[Mary Beth Nolan]
Coach: Scott Parillo
Last year: 11-8-2; lost, 4-0, to Sycamore in the Class 2A Sycamore Regional championship
Keep an eye on: Abbie Lomahan stepped into the scoring void left when leading scorer Holly Collingbourne missed a chunk of last year. Now Collingbourne has graduated and Lomahan will look to build off her sophomore campaign, in which she scored 11 goals and had six assists.
Also: Emma Ball, jr., GK; Olivia Lutter, so., D; Rachel Lutter, jr., D
Parillo’s comments: Could not be reached for comment.
The lowdown: The roster has six seniors, all of whom had varying degrees of experience last year. The team is very youthful as they look to make it back past the regional round. Last year was the first time the Knights hadn’t advanced beyond a regional since 2014. They lost a sectional final to Sycamore in 2016 and reached the supersectional round in 2015.
Coach: Randy Tate (13th year, 114-129-10)
Last year: 7-12-2; lost, 4-0, to Winnebago in the Class 1A Winnebago Regional semifinals.
Keep an eye on: The Cogs graduated some goal scorers from a year ago, but two stout defenders return in junior Rachel Younker and senior Veronica Siegwarth.
Also: Hannah Phillips, sr.; Jessi Pope, sr; Lauren Walker, sr; Sarai Orozco, sr.; Veronica Cieslica, sr.; Brittany Beltran, jr.
Tate’s comments: “There isn’t any one dominate player on our team, but we have a great team relationship and hope to use that to help us get some quality wins. There are some holes to fill in the lineup, and we are looking for some people to step up and take on the responsibility. I believe we can get our record over .500 and make some noise in the conference.”
The lowdown: The Cogs played many close games last year, with eight games tied at the end of regulation. They played four straight games that went into penalty kicks last year. With a strong nucleus of returning players, Tate said he expects a big improvement in the team this year.
Indian Creek Timberwolves
Coach: Scott McClure (second year, 8-8-2)
Last year: 8-8-2; lost, 2-1, in overtime to Byron in the Class 1A Byron Regional championship
Keep an eye on: Haley Petragallo had a huge year last spring, making the Daily Chronicle All-Area first team – in softball. She split her time on the diamond and on the pitch, and this year the senior is playing just soccer as a defender for the Timberwolves.
Also: Marisa VanWyhe, sr., F; Morgan Johnson, sr., MF; Olivia Muetze, sr., F/MF; Olivia Turner, sr., MF; Katie Schilling, sr., F; Sarah Diehl, sr., D; Skyler Kaelin, jr., GK; Katie Cassidy, soph., MF; Olivia Turner, sr., MF
McClure’s comments: “I think we’ll be pretty solid again. We lost one senior and a lot of the juniors have progressed. I think we’ll be very competitive.”
The lowdown: The Timberwolves took No. 1 Byron to overtime last year but fell short after leading, 1-0. McClure said it will be a lot of hard work but expects the team can get past a regional this year, setting it as a goal before the season started. McClure said the team is focused on possession, turning that into scoring opportunities, and added that the senior leadership can’t be understated.
• Hinckley-Big Rock coach Kirsten Kubala could not be reached for comment.