Photo: Sam Wantuch participates in preseason ball drills for the Lady Knights. Photo by Mike Slodki
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a season to remember, and an ending to forget.
Kaneland would love to have the regional championship loss to Rosary High School back. The season which ended at 15-3-5 under soccer coach Scott Parillo and a cohesive senior unit had a chance for redemption in 2011.
However, it will have to come with quite the new look.
With last year’s celebrated senior core gone, as well as last year’s freshman sensation in goal Jordan Ginther (playing club soccer in Naperville, Ill.), the Lady Knights break ranks as fluid as can be.
“Jordan was classy enough to tell us in advance and we had time to cry and get that out of the way,” Parillo joked. “Hopefully, she’ll be back next year. We need to replace seven starters. They’re working hard out here, and it should be exciting.”
But, the solid strengths begin with team captain and senior Emily Heimerdinger at midfield/forward, who will go down as having one of the most prolific careers in KHS girls soccer history.
“She’s not a secret anymore. She was no longer a secret at the end of her freshman year. She’s going to be similar to a point guard out there. What she may not get in goals, she’ll maybe contribute in assists and she’ll be a real leader,” Parillo said.
Returnees joining Heimerdinger that are no stranger to big-game soccer include Amy Fabrizius at goalie/defender and Sophie Blank at goalie/midfield.
Returning to a bigger role after a 2010 with limited varsity action include the likes of Abby Bend (mid/forward), Sam Wantuch (defense/mid).
Also providing a spark are returning mid/fwd Katie Taylor, def/mid Anna Heinrichs and mid/foward Taylor White.
“The girls are up to the task, the coaches are up to the task, and we hope the girls gel as quickly as last year,” Parillo said.
New on the varsity ranks for Kaneland are def/mid Amber Winquist-Bailey, mid/forward Brittany Olson, mid/fwd Jessica Coia, mid/fwd Delaney Stryzek, midfielder Delaney Stryzek, goalie/midfielder Michelle Ortiz, midfielder/forward Shelby Fredricksen, def/mid Valerie Tockstein and defender Anne Marie Giese.
With two matches already under their belt, the Lady Knights begin the Northern Illinois Big XII East Division slate on Wednesday, April 6, against Sycamore. The regular season concludes on Tuesday, May 10, in Rochelle.