Photo: Kaneland opened its season last year at home against Geneseo. Brittany Olson (above) looks to pass in the second half. File Photo
After 4 trips to Regional finals, KHS looks to advance further
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—For four consecutive years, the Kaneland Lady Knights soccer contingent has made it to the regional final match, only to lose to Crystal Lake Central in 2009 and 2012, and Rosary in 2010 and 2011.
With the loss of just four seniors from a year ago, a talented returning core and a stellar work ethic, KHS coach Scott Parillo expects big things from the group that finished 12-6-1 (7-2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).
So does the team itself.
“They talk about it (the regional championship), but they want to do well during the season and build up to the opportunity to play in the regional finals,” Parillo said.
The strength of the lineup begins with team captain and future Purdue athlete Jordan Ginther in goal.
(She’s) shown great leadership. She hates losing and has kind of instilled that in the players. We had a very intense practice (Monday) and the teams hated losing in the drill; bodies were flying around, it was great fun,” Parillo said.
Shoring up the rest of the lineup are defenders and seniors Anne Marie Giese and Brooke Harner. Junior Jess Coia, junior defender Delaney Stryczek, junior midfielder Michelle Ortiz, junior forward Brittany Olson, and sophomore midfielders Madi Jurcenko, Courtney Diddell and Heather Ortiz will also return to lead the team.
This current group of returners hold a big role in the larger picture, especially concerning the newcomers.
“I think they have showed them how to work hard in practice, to give everything they have and still have fun and joke around when it’s needed,” Parillo said.
Entering the mix are new varsity athletes like freshman mid Kiandra Powell, freshman defender Sage Schlehofer, sophomore mid Emily Grams, freshman mid Gabby Cano and freshman defender Nicole Koczka.
“The girls really seem to get along well, they look like they are having fun and they are working very hard in practice,” Parillo said.
In order for the team to be in the NIB-12 thick of things, KHS will have to keep up with some talented outfits.
“The conference will be very competitive. DeKalb and Sycamore look very tough, Yorkville is really starting to pick up steam, Morris is very competitive, as is Rochelle. I would definitely say DeKalb and Sycamore seem to be the teams to beat. The other teams could surprise people though. We have our work cut out for us,” Parillo said.
The season begins on Tuesday, March 19, in Aurora against IMSA, with the first conference tilt on Tuesday, April 2, vs. DeKalb.
KHS Girls Soccer Roster
# Name Position YR.
1 Jordan Ginther Keeper 12
5 Kiandra Powell Mid/Fwd 9
6 Sage Schlehofer Defense 9
7 Heather Ortiz Mid/Fwd 10
8 Anne Marie Giese Def/Mid 12
9 Courtney Diddell Mid/Fwd 10
10 Michelle Ortiz Keeper/Mid 11
12 Madi Jurcenko Mid/Fwd 10
13 Delaney Stryczek Mid/Fwd 11
14 Jessica Coia Mid/Fwd 11
15 Brittany Olson Mid/Fwd 11
16 Emily Grams Mid/Fwd 10
17 Gabby Cano Mid/Fwd 9
18 Brooke Harner Defense 12
19 Nicole Koczka Def/Fwd 9