Players to watch: Stephanie Hall, Sr., MF; Sydney Strick, Jr., D; Lyndsay Wachowski, Jr., F; Gianna Myers, Sr., MF; Kailey Rucker, Jr., F.
Outlook: The Ladycats have gotten out to a strong start in 2012, winning the Bremen tournament for the first time in Beecher's 11-year history of girls soccer. What do the Ladycats get as a reward? Two weeks off until their next game Thursday. If the Ladycats can rely on a strong defense and keep the momentum from the season's early successes going even after a two week layoff, look for a strong season out of the Ladycats. Competition will be tough for Beecher in the always competitive Interstate Eight Conference, but look for the Ladycats to move to the upper tier of the conference contenders.
Quote: "We've always been strong defensively. My whole defensive unit has been playing together for three years. We have struggled to finish our goals, and I think this year already we've been doing a better job but there's still room for improvement." ~! coach Dawn Compton.
Players to watch: Jazmin Aldapa, So., MF; Katelin Wallek, Sr., K; Yesenia Garcia, Jr., D; Andreina Hernandez, Fr., MF; Erika Garcia, Fr., MF.
Outlook: Bloom Township will have a lot of young and new faces on the pitch in 2012. On the defensive side of the ball, the Blazing Trojans are battling some nagging injuries but when the defense returns to full strength, look for the experience in the back to fuel the Bloom Township team. If the Blazing Trojans can find the right combination of experience and youth, Bloom will be able to remain among the top teams in the Southland Athletic Conference.
Quote: "I think we have a shot at the conference title again. Seeing how the girls are working and the strengths that they have now, I think they can do OK." ~! coach Kelly Gutierrez.
Players to watch: Rachel Stellfox, Sr., D; Amanda Earon, Jr., MF; Lea Skaagfard, Fr., MF; Lydia Cogan, Fr., D.
Outlook: The Warriors are one more program turning to younger players in 2012. The Warriors graduated plenty of talent in 2011, but Stellfox remains as the heart and soul of the Crete-Monee defense. The Warriors will look to Earon for plenty of offensive production, and Crete-Monee should be able to contend for a conference title in the Southland Athletic. There's plenty of potential for the Warriors in 2012 and beyond with a freshman class that are no strangers to the soccer field.
Quote: "They're very hardworking, the group we have. They're young. Hopefully they can win another conference championship. Those are our goals: to win conference and to win regionals." ~! coach Julian Lagunas.
Players to watch: Chrissy Coderre, Jr., D; Kelly Coderre, Jr., D; Hope Hruska, Sr., MF; Haley Hruska, Sr., F; Kate Vendrely, Sr., MF; Ali Farkos, Sr., MF.
Outlook: The Vikings have a strong core of returning players with plenty of varsity experience. The sisters Coderre and the sisters Hruska will be at the heart of that experience and leadership. Farkos is a returning all-state selection, committed to Illinois State, and plays almost like a point guard on the pitch for Homewood-Flossmoor. The Vikings always put a strong team on the field and don't expect 2012 to be any different. As usual, when the dust of Regionals settles, the Vikings expect to be hanging around.
Quote: "We anticipate having a strong team. We'll have new faces and new positions but our program is strong. Hopefully we won't skip a beat." ~! coach Charlie Ward.
Players to watch: Caroline Toren, Sr., D; Emma Pawlowski, So., F; Megan Knapper, Sr., D/MF; Kristen Corral, Fr., MF; Anneke Knot, Sr., MF.
Outlook: In 2011, the Vikings finished 13-6 and won a regional title. Illiana Christian has already won their own Paarlberg Park Invitational on March 24. The tourney win improved the Vikings to 5-0-1 in 2012, and all signs are pointing to a productive season moving forward. Freshman Corral is already making a name for herself at the varsity level with her natural ability for the ball. If something good is happening for the Vikings, Corral will be found in the middle of it. If the Vikings' defense can step up when they are needed, Illiana Christian should have a good go around this spring.
Quote: "We hope to do well and we hope to improve on 2011. I have twelve returning varsity players so the girls know my system and we're rolling pretty well already as the year is getting started." ~! coach AJ Turkstra.
Players to watch: Christine Franzese, Jr., D; MaryAnn Crosetto, Jr., MF; Mollie Lindeman, Sr., D; Hailey Losselyong, So., F; Cecily Strezo, Sr., MF.
Outlook: The Spartans will have a mix of new and old faces out on the field in 2012. The team is a work in progress but could come together for a strong season. Lindeman is the center of the Spartan defense and look for that to be the strength of Marian Catholic this year. The Spartans will be searching for chemistry and some players will even be trying out new positions. The record of the team will rest on how soon the team can find stability within their new surroundings.
Quote: "You can label it as a work in progress. That's the best way I can describe it. We have some new players and we need to find the right chemistry for us." ~! coach Nasser Shahtaji.
ST FRANCIS DE SALES
Players to watch: Celeste Martinez, Sr., F; Lourds Gamimo, Fr., D; Jashive Quintas, Sr., D; Alma Solis, So., MF; Renee Romero, So., K.
Outlook: The Pioneers graduated five seniors from last year, but will still look to compete in the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference. There will be plenty of fresh faces seeing playing time for St. Francis de Sales in 2012, and though they may not have the experience, these Pioneers are ready to work and show they belong at the varsity level. There may be some rough roads in the near future, but like plenty of the other local girls teams, the future is bright and the underclassmen will only get better with time and age.
Quote: "They're willing to learn and they're willing to work. They're out there everyday. We're trying to mix our young players with our experienced players and work as a team." ~! coach Jorge Sanchez.
Players to watch: Lupe Ambrosio, Jr., D; Jasmine Zambrano, Jr., F; Maria Millan, Jr., K; Estafani Ambrosio, Fr., F; Nancy Quinones, Sr., MF.
Outlook: Thornton Township will be ready to compete in a tough SouthWest Suburban Conference in 2012. The team is still relatively young, but there is plenty of varsity experience left over from 2011. It will be interesting to see if the team can develop and raise its game to a higher level. Also keep an eye on Thornton Township beyond 2012 to see if they can remain consistent as a program and develop some of their younger talent.
Quote: "The expectations are high of course. I'm expecting a lot more wins then last year. It's a tough conference and anything can happen." ~! coach Maria Gonzales.
Players to watch: Jamie Kats, Sr., MF; Elizabeth Munoz, Sr., D; Andrea Munoz, Jr., MF; Lisa Urbina, Sr., D; Biance Ruiz, Jr., K.
Outlook: Thornton Fractional brings a strong team to the field in 2012 with plenty of leg and plenty of speed. The team likes to send it in and let their forwards finish the rest. Freshman Monica Munoz is already having an impact on the team and is a nice compliment to her older sister Andrea. Ruiz gives Thornton Fractional stability and experience at the keeper position. Thornton Fractional almost won the Paalberg Park Invitational away from Illiana Christian earlier this year, and it took overtime to finally quiet Thornton Fractional. Don't expect to see many more team quieting this team though, and with Kats in the middle, expect big things from this team in 2012.
Quote: "We really didn't lose any players. And we're adding a couple of freshman that I hope will contribute greatly. We think we can compete with just about any team we play." ~! coach Alejandro Lagunas.
Players to watch: Miriam Moreno, Sr., F; Virginia Mendoza, Sr., MF; Roxana Jasso, Sr., D; Betty Torrez, Jr., F; Renata Veljacic, Fr., K.
Oulook: Washington will rely heavily on seniors Moreno, Mendoza, and Jasso, to lead at their respective positions in the front, middle, and back. The girls team has been taking notice of the school's positive reaction and support of the boys soccer team and their successes, and the girls have decided they would like to see some of that recognition also. Coach Al Perez is already speaking highly of his freshman goalie Veljacic and believes the sky is the limit with her. The team will have the primary goal of staying in the first division of the Chicago Public League.
Quote: "It's looks promising. We anticipate staying in the first division. We don't want to be demoted back to the second division. Goal number one is stay in the first division." ~! coach Al Perez.
~! Compiled by Dwight Haislet