Category Archives: Girls Soccer

Struck down

Prolific season stopped in tracks by Rosary in regional final
AURORA—Just one of these years, Kaneland High School girls soccer would like for the bloom to go off Rosary.

After another successful regular season, as well as a Class 3A Rosary Regional semifinal win a week ago against Rochelle, Kaneland found itself in a battle for plaque supremacy on Saturday against the host Royals, only to lose in penalty kick fashion in a 3-1 affair.

For Kaneland, the 2014 season, marked and highlighted by depth, scoring and varied options to carry out the attacks, ends at 14-4-2, and 7-1-2 in Northern Illinois Big XII conference play.

Rosary spelled the end of Kaneland’s season in regional finals back in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Crystal Lake Central also eliminated KHS in regional final play back in 2009, making four times in the last six seasons for a regional final exit.

“The season ended much earlier than we expected it to,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “The seniors’ record was 50-24-9; they only knew winning. I think that will be one of the biggest contributions to the returning players. The younger players should expect to win. I know they will also want the returning players to win that regional that has eluded us for so many years. The seniors were the first to ever win conference—that is a huge accomplishment.”

Rosary improved to 10-11-2 on the season, which also included two regular season losses to KHS.

The Royals and Lady Knights battled through 80 minutes of scoreless ball in Aurora and overtime totaling 20 minutes before the penalty kick setup was triggered. Madi Jurcenko converted on the lone penalty kick try for KHS.


Raiding Rosary Regional

KHS soccer gets off on right foot vs. Rochelle
AURORA—Never let it be said that Kaneland soccer fails to make the most of its opportunities when it counts.

As a threat of storms and hail permeated the area, No. 1 Kaneland not only got the Class 2A Rosary Regional semifinal completely in against No. 4 Rochelle, the match even shaved 10 minutes off due to Kaneland’s goal margin in the 7-0 result. Kaneland defeated IMSA in the Rochelle Regional semi a year ago, 8-0.

A portion of state-wide action had action postponed or stopped due to threatening weather, with action resuming on Wednesday.

After Kaneland’s lone win of the week, the Lady Knights improved to 14-3-2 in 2014.

As was the case for many of the 14 wins this season, the KHS crew poured on the offense. The goal barrage came from a wide array of options, including three corner kicks.

“We’re really good at them,” Madi Jurcenko said. “It happens where someone is always there where I kick it. Today, we were able to finish them.”

“It’s huge; that’s probably 17 goals off corner kicks this year,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “It’s something the girls take pride in—good for us, good for the girls. One of our goals was to win conference, we did that. The other was to win a regional championship. Hopefully, we will.”
The scoring barrage began in the first half with a goal from Courtney Diddell just two minutes, 42 seconds into the match. Madi Jurcenko had a goal trickle through with 27:46 to go for the two-goal edge. Rochelle would miss a penalty kick try with 6:33 to go in the half, and Brittany Olson would make the Lady Hubs pay with a sliding attempt for a goal with 2:19 remaining for a 3-0 edge going into halftime.

Olson wasted no time tallying the team’s fourth goal less than a minute into the second half to make it 4-0.

With 32:40 to go, Delaney Stryczek executed a header that found its way between the posts to go up 5-0.

“Madi does our crosses for us,” Stryczek said. “She always gets it back-post, and I stay more toward the back post. She hits it perfectly, right where it needs to be, and I just headed it right in the back of the net.”

The penultimate goal came off the cleat of Holly Collingbourne off of several rebounds with 27:13 remaining.

Kiandra Powell’s rocket with just over 20 minutes remaining cemented the final margin and punched the regional final ticket.

KHS advances to the Rosary Regional final against either No. 2 Rosary or No. 3 IMSA for a Saturday, May 24, meeting at 11 a.m.


Sophomore Gabby Cano (top, right) heads the ball in the first half of Kaneland’s 7-0 win over Rochelle Tuesday. Senior Brittany Olson (above, left), maneuvers around three Rochelle defenders enroute to Kaneland’s third goal of the first half. Kaneland defeated Rochelle 7-0 in the Regional opener Tuesday.
Photos by Patti Wilk


Soccer holds steady

Photo: Senior captain Delaney Stryczek (13) defends the ball early in the first period against DeKalb Monday. Photo by Mary Paulson

KANELAND—Your Lady Knights soccer team, while enjoying a wildly successful 2014 regular season, has shown it can bounce back from what adversity it has faced to keep rolling along.

On Tuesday in Sycamore, the Lady Knights fell to the Lady Spartans 2-0. That was preceded by a physical 0-0 stalemate with visiting DeKalb on Monday. On Saturday, the Lady Knights fell victim to a 3-0 defeat to host St. Charles East for just the second loss of the year and ending their 13-match unbeaten streak. Last Thursday saw a 3-0 win over rival Yorkville, and May 7 had a 6-0 win at Hinckley-Big Rock.

KHS is now 13-3-2 on the season, and clinched at least a share of the Northern Illinois Big XII title at 7-1-2.

Against Sycamore, KHS suffered its first in-conference loss. Sycamore scored once in each half.

Facing the visiting Barbs, opportunities were far between in the first half of play, as sophomore keeper Emily Chapman was able to stop a free kick with roughly 15 minutes remaining in the first half.

Chapman was able to stop a scoring attempt with 35 minutes to go, and a Kaneland opportunity from Courtney Diddell curled away from the goal with traffic swallowing the ball near the box.

A rocket from Michelle Ortiz was stopped for the last good opportunity, while Chapman was able to ground a DeKalb attempt with two minutes left.

“Coach (Scott Parillo) pumped us up at halftime and got us to shoot more. I think we possessed the ball more in the second half,” Chapman said.

Being asked to do quite a bit in her first full year as starting keeper, Chapman feels there still remains a bit of work for her.

“I need to work on one-on-ones with other people. Those are kind of hard to stop,” Chapman said.

Assistant coach Kevin Bickley, who handled postgame for Parillo, knew the matchup with DeKalb would be challenging.

“It’s going to be a tough match,” Bickley said. “In past years, they were always the better team. I think we’re starting to catch them.”

Against the Saints of St. Charles East, Kaneland surrendered one goal in the first half and two in the second to experience defeat for the first time since the season opener in March to Normal West.

Facing Yorkville, Brittany Olson and Heather Ortiz found goals within 10 minutes of each other in the first half, while Holly Collingbourne iced it with 27:22 to go in the match.

In the rout of the Royals last week, Olson scored twice and Taylor Zitkus capped the first half for a 3-0 edge going into the break, while Heather Ortiz, Diddell and Paige Guyton found the net in the second half.

Ahead for the Lady Knights with the regular season concluded: filling a top-seed role in the Class 2A Rosary Regional against No. 4 Rochelle on Tuesday, May 20, at 4:30 p.m.


KHS soccer still working between posts

Sophomore Kiandra Powell works around Morris defenders on her way to her second goal of the game.
Photo by Patti Wilk

DeKalb, Morris contests highlight week
KANELAND—While the win streak may have stopped, the unbeaten streak still rages on for Lady Knights soccer.

The nine-match win streak officially ended on April 30 in DeKalb, as the Lady Knights and host Barbs battled to a scoreless stalemate. On the flipside, the Lady Knights took care of business in Maple Park against Morris by a final of 4-0 on May 1.

On Tuesday, KHS dispatched Rochelle 5-0.

Kaneland has gone unbeaten for 12 straight matches and sits at 11-1-1 with a 6-0-1 record in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

After the tie in Barbville, the Lady Knights were able to get a first-half goal on the Redskins rival, thanks to a goal with 20:12 left, courtesy of Kiandra Powell with an assist from Collingbourne.

The hosts poured it on in the second half of play, beginning with Powell’s second goal of an unassisted variety with 18:36 remaining. Powell completed the hat trick with 15:50 left, thanks to a Madi Jurcenko assist.

Delaney Stryczek capped the day on a feed from Collingbourne with 13:04 to ice it.

On Tuesday against Rochelle, Collingbourne had three goals while Heather Ortiz and Brittany Olson each had one. Courtney Diddell had two assists and Olson had one.

Wednesday had scheduled action in Hinckley, Ill., against the Hinckley-Big Rock Royals, while Thursday had a home matchup scheduled with Yorkville.


Rolling along

Photo: Sophomore keeper Emily Chapman blocks an attempt on goal by Sycamore. Emily did not allow a goal by Sycamore at the April 24 game. Photo by Mary Paulson

Kaneland soccer continues its steamroll tour
KANELAND—Kaneland High School’s (9-1, 4-0 NIB-12) latest soccer victim took the form of the visiting Sycamore Spartans on April 24. KHS’ match at DeKalb on Tuesday was postponed.

In the 2-0 win over Sycamore, the team’s ninth in a row, a 56-minute scoreless stretch in the match was ended when Delaney Stryczek put in a Madi Jurcenko corner kick attempt with 24:47 to go. With 19:25 left, Holly Collingbourne scored off a Jurcenko pass.

KHS coach Scott Parillo enjoys the seemingly endless parade of scoring options employed by the torrid lineup.

“It is nice seeing so many players score this year,” Parillo said. “It definitely makes it harder for opponents to key on one or two players when you have so many that are capable of and have scored this season. We still have a lot of games left, so we will see if this trend continues.”

Lady Knights soccer try to best visiting Morris for more conference action on Thursday, May 1.


Family lineup

Photo: Three sisters, senior Michelle (No. 10), freshman Lauren (4) and junior Heather Ortiz (7), play on the Kaneland varsity soccer team this year. Photo by Lynn Logan

Soccer enjoying spoils of three Ortiz sisters on varsity
KANELAND—There has been plenty of highlights for Kaneland girls soccer in 2014, with the squad going out to a successful start.

Look deeper, and there’s even more to be intrigued about, thanks to a hat trick of sisters suiting up for Kaneland.

The Ortiz sisters, senior Michelle, junior Heather and freshman Lauren, have imprinted upon this version of the Lady Knights a unique situation.

But the sisters from Sugar Grove probably wouldn’t have it any other way. Neither would mom Becky, who, with husband Juan, have seen the sisters play all levels of KHS soccer and club soccer for the Naperville Soccer Association.

“It’s extremely special,” Becky said. “They’re very close, which isn’t always the case. They’re each other’s best friends.”

Juan, a former football player at Wheaton North and soccer player at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., and Becky have also seen two older sons as athletes, Stephen and Phil, compete at Kaneland.

“As a parent, it’s a gift to watch, and my goal is to get a picture of all of them on the field playing,” Becky said. “I joke that I need to sit far away from my husband during games because he’s still trying to coach them from the stands.”

With the experience of getting coached by their father through various levels such as Kaneland Youth Soccer Club, the girls, who all made varsity as freshmen, have taken stock of this potentially historic year.

“Both Michelle and Heather made varsity as freshman, so we were preparing Lauren in case she wasn’t varsity that she would still be able to play, but she made varsity and it was great,” Becky said.

The Ortiz bunch is magnanimous in revealing who might be the best soccer sister.

“That’s tough. We all have different qualities,” Michelle said.

“I would put those two before me, only because they have more experience,” Lauren said. If the grudging consensus was the eldest sister, the former freshman goalkeeper offers up some potential reasons why she might be the best.

“I’d say my speed,” Michelle said. “I have more speed than they do.”

“I think I have better technical skills,” Heather offered.

Lauren, being the youngest and newest to the varsity ranks, has a fitting first memory of playing with her siblings.

“I think it’s when I was old enough to say Michelle’s name for her to pass me the ball,” Lauren said. “Then I said Heather’s name.”

“I don’t think I really feel extra pressure,” Lauren added. “I mean, I just go out there and play soccer. I know it, and it’s just better when it’s with my sisters.”

“I think the connection between sisters is different than just a usual team, just because not too many people have that,” Michelle said.

Not too many people have as much soccer talent in close family ranks, either.

“In (Michelle’s) last club season, she had 10 goals, and she’s just faster than people and sets up the plays,” Heather said.

Even if the season can’t extend beyond regionals, as the Lady Knights have tried to do in recent memory, the current campaign will still hold a special place for three girls immersed in soccer.

“It’s the only year we’ve all played together,” Lauren said.

With half the season down, the eldest sister is able to reflect on what this means.

“I won’t be able to do this later on in my life, and the game is fun with my sisters,” Michelle said.


Positive spin

Photo: Senior captain Brittany Olson goes after the soccer ball. Olson, together with her teammates, scored eight goals. Photo by Mary Paulson

Kaneland secures Blackhawk Invite title, slams Yorkville
KANELAND—This group of Lady Knights kickers is putting together an early-season run seldom seen by soccer faithful.

Kaneland’s week began with an 8-1 closeout of the West Aurora-hosted Blackhawk Invite by beating East Aurora on April 16, followed by an 8-0 win over invading Rochelle on Thursday. Monday saw a trip to Campbell Field in Yorkville for a 6-0 conference win.

KHS, winners of its first Invite title in four years, sits at a stout 8-1 and 3-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII landscape on the heels of an eight-match win streak.

Against the Tomcats, it was a seven-goal barrage in 22 minutes that secured the win and a halved clock in the second half.

“We’re playing well,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “We’re knocking the ball around. We’re doing good things. We’re healthy and we don’t have anybody who’s not playing right now.”

Brittany Olson got things started with 29:08 left off a Michelle Ortiz assist, followed by a Courtney Diddell goal with 27:46 left off a Madi Jurcenko feed. Jurcenko punched one in on a corner kick that was last touched by EA with 25:21 remaining in the half. Delaney Stryczek made it 4-0 off a free kick with 19:44 to go. Paige Guyton was fed by Jurcenko with 17:36 to go, while Holly Collingbourne’s unassisted try made it 6-0. Kiandra Powell’s goal with 7:13 left off a Lauren Ortiz assist allowed the seven-goal margin.

After an EA penalty kick with 12:09 left got the Tomcats on the board, Ashley Crotteau’s shot off a Taylor Opperman pass completed the scoring with 5:24 left.

Diddell’s goal was one of many in the win over EA that seems to be a microcosm of the current state of KHS soccer.
“We’re really confident right now,” Diddell said. “For the most part, we’re on our game all the time. People usually drop to the other team’s level while playing, but this year we’re staying consistent.”

In the eight-goal win over conference foe Rochelle, Jurcenko impressed with a hat trick, while Olson added two goals to sandwich her teammate’s scores. The second-half goals were accomplished by Emily Grams, Jurcenko, Michelle Ortiz and Collingbourne off a corner attempt.

Against YHS, KHS put together four goals in a 30 minute, 28 second span, thanks to Heather Ortiz, Jurcenko, Olson and Jess Coia. The second-half paydirt was hit by Heather Ortiz’s penalty kick and Collingbourne.

On Thursday, April 24, the Lady Knights continue conference play by hosting Sycamore.


Turf battle

Soccer troops take to Zimmerman Field for Blackhawk Invite
AURORA—Don’t look now, but the Lady Knights are winners with regularity. Granted, it’s still early.

Finally getting out to a regular rhythm of play after a long spring break hiatus, the Lady Knights took the turf at Ken Zimmerman Field on the grounds of West Aurora High School for the beginning of the Blackhawk Invite this past week.

After wins against West Aurora and Rosary to begin the Invite, the Lady Knights earned a conference win over Morris Tuesday. KHS is now 5-1 (1-0 NIB-12 play). A year ago, KHS sat at 1-3-1.

“I am pleased with how well the girls are doing,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “The girls are working extremely hard, and the results show. We have many tough games coming up in the next few weeks, so we can’t rest on our laurels.”

Gelling a bit quicker and with youth turning into experience, the Lady Knights’ win over the invite hosts had Courtney Diddell score off of a Brittany Olson assist just 82 seconds into play. KHS scored again in the second thanks to Diddell and an assist from Holly Collingbourne with 19:49 to go.

Facing Rosary, now victim twice over to KHS, Kiandra Powell scored with 8:13 to go in the first half on a Diddell assist for a 1-0 lead. Heather Ortiz, one of three sisters on the varsity roster, punched in a penalty kick try with 20:04 to go in regulation to cinch matters.

Against Morris, Diddell, Collinbourne and Michelle Ortiz all found the back of the net for Kaneland.

Kaneland’s penultimate match at the Blackhawk Invite was set for Wednesday against the East Aurora Tomcats, with results unavailable for press. On Thursday, April 17, Northern Illinois Big XII challenges begin with a home match against Rochelle.


Measure of Revenge

Photo: Junior Heather Ortiz (left) maneuvers around a Rosary defender Monday. Photo by Mary Paulson

Kaneland evens up mark after two contests with win over Royals
KANELAND—There was a KHS soccer sighting on Monday.

After a 17-day layoff due to weather and spring break, Kaneland took to the Maple Park surroundings against a foe that has meant the end of the season for the Lady Knights three of the last five seasons.

KHS (2-1) beat a struggling Rosary club, which had lost to both Oswego schools before the matchup. On Tuesday, the Lady Knights took on Rockford Auburn and came out with a 4-0 victory.

“Honestly, it was nice to get a win, period,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said after the matchup with Rosary. “With the long layoff, we certainly didn’t know what we were going to look like, and we looked decent.”

Senior Brittany Olson had a hat trick for the hosts, thanks to first half goals with 27 minutes left and 24 minutes left, with Courtney Diddell dishing off for the goal. With roughly 21 minutes left, Olson put in a third goal to effectively ice it.

Emily Chapman had nine saves between the posts in the winning effort.

“We crashed the net constantly, and we were able to knock three in,” Parillo said. “We missed a PK and had another called back so it could have been a larger margin of victory. This team looks like they want to work extra hard to score this year. Yes, it was Rosary, but this is the regular season. We just want to improve every game in case we meet in the regional at Rosary.”

Against Rockford Auburn, Diddell, Madison Jurcenko, Jessica Coia and Michelle Ortiz all found the back of the net for the Lady Knights.

KHS learned some logistics of its postseason quest. The Class 2A Rosary Regional in May will feature Illinois Math and Science Academy, host Rosary, Kaneland and Rochelle, with the winner headed to the Hampshire Sectional.


2014 Girls Soccer Preview: Cornering competition

Lady Knights eye regional nod, another winning campaign
KANELAND—Eventually, Kaneland High School girls soccer would like to rid themselves of a couple nagging points.

Those would be being eliminated by Rosary in the playoffs, as has been done three of the last five years, and getting stopped short of a regional title, as has happened four of the last five years to the Royals and Crystal Lake Central.

Still, the journey ahead doesn’t seem to faze the KHS group, coming off an 11-5-3 (7-1-2 Northern Illinois Big XII) season from a year ago.

That could be the returning talent’s effect, softening the blow of seven seniors gone.

“We’ve got 22 on varsity this year, that gives us some nice depth,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “They’re pretty talented. They’re gelling quickly and they can maybe get over that hump.”

Parillo, in his 10th year of coaching the girls, would like to see the recent postseason troubles cease once they’re able to get on a regular routine.

“We’ve had three days outside, and not on our field. We’re trying to get acclimated to the weather. Most of the other schools are dealing with it, too,” Parillo said.

Kaneland was able to find scoring output from a wide array of girls a year ago, with a handful returning, namely Madi Jurcenko, Brittany Olson and Kiandra Powell.

“Brittany Olson had 15 goals, Kiandra Powell, once we finally found a good spot for her, she tore it up at the end there,” Parillo said. “We have a chance to have some scorers.”

Taking over for current Purdue Boilermaker Jordan Ginther between the posts is sophomore Emily Chapman.

At defense resides talent like Taylor Opperman, who moved back after a year in Michigan, Taylor Zitkus, Nicole Koczka, Taylor Emigh and Colleen Landers, with Heather Ortiz able to fill in, when not up front.

Ortiz is joined by older sister Michelle (forward/mid) and younger sister Lauren (midfield) on the pitch.

“The three Taylors, the two Emilys and the three Ortiz sisters, that won’t get confusing,” Parillo added.

Jurcenko, Michelle Ortiz, Courtney Diddell, Jess Coia, Delaney Stryczek and Holly Collingbourne aim to fill in the midfield ranks.

Olson takes care of the forward ranks, along with several of the midfielders donning Lady Knight colors.

Other seniors include Mary Piazza and Stephanie Zwick, and juniors include Emily Grams.
Sophomores include Ashley Crotteau and returnee Gabby Cano, while Paige Guyton adds a freshman spark.

Parillo would like the girls to get on a regular routine, made more complicated with the epic winter.

“We get this game in Tuesday on turf and then we have to sit, and there’s the spring break. The Rosary game we want to win; they’re our nemesis,” Parillo said.

The NIB-12 landscape is for the taking, if goals come Kaneland’s way.

“We should be there,” Parillo said. “DeKalb is always strong, Sycamore is always good, and Yorkville’s getting better every year, as it should.”

On Tuesday, Kaneland went to Rockford Auburn, and the first home matchup was scheduled for Thursday, March 20, against IMSA. Conference tilts begin on Tuesday, April 15, in Morris.


2013 Spring Athletic Banquet Awards

The Kaneland High School Athletics Department on Thursday, June 6, announced the award winners for varsity high school athletics.

Below are those winners.

Knight Award

for three-sport athletes:
Ashley Castellanos—Cross Country,
Basketball, Track and Field;
Sarah Grams—Tennis, Basketball, Softball;
Brooke Harner—Tennis, Basketball, Soccer;
Dan Miller—Golf, Basketball, Baseball
Female Athlete of the Year: Sarah Grams
Male Athlete of the Year: Matt Limbrunner
Female Birkette Award: Sarah Grams
Male Birkette Award: Dan Miller

2013 Spring NIBXII
All Conference

Girls Track:
Brianna Bower, Ashley Castellanos, Victoria Clinton, Christina Delach, Allie Heinzer, Jessica Kucera, Amanda Lesak, Aislinn Lodwig, Sydney Strang, Lauren Zick, Abby Dodis, Kyla Goodine, Kaltrina Ismaili, Rachel Steinmiller, Elle Tattoni
Boys Track:
Dylan Kuipers, Kory Harner, Tanner Andrews, Nate Dyer, Brandon Cottier, Brandon Bishop, Ben Barnes, Isaac Swithers, Conor Johnson, Nathaniel Kucera, Kyle Carter, Luis Acosta, Dylan Nauert
Girls Soccer:
Jordan Ginther, Delaney Stryczek, Madi Jurcenko, Courtney Diddell, Sage Schlehofer
Hayley Contorno, Allyson O’Herron, Lanie Callaghan, Lexi Roach, Paige Kuefler
Matt Limbrunner, Dan Miller, Tyler Carlson

2013 Boys
Track and Field Awards

MVP—Track: Dylan Nauert
MVP—Field: Tanner Andrews
Drendel Award: Jay Markuson
Conor Johnson, Kory Harner, Brad Kigyos, Brandon Cottier, Marshall Farthing, John Meisenger
Ron Probst Award: Ben Barnes
All Conference:
Dylan Kuipers, Kory Harner, Tanner Andrews, Nate Dyer, Brandon Cottier, Brandon Bishop, Ben Barnes, Isaac Swithers, Conor Johnson, Nathaniel Kucera, Kyle Carter, Luis Acosta, Dylan Nauert
State Qualifiers:
Conor Johnson and Kyle Carter—
4x800m, 4x400m Relays;
Luis Acosta—4x800m Relay;
Nathaniel Kucera—4x800m,
4x400m relays, 400m Dash;
Brandon Bishop and Brandon Cottier—
4x100m Relay, 200m Dash;
Ben Barnes—4x100m Relay;
Dylan Nauert—4x100m Relay, 4x400m Relay,
110m Hurdles, 300m Hurdles;
Tanner Andrews—Triple Jump;
Marshall Farthing—High Jump;
Nate Dyer—Shot Put;
Dylan Kuipers and Kory Harner—Pole Vault

2013 Girls
Track and Field Awards

MVP: Ashley Castellanos, Lauren Zick
Most Improved:
Murphy Garcia, Kyla Goodine
Maggie Brundige, Ashley Castellanos,
Abby Dodis
State Qualifiers:
Brianna Bower—3200m Run;
Victoria Clinton—1600m Run;
Ashley Castellanos—Triple Jump,
4x400m Relay;
Amanda Lesak—4x800m Relay,
4x400m Relay;
Sydney Strang—4x800m Relay;
Lauren Zick—4x400m Relay, Long Jump;
Christina Delach—Pole Vault;
Allie Heinzer—4x400m Relay;
Jessica Kucera—4x800m Relay;
Aislinn Lodwig—4x800m Relay

2013 Varsity Girls
Soccer Awards

Jordan Ginther, Anne Marie Giese,
Brooke Harner
Most Improved Player: Emily Grams
Rookie of the Year:
Sage Schlehofer, Kiandra Powell
Coach’s Award:
Courtney Diddell, Heather Ortiz,
Delaney Stryczek
Lady Knights Award:
Michelle Ortiz, Brittany Olson,
Madison Jurcenko
Most Valuable Player: Jordan Ginther
All Conference:
Sage Schlehofer, Jordan Ginther, Delaney Stryczek, Madison Jurcenko, Courtney Diddell
All Conference-Honorable Mention:
Kiandra Powell

2013 Softball Awards
Defensive Player of the Year:
Hayley Contorno
Offensive Player of the Year:
Allyson O’Herron, Lexi Roach
Lady Knight Award: Lexi Roach
Captains: Allyson O’Herron, Lanie Callaghan
NiB-12 All Conference:
Paige Kuefler, Hayley Contorno, Allyson
O’Herron, Lexi Roach, Lanie Callaghan
All Conference Honorable Mention:
Sarah Grams, Ellissa Eckert
Conference MVP: Allyson O’Herron

2013 Boys Baseball Award
Mr. Kaneland Baseball: Dan Miller
MVP Offensive: Matt Limbrunner
MVP Defensive: Joe Pollastrini, Dan Miller
Most Improved Player: Tyler Bellock
NIBXII All Conference:
Matt Limbrunner, Dan Miller, Tyler Carlson
All Conference Honorable Mention:
Joshua Cohrs, Tyler Bellock

Just short

Soccer falls in overtime to Rosary in regional
ROCHELLE—They have to stop meeting like this.

For the third time in the past five seasons, the Kaneland Lady Knights were eliminated in a regional final by the rival Rosary Royals.

It happened in double overtime to Rosary on Friday afternoon in Ogle County at Rochelle High School, by a final of 2-1.

That followed a 8-0 regional semifinal win on May 15 in Rochelle over Illinois Math and Science Academy.

KHS finishes the 2013 campaign 11-5-3, with a 7-1-2 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

Kaneland lost to Rosary in regional finals in 2010 and 2011, while losing to Crystal Lake Central in 2009 and in a regional semi to CLC in 2012.

Rosary was set to play Prairie Ridge of Crystal Lake on Wednesday in the Freeport Sectional semifinal.

KHS played Rosary tight but couldn’t find the back of the net, until a Brittany Olson goal with just 1:20 to go in regulation tied the score after a 1-0 Rosary lead chiseled in the first half.

After one 10-minute overtime session went scoreless, the Lady Knights were felled by a goal in the second overtime for the loss.

Against IMSA last Wednesday, the Lady Knights ambushed the Lady Titans for six goals in the first half.

“The one thing we stress every game is win each half. So if we’re up 6-0, we immediately say ‘alright, it’s 0-0,’ and we’ve done that every game this year,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said.

Olson scored 1:28 into the contest on a feed from Jess Coia to open the floodgates. With 36 minutes to play in the first half, Heather Ortiz scored on an assist from both Olson and Courtney Diddell.

With 27:30 to go, Kiandra Powell found the back of the net on a feed from Courtney Diddell for a 3-0 lead.

Twenty minutes went by with no scoring until Olson scored for the second time with 7:12 left in the half on an assist from Madi Jurcenko for a 4-0 edge.

The first half scoring closed out thanks to Emily Chapman’s goal with 6:19 on a Diddell assist and Emily Grams’ score with 3:17 to go on a Coia assist.

In the second half, goals were accounted for by Diddell (Gabby Cano assist) with 34:15 to go, and the victory stamp came from Julia Lemp with 11:48 to play from a Michelle Ortiz assist.

The scoring barrage made it an easy day in net for keeper Jordan Ginther.

“You just have to stay in the game and stay focused,” Ginther said. “I know they can score, and they’re capable. It’s just as important for me to keep the ball out of the net.”

With the season-ending setback, the Lady Knights bid farewell to seniors Ginther, Anne Marie Giese, Brooke Harner, Alex Lyons, Nicole Hanlon, Anne Salerno and Karizza Sotelo.


Century club

KHS girls soccer team gives coach Parillo his 100th career victory
MAPLE PARK—Coach Scott Parillo didn’t mince words with his Kaneland girls soccer team during halftime of its regular-season finale versus rival Sycamore last Thursday.

The two teams, which had battled to a scoreless tie the day before, were playing for second place in the NI Big East. Third place, he told them, was not an option.

The Knights’ stingy defense carried over from Wednesday, and they did, indeed, lock up second place with a 1-0 victory on an afternoon at Kaneland that honored the club’s three seniors: goalkeeper Jordan Ginther, defender-midfielder Anne Marie Giese and defender Brooke Harner, all co-captains.

“This was huge,” said Parillo, who locked up his 100th career victory. “Yesterday we didn’t play well. We talked to the girls about it. They knew we didn’t play very well. I thought we came out with a little more intensity today. We wanted to at least get second place.

“I’m really proud of the girls. What we’ve done with such a little amount of players is absolutely amazing this year.”

Parillo noted there have been games this season in which the Knights (10-4-3, 6-1-2) dressed only 13 players if there happened to be an injury. And that was the case again Thursday as injured junior midfielder-forward Delaney Stryczek missed the game.

“We only had three subs today,” Parillo said. “Whenever we have an injury, that’s huge to us. We can’t go take from our JV (team) because they only have 16 (players). What we did today was absolutely amazing and it says a lot about the girls and their character.”

Kaneland scored early in the matchup when freshman forward Kiandra Powell took a feed from sophomore Courtney Diddell inside the box, pushed past a Sycamore defender and put a 10-yard shot on net. Sycamore goalkeeper Amanda Cook got her hands on the shot, but the ball trickled past her at 34:40 of the first half.

That goal stood up throughout the remainder of the game. Ginther made seven saves while notching her second straight shutout.

“It (Powell’s goal) really set the tone for the game,” Ginther said. “Everybody came out with a 100 percent effort and we did what we came to do on the field.”

Kaneland finished with 13 shots on goal. Powell had a couple of scoring chances within a few minutes of each other five minutes later, but was turned aside by Cook. Cook also denied sophomore midfielder-forward Emily Grams from point-blank range with 7:35 left in the half after being set up by a touch pass from Powell.

“She (Powell) stepped it up this year. The kids played well today. They’re tired. Two back-to-back 80-degree days, nobody’s used to that this year,” said Parillo, whose team, as well as Sycamore, also had to deal with swarms of nats along the sidelines.

Ginther and Harner, who’s been on varsity since her sophomore year, both used the same word to describe playing their last home game at Kaneland.

“Honestly it’s bittersweet,” Harner said, “but it’s pretty awesome that we just won second place. It’s really special that it’s my last game and I’m never going to be able to play on this field again.”

“It’s bittersweet,” the Purdue-bound Ginther added. “This year it’s a lot of endings, but soon I’ll be starting new beginnings, and I’m excited.”

Regional action begins

by Mike Sandrolini
MAPLE PARK—The Knights begin what they hope will be a long run in the Class 2A playoffs Wednesday at the Rochelle regional. Results were not available as of press time.

Kaneland, seeded second in the regional, took on Aurora-based Illinois Math and Science Academy at 4 p.m. The Knights handed IMSA an 8-1 loss earlier this season, but as is the case in single-elimination postseason play, a repeat victory can’t be taken for granted.

“They work hard,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said last week. “We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared for that. We beat them the first time, so hopefully we can do that again.”

A statistic that bodes well for the Knights going into playoffs is that they haven’t lost to a Class 2A team all season. Each of their four losses has been to Class 3A squads.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the girls,” Parillo said. “It’s been a great season; it’s been fun. They’ve worked their tails off to accomplish what they’ve accomplished.”

A victory over IMSA would pit the Knights against the winner of Tuesday’s match between top-seeded Rosary and No. 4-seeded Rochelle for the regional championship on Friday.

“We’re going to go in there pretty confident (on Wednesday),” Ginther said. “I’m pretty confident that we will get our first regional title this year.”

Harner agrees.

“I think we can get it,” she said. “We’re definitely ready to play. We’re definitely going to bring our ‘A’ game and try our hardest.”

#7 bringing it back

Barrage of offense

Firepower dovetails with regular season
KANELAND—KHS coach Scott Parillo believes his team is playing great in this current stretch of the 2013 season.

His current lineup is making it quite hard to argue such a claim.

Kaneland posted back-to-back 7-0 wins over Hinckley-Big Rock on May 1 and Yorkville on Thursday.

That firepower failed to ignite Tuesday, however, when KHS battled conference-foe Sycamore to a 0-0 tie.

Kaneland is now 9-4-3 in the regular season, 6-1-2 in the Northern Illinois Big XII landscape.

Against Yorkville on Thursday, the Lady Knights and Lady Foxes had to sit through two lightning delays within the first 10 minutes of play, equaling one hour of sitting time. KHS made up for lost time by amassing six goals in the first half, and getting the necessary seventh with 37:10 left on the clock. The 7-0 deficit meant time sliced in half for the duration of the contest.

Madi Jurcenko changed the scoreboard 10 minutes into the game off an assist from both Courtney Diddell and Delaney Stryczek. Brittany Olson made it 2-0 with 27:50 to go off a feed from teammate Sage Schlehofer. For the 3-0 lead, Kiandra Powell scored the first of her three goals with 12:47 to go in the half from an Emily Grams assist. Powell scored 24 seconds later with a goal from a Gabby Cano assist. Powell completed the hat trick with 6:38 to go off a Grams assist. The first-half scoring was complete with 1:56 to go, thanks to a Diddell goal off of an Olson feed.

Powell was happy to see the evening’s output as much as anyone.

“The passes are going through right, and everyone is just working together as a team,” Powell said.

The night’s scoring was capped on Diddell’s second goal, halving the time.

“We’re starting to play very, very well right now, and it’s a lot of fun,” Parillo said. “They’re talking, shooting and doing whatever we ask them to do. They buy in what we’re trying to preach and it shows. We’ve outscored the opponent 20-0 in the last three games.”

Against H-BR, Michelle Ortiz scored twice, while Diddell and Powell found the back of the net.

Kaneland was set to conclude the regular season on Wednesday at home against Sycamore, before the week-long layoff leading to the Class 2A Rochelle Regional first-round matchup against Illinois Math and Science Academy.

Defense rules the field

KHS soccer earns shutouts in all 3 games of strong week
Kaneland–Withstanding challenges from conference rivals, Kaneland girls soccer is holding up nicely with just two weeks left in regular season play.

Traveling to Morris on April 25, the Lady Knights beat the host Lady Redskins by a score of 2-0, while entering into a 0-0 stalemate against host DeKalb April 24.

On Tuesday, the Lady Knights trekked to Rochelle, where they shut down the hosts in a 6-0 victory.

KHS sits at 7-4-2 with a 5-1-1 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

The positive development at Morris came as a result of one goal in each half. Jess Coia struck first with the help of an Emily Grams assist with 20:56 to go in the first half. Grams found the back of the net in the second half thanks to a feed from Kiandra Powell with 18:43 left in the match.

The battle with the Lady Barbs offset the 1-0 loss suffered in early April, showing progress on the Kaneland end.

Tuesday’s big win came at the 10:48 mark in the first half when freshman Kiandra Powell reached the back of the net with an assist from sophomore Heather Ortiz.

The Lady Knights took a 1-0 lead into halftime before blowing the game open with five unanswered goals in the second half.

Powell collected the hat trick, scoring the team’s fourth goal (assist from freshman Nicole Koczka) and final goal (assist from sophomore Courtney Diddell).

Junior Michelle Ortiz started the second-half scoring with a goal at the 34:00 mark (assisted by sophomore Madi Jurcenko), and then another one less than three minutes later, this time off of a feed from sophomore Courtney Diddell.

Jurcenko added another assist later in the second half when she aided Heather Ortiz, who put one through at 6:41.

In addition to Kaneland’s solid week on the field, the Lady Knights learned of their post-season plans when the Class 2A postseason assignments were released to the public on Friday. The No. 2 seed Lady Knights will travel to the Rochelle Regional to open their festivities on Wednesday, May 15, at 4 p.m. against No. 3 Illinois Math and Science Academy.

HHS has one rout under its belt already against the Lady Titans in an early-season matchup.

The winner of that match takes on the winner of No. 1 Rosary and No. 4 Rochelle in the regional title match on Friday, May 17, at 4 p.m. for the right to head to the Freeport Sectional.

The Lady Knights were set to play Hinckley-Big Rock in Maple Park on Wednesday in a non-conference affair, and also host Yorkville on Thursday, May 2.

Soccer solves IMSA

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After a Thursday conference tilt against Sycamore was postponed due to torrential rainfall, the Lady Knights soccer crew made up for lost scoring time on Saturday in Aurora on the home grounds of Illinois Math and Science Academy.

Converting an 8-1 win, the Lady Knights were able to bounce back from a hefty non-conference tour a week prior, which included Geneva and St. Charles East.

“We were fortunate that we were able to finish the way we as a team thought we should have doing all season,” KHS head soccer coach Scott Parillo said.
Getting down to business against the Lady Titan lineup, the Kaneland starters found the back of the net five times in the first half and three in the second.

Brittany Olson supplied a hat trick with an assist, while Emily Chapman added two of her own. Teammate Courtney Diddell had a goal and two assists, while Madi Jurcenko scored on a corner kick. Kiandra Powell closed out the scoring column, and Emily Grams added an assist of her own.

This Friday, April 26, sees the release of the Class 2A postseason pairings for Kaneland. The Lady Knights are part of the Rochelle Regional, along with just-seen IMSA, Rosary and the host Lady Hubs.

“We are playing pretty well as of late. It is nice when we can get outside a few times, in that we can work on improving our game,” Parillo said.

The regional is part of the Freeport Sectional and Barrington Super-Sectional. Kaneland has seen its season come to a close twice by the cleats of Rosary and twice by Crystal Lake Central in regional play the last four years.

KHS sits at 5-4-1 with a 2-1 record in the Northern Illinois Big XII.

KHS was set to visit DeKalb on Wednesday, with results unavailable for press time. On Thursday, April 25, the Lady Knights host Morris, while trekking to Rochelle on Tuesday, April 30.

Soccer bests NIB12 rivals

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—KHS soccer picked up a much-welcomed conference win last Thursday against Rochelle, and added to the win column with another conference victory Tuesday at Yorkville.

After the 5-0 rout of visiting Rochelle, the Lady Knights’ momentum was stifled by non-conference St. Charles East at home on Saturday, 2-0, and under the lights in Geneva on Monday via 1-0 tally.

Through nine matches, Kaneland sits at 4-4-1 (3-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Against the Lady Hubs, the Lady Knights had plenty of opportunities to hit the back of the net in both halves, but success was hard to come by.

With 9:33 remaining in the first half, Madi Jurcenko finally converted for Kaneland on an assist by Jess Coia for a 1-0 lead before halftime.

The battle looked to be headed toward a close end, before KHS opened the scoring floodgates. Heather Ortiz scored the first of her two goals with 21:10, and then with 5:48 off a Jurcenko feed.

“The coaches were telling me not to think about it too much and to dribble because I had the foot skills. I went out there and tried to have fun,” Ortiz said.

The final two goals came by Emily Grams with 1:10 left, and Kiandra Powell closed the scoring column with :41 to go off a feed from Sage Schlehofer.

“I think we just wore them down,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “The one good thing about Rochelle is they didn’t quit. They put up a heck of a fight. But we’ve got to finish. Our next two games are incredibly tough.”

Against the Lady Saints, the Lady Knights gave up a goal each in the first and second halves, while against Geneva, the KHS crew couldn’t power through a one-goal chasm in the first half.

At Yorkville on Tuesday, Kaneland put up four first-half goals on their way to a solid 4-1 victory.

Olson scored twice for the Lady Knight, putting up the first (assist by Courtney Diddell) and last (assist by Jessica Coia) goals for the team. Ortiz scored on a feed from Olson, and Jurcenko scored at the 14:00 mark, assisted by Schlehofer.

Kaneland hosts Sycamore on Thursday, April 18.

A week of firsts

Kaneland soccer scores first goal, earns first win of season
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—By the looks of it, the Kaneland Lady Knights will play teams quite tough in 2013.

The only question is whether or not wins will come as frequent as they’d like considering the heightened competition.

Coming in to the West Aurora Blackhawk Invite with just one previous match under the jersey, Kaneland took to the Aurora field on Thursday and lost to the hosts 1-0, and followed through with a Saturday 1-1 tie against perennial area contender Rosary.

Kaneland sits at 1-2-1 (1-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) in the early juncture of the 2013 campaign.

“We are a very young team and sometimes it takes a while to gel,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “We are getting better every day and hopefully we click soon. We have played some pretty decent teams to start the season and that will only help. We really need to shoot more.”

For KHS against the Lady Blackhawks, it was a second-half goal that did the Lady Knights in to open the invite.

Against the Royals, who had previously eliminated the Lady Knights in their 2010 and 2011 regional title matches, the blustery conditions limited successful scoring outputs. However, Kaneland powered through and earned its first score of the season thanks to a Kiandra Powell goal on a feed from returnee Jess Coia in the first half.

Rosary was able to tie the tussle with a second-half goal.

The Lady Knights group was able to fit in its second NIB12 Conference clash at Morris on Tuesday. Brittany Olson provided the only scoring for both teams, giving Kaneland the lead in the first half and adding to it in the second.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is a Thursday, April 11, battle with visiting Rochelle.


Stuck by Barbs

Photo: Freshman Kiandra Powell (above) battles with a DeKalb player during Kaneland’s 1-0 loss Tuesday. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

Season opener sees Lady Knights stifled in Maple Park
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After all the cancellations and scheduling switches, the Lady Knights’ soccer roster was ready for action.

It’s too bad it was in tundra-like conditions and against a capable rival in DeKalb High School.

A goal by the Lady Barbs with 35:44 remaining in the Tuesday afternoon tilt held up despite a handful of chances, and Kaneland fell in the 2013 curtain-jerker.

Kaneland is now 0-1.

The goal by Lady Barb Morgan Beaty kept going despite goalkeeper Jordan Ginther’s deflection attempt.

Kaneland controlled the ball for most of the second half, but the closest tries by Heather Ortiz and Kiandra Powell were stopped near the opposite goal.

Courtney Diddell’s booming rocket with 15 minutes to go was handled on the opposite goalkeeper’s end, marking the last best chance of the match.

KHS experimented with lineup modifications throughout the game due to a banged-up roster that left it down to two subs, and Michelle Ortiz had to leave the game with an ankle injury.

However, KHS coach Scott Parillo saw a silver lining on the frigid afternoon.

“I’m pretty pleased,” Parillo said. “I wish we didn’t have that little mental block where we left that girl wide open. But we’re not going to make any excuses. They capitalized when they needed to, and unfortunately we didn’t. We’ll build on this.”

The Kaneland lineup has capitalized on a suitable mix of leadership with younger talent, and the experimental lineup yielded some good signs for Parillo.

“Nicole Koczka did a nice job at stopper, Gabby Cano did a nice job at forward, Heather Ortiz did well at mid. This was not a bad effort with our first time outside being (Monday),” Parillo said.

Kaneland heads to the West Aurora Blackhawk Invite beginning on Thursday, April 4.

Weather delays season start

Kaneland—The cold and lingering snow forced Kaneland to cancel all outdoor sporting events through at least Saturday, March 23.

Officials made the decision due to a combination of predicted cold temperatures that would make some of the sports unsafe to play outdoors, as well as poor field conditions with the remaining snow on the ground.

According to Kaneland Athletics Department Secretary Linda Kelley, revised practice schedules and specific locations will be determined by each sport’s coaching staff. She said that schools will try to reschedule conference games as soon as possible, while non-conference games may end up being cancelled outright.

As of press time, KHS sports schedules will return to normal on Monday, March 25.

Turning the corner kick 2013 Spring Sports Preview

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

NFHS announces rules changes

Indianapolis—That National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recently announced some changes for soccer and football; all of which will take effect starting with the 2013-14 season.

Soccer Clarification on coach-player communications
The NFHS announced new rules clarifying when and how coaches can communicate with their players.

Effective with the 2013-14 season, coaches and players can communicate during a stoppage of play for an injury. Rule 3-3-1c(1) still requires a coach or appropriate health-care professional to have the approval of the referee before entering the field; however, teams may now huddle and receive coaching instruction during the stoppage, which previously was prohibited.

Another change in regard to communication involves electronic devices. While using electronic communication devices to communicate with on-field players is still prohibited, the use of electronic devices on the sideline is allowed.

“If a coach is on the bench and wants to use a tablet-type device to video and then at halftime show the players the rights and wrongs, they are able to do that,” said Mark Koski, NFHS director of sports and events and liaison to the Soccer Rules Committee.

Koski said the previous rule banned all communication devices, including cell phones, from the sideline. If such devices were found, a caution could have been issued.

Another of the seven rules changes involves the intentional fouling of a player who has an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. The new rule states that if a player commits a foul while attempting to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the goal is scored, that player will be issued a yellow card. If the foul is considered serious foul play, however, the player will still be issued a red card.

If a goal is not scored, the player who committed the foul will be issued a red card.

“The committee doesn’t want to penalize a team twice for the same play by having the goal scored against them, then to lose a player,” Koski said. “On the other hand, when a red card is issued when the shot is missed, the team is still suffering just a single blow.”

Revisions to two rules now require players to check in with the scorer/timer—or the referee if there is not a scorer/timer in place—prior to entering the game when a goal is scored or when a player is injured and removed from the field. After checking in, the player must wait until he or she is beckoned onto the field by the referee.

“This rule helps with game organization and allows officials to know who the players of record are,” Koski said.

At the start of the half, the players can enter the field of play without being beckoned by an official.

Another rules change for 2013-14 involves uniforms, specifically the use of tape on socks. Rule 4-1-1c requires both socks to be the same color and consist of a single dominant color. The change results in the use of tape that is applied outside of the sock, which now must be a similar color to the area of the sock to which it is applied.

The Soccer Rules Committee also approved a change to the definition of the “Free Kick.” The committee agreed that just tapping the top of the ball was not “putting it in play.” For the ball to be considered “in play,” it must be kicked and move.

Soccer is the fifth-most popular sport for boys and fourth among girls at the high school level. According to the 2011-12 High School Athletics Participation Survey, 411,757 boys are involved in soccer and 370,975 girls participate in the sport.

Football New rules regarding helmets that come off players
In an effort to continue minimizing the risk of injury in high school football, three additional rules will take effect next season to address helmets coming off players’ heads during games.

These three risk-minimization additions were among 10 rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee at its January 18-20 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

As a follow-up to last year’s rules change that requires players to sit out one play if their helmet comes off while the ball is live, the committee approved three additional rules that are extensions of last year’s change.

An illegal personal contact foul was added to Rule 9-4-3 to state that “no player or nonplayer shall initiate contact with an opposing player whose helmet has come completely off.”

In addition, a new listing in Rule 9-6-4 will state that it is illegal participation “for a player whose helmet comes completely off during a down to continue to participate beyond the immediate action in which the player is engaged.”

“With its continued focus on risk minimization, the committee determined that a helmet-less player shall not block, tackle or otherwise participate beyond the immediate action in which the player is engaged when the helmet came completely off,” said Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine. “The penalty would be a live-ball, basic-spot foul.”

The committee also added language to Rule 3-5-10 to clarify that if the helmet comes completely off during the down or subsequent dead-ball action related to the down—and is not directly attributable to a foul by the opponent—the player must leave the game for at least one down, with the exception of halftime or overtime intermission. When this occurs, an official’s time-out shall be called.

“Player safety has been and will continue to be the top priority for members of the NFHS Football Rules Committee,” said Brad Garrett, chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee and assistant executive director of the Oregon School Activities Association. “These rules changes regarding helmet-less players are more examples of the group’s commitment to minimize risk within the game.”

Perhaps the most significant rules change next season will be one that reduces the penalty for pass interference. While the 15-yard penalty will remain for both offensive and defensive pass interference, the loss of down has been removed for offensive pass interference and the automatic first down has been eliminated for defensive pass interference.

“Offensive and defensive pass interference and the penalty structure related to these fouls has been debated many times in recent years,” Garrett said. “Proposals that either deleted the loss of down or the automatic first down—but not both—failed to gain support among committee members. The proposal to eliminate both components, thus not upsetting the balance between offense and defense, was the key factor in the adoption of the new rule.”

Another change at high school football games next year will be the expanded use of communication devices. In specific situations, coaches, players and nonplayers will be allowed to use any form of communication technology.

This expansion of the rule allows the use of communication devices during authorized conferences outside the nine-yard marks, on the sidelines and during the halftime intermission. Use of communication devices by players except conferences outside the nine-yard mark continues to be prohibited.

In Rule 2-4-1, the committee clarified the rule approved last year regarding the definition of a catch, which stated that a receiver is required to establish possession of the ball and contact the ground inbounds while maintaining possession—regardless of the opponent’s action.

“The committee clarified the definition of a catch such that an airborne player who has forward progress stopped inbounds and is carried out of bounds by an opponent before contacting the ground is awarded a catch at the spot of forward progress,” Colgate said.

In Rule 9-3-8, the committee added another provision to the rule enacted last year regarding contact by the kicking team against members of the receiving team. The new provision stipulates that the kicking team may initiate contact once the receiving team has initiated a block within the neutral zone.

The committee also approved the addition of a 15-yard penalty to the existing option of accepting an awarded fair catch for kick-catch interference.

Finally, in Rule 8-3-3, the committee clarified that the touchdown scoring team is the only team that can score on a try, and in Rule 1-5-3 the committee modified the rule regarding the wearing of towels.

Football is the No. 1 participatory sport for boys at the high school level with 1,121,744 participants in the 2011-12 school year, according to the High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS through its member state associations. In addition, the survey indicated there were 1,805 girls who played football in 2011-12.

Kaneland brings out alumni for soccer

The seventh annual Kaneland High School Alumni soccer game was held this past Saturday at the high school’s varsity soccer field. Many soccer alumni and some current players enjoyed a friendly game on a beautiful summer evening. Any current or former Kaneland soccer players interested in playing in next year’s game and are not already on the contact list should call Bill Durrenberger at (630) 466-9085.

Kaneland Almuni White team (above) members included Nick Williams (back, left to right), Matt VanderSande, Eric Griesinger, Chris Feldott and Ryan Straughn. Santiago Tovar (front, left to right), Kevin Durrenberger, player/coach Max Andrews, Evelio Blanco and Scott Thompson. Courtesy Photo

Kaneland Almuni Blue team members included Josh Williams (back, left to right), Spencer Johnson, Josh Hill, Cooper Andrews, Mike Giese and coach Joe Garlinsky. Joe Garlinsky (front, left to right), Kaitlin Roy, Emily Heimerdinger, Samantha Wantuch and Justin Garlinsky. Courtesy Photo

Spring kind to Kaneland athletics in awards season

Photo: Delani Vest capped a stellar senior season for Lady Knights softball by nabbing the NIB-12 MVP honor. File photo

KANELAND—A highly successful 2011-12 spring season was recognized with team awards dished out earlier this week, as well as honors from the end-of-year senior athletic banquet.

Awards were released on June 3.

Leading the charge was sectional semifinalist softball, which boasted the Northern Illinois Big XII MVP in pitcher Delani Vest. Joining the senior on the all-conference list was Paige Kuefler, Hayley Contorno, Allyson O’Herron and McKinzie Mangers, with teammate Lexi Roach an honorable mention.

Vest, Mangers, O’Herron and Sam Hansen were recognized as captains. O’Herron was named defensive player of the year, while Roach was named most improved player. Kuefler and Lanie Callaghan were named co-offensive players of the year, while Contorno and Kristen Gabrielson took home the Lady Knight award.

The senior athletic banquet awards recognized University of Wisconsin-Whitewater bound Sean Carter as Male Athlete of the Year, Kelly Evers as Female Athlete of the Year, Clayton Brundige as the Male Birkette award winner for dedication, and both Evers and Katy Dudzinski as the Female Birkette award for dedication recipient.

For boys track, Carter was named the Track MVP, while Nate Dyer took home the Field MVP honors. Brundige and Brandon Stahl were co-winners of the Drendel Award. Brundige, Carter, Miki Marin, Stahl, Nate Rehkopf, Kelvin Peterson and Mitch Dienst were recognized as captains. Dylan Nauert was named the winner of the Ron Probst award.

Finally, Kaneland’s boys track group of Luis Acosta, Brandon Bishop, Kyle Carter, Sean Carter, Dyer, Shane Jorgensen, Nate Kucera, Nauert, Tanner Andrews, Brandon Cottier, Marshall Farthing, Kory Harner, Conor Johnson, Dylan Pennington, Brundige and Marin were recognized as All NIB-12.

Meanwhile, the 11 State qualifiers were also lauded for their trip to Eastern Illinois University.

For Knights baseball, Tom Fox, Drew Peters, John Hopkins, Trevor Storck, Jake Razo and Tyler Heinle were named to the All NIB-12 team, with Bryan VanBogaert an honorable mention.

VanBogaert, Storck and Ray Barry took home the most improved player nods, and Trever Heinle was the recipient of the 41 Award in memory of Jeff Malewig. Fox was named the offensive MVP and Tyler Heinle was named defensive MVP, with Razo nabbed Mr. Kaneland Baseball for 2012.

The girls track season yielded quite the prestigious awards, with Amanda Lesak, Jessica Kucera, Maggie Brundige, Sydney Strang, Jen Howland, Lauren Zick and Kaltrina Ismaili being recognized as state qualifiers.

Christina Delach, Nicole Ketza, Elle Tattoni, Lesak, Gabby Aguirre, Strang, Zick, Ismaili and Howland also secured Northern Illinois Big XII honors.

Carolina Tovar and Ketza were recognized for their work as captains. Lesak took home the team’s most improved trophy.

The Track MVP honor was given to Strang, while the Field MVP honor went to Tattoni.

Kaneland soccer congratulated Jess Coia, Jordan Ginther, Delaney Stryczek and Katie Taylor for making All NIB-12, while Brittany Olson made the honorable mention list.

Melissa Bohorquez, Ginther, Taylor and Taylor White were recognized as captains, while Brooke Harner was named Most Improved Player for the Lady Knights.

Courtney Diddell and Madi Jurcenko capped impressive campaigns by garnering Rookie of the Year honors.

Taylor Opperman, Heather Ortiz and Stryczek were named winners of the Coach’s Award.

Michelle Ortiz and Olson were named winners of the Lady Knights Award, while the co-MVPs were revealed as Taylor and Ginther.

Regional heartbreak for soccer

Photo: Taylor Opperman moves the ball during the Class 2A regional semifinal loss at Burlington Central on May 16. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
BURLINGTON—Kaneland High School’s current senior crop is the only group in school history to only know regional final action.

After the Class 2A regional semifinal at Burlington Central on May 16, those Lady Knights won’t even know that feeling again.

A hard-luck match against Crystal Lake Central (9-7) ended in a 1-0 loss.

Burlington Central then defeated Crystal Lake Central on Saturday evening in three overtimes for the regional plaque.

Kaneland’s loss dropped the season record to 12-6-1 (7-2-1 NIB-12).

Goalkeeper Jordan Ginther made key stops throughout the game, but Crystal Lake Central’s offense was on the move most of the match. Coupled with Kaneland’s choppy offense, it made for tough going capped by Maddie Edwards’ goal with seven minutes, 45 seconds left. Edwards launched a shot that landed in the right corner of the goal.

“She nailed it,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “Most goalies don’t even attempt at nailing that thing. If you’re going to lose, lose on a shot like that.”

“We were just hoping we could get things going,” Parillo said. “We just didn’t seem to be able to get anything going today. That’s a bummer.”

The Lady Knights had given up just 14 goals in the 2012 campaign.

Kaneland finished the season 7-3 in its last 10 matches, and was hoping to get through CLC for a date with BC, which had vanquished them on May 12.

Kaneland had lost the regional championship to CLC in 2009.

The Lady Knights went to a regional title match in 2010 and 2011, only to drop to Rosary.

KHS says goodbye in 2012 to Taylor White, Katie Taylor, Melissa Bohorquez and Abby Bend due to graduation.

Lady Knights end regular season in good shape

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.”

KHS soccer solves 3, puzzled by Sycamore

Photo: Brittany Olson tries to get the upper foot in a battle for the ball during Thursday’s 2-0 setback at the hands of Sycamore. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights soccer’s late-season homestretch is busy, to say the least.

It matters little how healthy you are heading into the regionals next week.

The Lady Knights continue to soldier on, defeating host Hinckley-Big Rock 5-0 on May 2, but succumbing to host Sycamore on Thursday in a 2-0 match.

The Lady Knights’ loss to conference rival Sycamore was their first since early April’s tournament at West Aurora.

Kaneland righted its soccer ship with a 7-0 rout of Morris on Monday after rainy conditions gave way to sunnier skies, and on Tuesday’s Senior Night, defeated Yorkville by the same 7-0 margin.

Kaneland’s record sits at 10-4-1 (5-2-1 NIB-12) on the year, so far, beating last year’s pace of 7-7-1 through 15 matches.

Facing the Lady Royals along Route 30, Kaneland was treated to goals from Brittany Olson just 61 seconds into the contest, followed by a Courtney Diddell goal 26 minutes later.

The second half saw goals from Diddell with 32:59 left, Madi Jurcenko with 27 minutes to go, and Heather Ortiz with 7:36 remaining.

Assists were gathered by Jurcenko, Jessica Coia and Didell.

Against Sycamore, the Lady Knights fell victim to a goal with 19:43 left in the first half when a shot went out of reach of an outstretched Jordan Ginther, and the Lady Spartans cinched it with a penalty kick with 21 minutes to go.

“On a streak that we’ve had, you think that every match is going to 5-0 or 6-0. It’s always good to get smacked upside the head a little bit and brought down to earth. Hopefully, this did that,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said.

The loss certainly seemed to do the trick for KHS, judging by the two ensuing matches.

Against Morris, Coia supplied a hat trick, while Jurcenko and Olson scored two goals each.

A five-goal first half propelled KHS to another handy win. Taylor White got things going with a goal four minutes in, followed by Coia and Olson finding the net. Olson supplied a hat trick, while White had two goals and an assist. Katie Taylor had a goal and two assists. Coia had a goal and assist, while Jurcenko supplied two assists.

Kaneland faces host Streator on Monday, May 14.

KHS soccer cleats Hubs

Photo: Kaneland’s Heather Ortiz fights in a crowd in the first period of Kaneland’s 7-0 win over Rochelle on Thursday. Kaneland soccer is now 6-0-1 in the last seven matches. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—When you put up a seven-spot in soccer, you know something’s gone right.

With six goals in the first half, the Lady Knights picked up a conference win and upped their record to 7-3-1 after a 7-0 solving of the visiting Rochelle Hubs.

Courtney Diddell, Brittany Olson, Taylor White and Katie Taylor all scored for the rising Lady Knights, with Madi Jurcenko putting a cap on the evening with a goal just 21 seconds in to the second half.

The Lady Knights continue with NIB-12 play with a trip to see the rival Sycamore Lady Spartans on Thursday, May 3.

It serves to help KHS get ready for a three-team regional set to begin in two weeks, with Burlington Central and Kaneland the top two seeds.

“That will be interesting to see how that game (on May 12) plays out,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “I don’t know if either team wants to show too much in case we play each other in the championship game.”

Soccer slams West division’s Ottawa

by Mike Slodki
OTTAWA—In the case of Lady Knights soccer, the mix of old and new is gelling enough to make anyone happy.

In a jaunt to LaSalle County on Thursday, Kaneland improved to 6-3-1 and 2-1-1 in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference action with a 4-0 shutout of host Ottawa.

With an early goal by Jessica Coia, and three second half goals, the Lady Knights continue to thrive as of late, with underclass totals in double figures and trying to exterminate the injury bug.

Coia’s rocket of a shot was helped by an assist from Courtney Diddell and Madi Jurcenko just six minutes, 52 seconds in.

The second half was highlighted by a Brittany Olson goal (assist from Diddell) with 24:44 to go in the game, and two Abby Bend goals assisted by Katie Taylor. The scores happened with 22:11 and 19:23 remaining.

The recent good fortune is at the hands, or feet of players like Diddell.

“Courtney is an amazing athlete in general. She make the game look effortless, she does not look like she is going fast, but she is, she has long legs and a long stride that is deceiving. She also has played club ball with a quality club-Campton United,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said.

In frosh/soph kicks, the Lady Knights used three Holly Brasfield goals and two Aislinn Lodwig scores to down Ottawa 6-0.

The varsity soccer crew hosts rival Rochelle on Thursday, April 26.

Head rush

Photo: Kaneland soccer defeated East Aurora, 3-0, on April 11 at the West Aurora Blackhawk Invitational, won by the host school. Here, Madi Jurcenko executes a backward head pass. Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland soccer enjoying unbeaten stretch
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In spite of injuries, Kaneland soccer is remaining a tough team to battle.

Needing to rely on underclassmen more than ever with the injury bug infesting the roster, the Lady Knights still suited up and bested East Aurora on April 11, tied Dixon on Saturday and trounced Marengo on Monday.

That accompanied a 1-0 win over the visiting Lady Barbs on Tuesday.

The current stretch leaves KHS at 5-3-1 (2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Kaneland traveled to the Blackhawk Invitational stomping grounds of West Aurora High School to finish the tournament. West Aurora’s plaque went Kaneland’s way two seasons ago, and sent the Lady Tomcats reeling with a Madi Jurcenko goal just three minutes, 29 seconds into the contest.

“It’s very crucial, because it puts you ahead of the game,” Jurcenko said. “When you have that one step ahead in the beginning, it helps you play better.”

With a younger lineup of which Jurcenko is involved, winning seems to be the cure to any jitters.

“It definitely helps when we win because we’re such a young team and we haven’t played together that much, scoring really helps our confidence.”

Melissa Bohorquez found the net on an assist from Katie Taylor with 13:51 to go in the half for a 2-0 lead.

Finally, Emily Eckert put a cap on the afternoon with a goal due in part to a Nicole Hanlon assist with just 2:19 remaining in the contest.

Despite West Aurora winning the tournament for a second consecutive year, KHS coach Scott Parillo saw encouraging developments, almost by necessity.

“That first goal was huge,” Parillo said. “That doesn’t always happen, and it kind of set the tone. I was real happy. Fifteen of these players are freshmen and sophomores, and that’s pretty impressive.”

In NIB-12 crossover action, the Lady Knights benefitted from a goal from Brittany Olson on a Courtney Diddell assist 14 minutes, 19 seconds into the match, but surrendered a second-half goal to the Duchesses—one of three shots on goal to deadlock matters.

Against the Lady Indians on Monday, Katie Taylor broke through with two goals with 27:17 and 10:40 left in the first half, and set up the final goal by Taylor Opperman with 5:30 to go in the half.

The lone goal against DHS was an Olson goal with a Jurcenko assist with 31:43 left in the contest.

Frosh/soph action included the Lady Knights improving to 4-3-1 with a 1-1 mark in conference play. They have a 5-1 win over Marengo to thank for that, with Emily Grams finding the net four times, and Eckert scoring once.

Kaneland was set to partake in more crossover action, this time on Thursday, April 19, in Ottawa.

Soccer overcomes struggles to find net at W. Aurora

AURORA—Kaneland soccer will have at least one win under its belt from its usual April stop.

A second-half flurry on Tuesday against Elgin’s Westminster Christian paved the way for a 6-0 win.

In the opening match of the annual Blackhawk Tournament at West Aurora High School, the Lady Knights’ allowance of a first half goal on Thursday led to a 1-0 loss.

Against Westminster Christian, the Lady Knights got on the board, thanks to a Katie Taylor goal after an assist from Courtney Diddell roughly 20 minutes into the action.

The offensive fireworks took place in the second half with Taylor completing her hat trick early. A corner kick by the captain made it 2-0, with another goal coming after an assist by Abby Bend with 20:22 left in the contest.

Just 21 seconds later, Bend scored after a Diddell assist.

The final two goals came from Madi Jurcenko off of a pass from Diddell five minutes later, and an unassisted goal from Aislinn Lodwig.

The 2-3 Lady Knights were slated to finish up at West Aurora against the East Aurora squad on Wednesday, before heading to Dixon to face the Duchesses on Saturday, April 14, at 11:30 a.m. for a Northern Illinois Big XII crossover battle.