Alex Otto’s career path will take her to the soccer fields at Alabama-Birmingham.
The Hinsdale Central senior committed to play for the Blazers and study in the school’s physical therapy program. She is one of two Division I recruits from the Devils, along with midfielder Lily Chetosky (Valparaiso).
“We have a great group of seniors,” Devils coach Michael Smith said. “They hustle. Their leadership is [outstanding]. They sacrifice, which is necessary for the team.”
TEAMS TO WATCH
The Hornets (11-10 last season) won a regional title in their first season in Class 2A. Hinsdale South added state track qualifier Sarah Warren, a former club player who signed in February to play soccer at Illinois, but two-year starting midfielder and cross country state qualifier left the team to join track and field. The top returning seniors are Elisabeth Bifero, basketball player Mary Claire Ladd, Jessica Koziol, Cassie Jensen, Maggie Nicosia, Alissa Lokanc and Shannon Kilrea.
“The girls are excited about the upcoming season,” coach Pat Wolf said. “Most of the seniors have two or three years of varsity experience and the underclassmen will fill in nicely as well.”
Two of Lyons’ losses last season came against state runner-up Hinsdale Central, including in the sectional final. Expect another showdown between these West Suburban Silver rivals. Lyons (16-5-2 last season) returns nine starters, including Division I recruits Erin Fitzgerald (Cornell) and Emily Lange (Cincinnati). Catherine King leads an all-senior defense with CC Holbert, Grace Nasenberry and Sarah Drew. The top newcomers are Katie Dougherty, Sheila Murphy, Bridget Kirby, Gabby Hart, Lindsey Allen and keeper Erin Johnson.
“We’ve added some excellent players to this already very solid team. It should be a fun season,” coach Bill Lanspeary said.
Coach Stan Niemiec said that three starters are recovering from knee injuries suffered during the basketball season, so he expects a slow start for the Chargers (10-7 last season). St. Joseph’s top three returning players are juniors: forward Gabby Foster (14 goals), midfielder Maddy Torres (five goals, eight assists) and midfielder Jazmin Mendoza (six goals).
“Once we are able to get outside and practice we will know more about our new players and the girls that will step in to fill a big hole in our lineup,” Niemiec said.