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Boys Soccer: Suburban Life team preview capsules

The boys soccer season started this week. Here are previews of teams in the Suburban Life coverage area.


Coach: Sean Wesley (13th season)

Last year’s record: 15-6-1, 8-1

Top returning players: Danny Boyle, sr., MF; Peter Hepburn, sr., MF; Evan Lucas, sr., GK; Nico Picha, sr., F; Nick Roe, jr., D

Top new players: Ryan Augustine, sr., F; Brayden Fagbemi, sr., F

Worth noting: Wesley said this is the toughest schedule ever for the storied program. The schedule will be especially challenging as the Redwings aren’t as deep as they have been in the past. Roe is a difference-maker in the back. Augustine has a club background, but hasn’t played for Benet since his freshman year.

Downers Grove North

Coach: Mike Schmitt (9th season)

Last year’s record: 6-15, 1-5

Top returning players: Jack Ryan, sr., F; Brad Szydlowski, sr., D; Ryan Wilson, jr., MF

Worth noting: Schmitt believes the Trojans are ready to make a giant leap forward this year after taking their lumps because of youth and inexperience last fall.

Downers Grove South

Coach: Jon Stapleton (21st season)

Last year’s record: 8-8-1, 5-1

Top returning players: Jorge Alcantara, sr., MF; Victor Carrasco, sr., D; Julian Lopez, sr., D/MF; Karol Nizolek, sr., MF

Top new players: Aleck Galvez, so., MF: Jonathan Venouziou, so., MF

Worth noting: Stapleton praised the tight-knit cohesiveness of this group and believes that team strength, combined with the talented on-field abilities of the core returning players, could help the Mustangs earn victories.


Coach: Craig Blazer

Last year’s record: 10-11-4

Top returning players: Ian Martinello, sr., F; James Zimmer, jr., F; Frankie Filice, sr., M; Finn Williams, sr. GK; Lucas Garcia, sr., M; Max Ballarin, sr., D; John Ballarin, jr., D; Evan Hickman, jr., D; Matthew Bero, jr. M

Worth noting: The Friars won only one of their last 12 regular-season games last year before getting hot in the Class 2A playoffs, winning three straight games to reach the sectional final before losing to Notre Dame 4-3. “We learned a lot from our run last season in the IHSA playoffs and are looking forward to starting the season with that type of success,” Blazer said. “The guys played together this summer and are starting to jell. We have a challenging schedule with games against Notre Dame, Oak Park, York and others.”

Glenbard East

Coach: Josh Adler (19th season)

Last year’s record: 5-7-4, 3-4-2

Top returning players: Edgar Duenas, sr., MF; David Hernandez, jr., MF/F; Josue Roman, jr., MF; Jacob Sarabia, sr., MF

Top new players: Fernando Bernal, jr., D; Gerardo Figueroa, so., MF; Josh Maida, jr., MF/D; Marco McLeese, jr., D

Worth noting: After a season that offered opportunities for many but was filled with injuries, the Rams are excited to build off their progress and optimistic for good health. “Our group this year is quick and has a ton of versatility all over the field,” Adler said.

Glenbard South

Coach: Adam Szyszko (8th season)

Last year’s record: 8-13-1, 1-8

Top returning players: Yusuf Afzal, sr., MF; Esteban Godinez, sr., F; Jacob Lichtenheld, sr., D; David Page, sr., TBD; Tres Moore, sr., MF

Top new players: Mitchell Erickson, so., F; Ryan Hopkins, so., D; Phinees Kula, jr., F; Sean Miller, sr., GK; Diesel Oleksak, so., F

Worth noting: Boasting plenty of senior leadership, the Raiders will look to some sophomores, as well as Kula, to contribute to their attack. Miller joins the squad as a senior keeper.

Glenbard West

Coach: Phil Wicyk (2nd season)

Last year’s record: 10-8-2, 3-3

Top returning players: Carlos Gonzalez, sr., MF; Alan Holowinski, sr., GK; Scott Vainikos, sr., D; Eduardo Vargas, jr., MF

Top new players: Cody Bochenski, fr., MF; Kelley Roach, jr., D; Sam Wright, sr., MF; Benji Zander, sr., F

Worth noting: After graduating 16 seniors, the Hilltoppers have pretty much a new team with just a pair of returning seniors. Vargas, Gonzalez and Vainikos will look to be the backbone of a young squad that will look for offense from Wright, Zander and Bochenski.

IC Catholic Prep

Coach: Miguel E. Garcia (3rd season)

Last year’s record: 10-5-3, 5-0

Top returning players: Ben Leischner, jr., D; Seamus Reilly, sr., D; Julian Salgado, sr., F; Andy Schueler, sr., D; Saul Trejo, sr., MF

Top new players: Filip Ciepela, so., D; Jacob Dominick, fr., MF: Gio Velazquez, jr., MF; Tristan Salgado, so., D; Adalberto Suarez, jr., TBD

Worth noting: The Knights return a strong core from last year’s squad, including Reilly, Julian Salgado, Schueler and Trejo who are all four-year starters. Reilly is the defending MSC Red Player of the Year. Is this the year for the Knights to win their first regional title?


Coach: Rick Prangen

Last year’s record: 10-7-5

Top returning players: Tyler Chrisman, so., M/F; Marek Skotnicki, sr., M; Lukas Rabianski, sr., F; Lucan Urban, sr., D; Ben Kittridge, sr., D; Ben Tucker, fr., F

Worth noting: “We are returning the majority of players that won both a conference championship and regional championship,” Prangen said. “We will have a veteran back line with all of our starting defenders and goalkeeper returning. We hope to be able to compete again for a conference title and advance to a sectional title game.”

Benet Academy's Samuel Barbeau (6) goes for the ball against Lyons Township's Aidan Hilling (5) during the IHSA Class 3A Morton Sectional Semifinal varsity boys soccer game between Benet Academy and Lyons Township on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at Morton High School in Berwyn, IL.

Benet Academy’s Samuel Barbeau (6) goes for the ball against Lyons Township’s Aidan Hilling (5) during the IHSA Class 3A Morton Sectional Semifinal varsity boys soccer game between Benet Academy and Lyons Township on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at Morton High School in Berwyn, IL. (Tony Gadomski /)


Coach: Paul Labbato

Last year’s record: 17-6-1

Top returning players: Colin Sullivan, jr. D; Patrick Kracker, sr., M; Larry Martinez, sr., F; Will Swicionis, sr., M; Liam Carolan, sr., D; Brian Salvino, sr., F; Mason Burda, so., F

Worth noting: The Lions return six players who saw action, including four starters, from a team that lost to Benet on penalty kicks in the sectional semifinals. Salvino and Burda are newcomers from the club scene who will add punch to the offense. Lyons will be tested by a tough schedule that includes defending state champion York, Morton, Naperville North, New Trier, Libertyville, Oak Park and Hinsdale Central. “We have a very deep team with many players that can push starters for playing time,” Labbato said. “Also, our roster is very versatile. We are waiting to see how players move into positions that will strengthen our lineup. The schedule could be our downfall.”


Coach: Barry Briggs (10th season)

Last year’s record: 1-15, 1-6

Top returning players: Julian Beahan, so., F; Christian Clarke, sr., D; Andrew Miller, sr., D

Top new players: Jonny Kosinski, fr., F; Peter Vreeland, sr., MF

Worth noting: Another rough road lies ahead for the small Class 1A Broncos who will face mostly larger schools once again. Clarke and Miller will lead the way as seniors. Vreeland is welcomed in as a senior transfer. Kosinski adds a new scoring threat to complement Beahan.


Coach: Jim Bageanis

Last year’s record: 21-3-3

Top returning players: Ismael Zepeda, sr., F; Edgar Quintero, sr., M; Ivan Ramirez, jr., M; Deyair Ruiz, sr., F; David Cisneros, sr., D; Alexis Meza, jr., M; Josh Trujillo, jr., D

Worth noting: After going unbeaten against Illinois opponents in the regular season, the Mustangs rolled to the state semifinals before being stunned 1-0 by Fremd and settling for fourth place after a 2-1 upset loss to Lockport. It was the program’s sixth state trophy, five of which have come since 2011. Seven players from last year’s team are now playing in college, but the Mustangs have the deepest talent pool in the state from which to draw from and are again considered one of the top five teams in Illinois. “I feel we have a highly skilled team that has good one-on-one talent as well as talent to play a possession game,” Bageanis said. “We are an unselfish team that will push the pace of the game. We are working on our transition game over the next few weeks.”


Coach: Ivek Halic

Last year’s record: 7-13-1

Top returning players: Manny Tovar, sr., M; Max Swicionis, jr., M; Sam Royer, sr., D

Worth noting: Tovar will lead the way for the Bulldogs after earning all-conference and all-sectional honors last year. Sophomore midfielder/forward David Carillo and sophomore midfielders Xavier Salamanca and Diego Villegas are promising newcomers. “We have a young team with nine juniors and six sophomores,” Halic said. “Quality of midfield is a strength. We need to be making better decisions in the final third.”

St. Francis

Coach: Jim Winslow (2nd season)

Last year’s record: 9-9-2, 4-2

Top returning players: Simon Hartle, sr., GK; Mason Karch, sr., F; Nick Maddon, jr., MF; Matt Marsico, sr., D; Luc Swiatek, jr., MF; Sam Wessel, sr., D; Cooper Winslow, jr., F

Worth noting: With a top flight goalkeeper in Hartle and a solid back line, the Spartans expect to be competitive this year. The keys to success could be finding chemistry and scoring consistently.

Timothy Christian

Coach: Joel Zielke (5th season)

Last year’s record: 18-4-3, 6-0-1

Top returning players: Cameron Baker, sr., MF; Peter Buikema, so., GK; Carter Day, sr., MF; Hendrik De Vries, jr., MF; Jake Firnsin, sr., MF; Ethan Munk, sr., D

Top new players: Timothy Nulty, so., MF/F; Owen Wise, so., F

Worth noting: The Trojans are poised for great things again, coming off a fourth-place finish in 1A and 18 wins. Seventeen players return for a team that posted 10 shutouts. Will the Trojans become road weary? Eighteen of their first 19 matches are away from home.

Wheaton Academy

Coach: Cody Snouffer (4th season)

Last year’s record: 19-4-1, 5-1, Class 1A state champs

Top returning players: Troy Erickson, sr., D; Declan Finnegan, sr., GK; Ethan Head, jr., F; Jakob Karlson, jr., F; Caleb Mariotti, sr., F; Josh Mariotti, sr., MF; Josiah Pitts, sr., MF

Top new players: Sam Brown, so., F; Cuyler Finnegan, so., F; Gabe Stein-Rodriguez, fr., MF

Worth noting: The defending Class 1A state champs know the target is on their backs this season, but the Warriors should be ready with a half dozen starters back and just as many rotation players. Another tough nonconference schedule should bode well for team growth.

Wheaton North

Coach: Robert Stassen (8th season)

Last year’s record: 9-7-4, 2-3-2

Top returning players: Tim Dulzer, sr., MF; Carter Evans, jr., MF; Max Riccelli, sr., MF

Top new players: Josh Simon, sr., F

Worth noting: The program saw 10 Falcons fly away at graduation so only a few core players return, although Stassen said the roster is deep with athletic talent that’s also coachable. Riccelli (5 goals, 5 assists) and Dulzer (5 goals, 4 assists) will look to find the back of the net while Simon will look to join in the fun.

Wheaton Warrenville South

Coach: Guy Callipari (32nd season)

Last year’s record: 8-8-4, 3-3-1

Top returning players: Gael Alfaro, sr., MF; Nikhil Bawa, sr., D; Marco Gonzalez, sr., F; Issa Husseini, sr., F; Chase Kedzior, sr., F

Top new players: Diego Bautista, so., MF; Brooks Becker, jr., D; Jet Oehrlein, so., MF; Semin Razman, fr., MF

Worth noting: The Tigers are coming off their first .500 or better season in five years and welcome back 10 players. Alfaro, Gonzalez, Husseini and Kedzior combined for 13 assists and six goals last fall. Will they be able to provide opportunities in the offense this year?


Coach: Victor Lopez (1st season)

Last year’s record: 5-12, 0-6

Top returning players: Ricardo Acosta, sr., MF; Jack Voss, sr., GK

Top new players: Aiden Amin, sr., MF; Adrian Gesiki, fr., D; Evan Havorth, fr., D

Worth noting: A first-year coach, Lopez said he’s thrilled to share his experience and knowledge with his players. The addition of Amin, who had been committed to playing club prior to this season, should be huge. Acosta and Voss are experienced leaders.


Coach: Jordan Stopka (3rd season)

Last year’s record: 23-2-0, 4-2, Class 3A state champs

Top returning players: Joe Hernandez, sr., MF; Gustavo Herrera, jr., MF/F; José Herrera, sr., F; Ryder Kohl, sr., MF/D; Kevin O’Connor, sr., F

Top new players: William Czech, sr., D; Michael Greco, jr., MF; Stefan Rebic, sr., D; Jayden Waski, jr., F

Worth noting: While the Dukes graduated 16 players from their state championship team, they are still a deep team that once again will be dangerous with José Herrera (24 goals, 10 assists in 2021) leading the way and several others now ready for center stage in Elmhurst.

Editor’s note: Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South did not respond to requests for team information.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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