as well on defense, for a unit looking to recover from graduation losses.
Amy Fabrizius is set for forward, midfield and maybe a bit of defense.
â€œWe have enough players that can play multiple positions; we should be OK,â€ Parillo.
Katie Taylor shores up the forward ranks along with Andi Bruce and Abby Bend. Melissa Bohorquez can play forward and midfield, as can Sam Wantuch.
Also back for more is midfielder Thalia Garcia, who has already found the net this season. Anna Heinrichs plays defense and midfield, while Valerie Tockstein and Taylor White help out the midfield and forward ranks.
Soccer plays its usual West Aurora Tournament stop beginning on Thursday, April 8, and hosts the Burlington Central Tournament beginning on Friday, May 7. The regular season ends on Tuesday, May 11, at Batavia.