Photo: Brooke Harner rockets the ball during recent action against Rochelle. Harner and her fellow No. 2 Lady Knights were scheduled against No. 3 Crystal Lake Central at the Class 3A Burlington Central Regional on Wednesday. Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Despite dropping a potential preview for the upcoming regional title match to Burlington Central on Saturday, the Lady Knights have quietly meshed a roster of young and experienced, injured and healthy, and are about to dive foot first into playoff action.
Monday had the Lady Knights emerge victorious over host Streator, 4-0. Saturday’s 3-0 loss in Burlington was preceded by a 5-0 win over Sterling on May 9.
Kanleland finishes the regular season with a 12-5-1 (7-2-1 NIB-12) record. A year ago, KHS finished the regular season 11-8-3 (6-3-1 NIB-12).
“It took us a couple of games to start to play together with so many new players,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “I think we started believing in ourselves after those first four games—we were 1-3. We got a couple of wins and confidence grew.”
A year ago, Kaneland beat IMSA in the semifinal at Rosary High School before losing to the hosts in the championship. Kaneland has advanced to the regional title every year since 2009, only to lose.
Against Sterling, the Lady Knights’ first goal was scored by Brittany Olson approximately 18 minutes into the contest.
The four second-half goals were reached by Jessica Coia on two occasions, Olson and Courtney Diddell, all within a 29 minute stretch.
Against the Lady Bulldogs, Kaneland had first-half scores from Olson and Coia, while Madi Jurcenko and Olson were responsible for the second-half goals.
The frosh-soph team ended its season with a 10-5-1 record after a 1-0 win over BC.
The winner of the Kaneland vs. Crystal Lake Central matchup from Wednesday was slated to meet up with the Lady Rockets on Saturday, May 19, at 7 p.m. in Burlington.
Parillo feels good about where the team has been in 2012.
“We have had a solid year for being so young. We gave up a total of 13 goals in 18 games and six goals after the first four games. The defense started to play well, as well as the midfield. It has been a very enjoyable season so far.”