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2015 Preview: Tons of returners, tons of fun for Knights soccer

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Senior Heather Ortiz (left) and the Knights hope to get past the Regional tournament in 2015.		             File Photo
Head Coach: Scott Parillo
2014 Record: 14-4-2, 7-1-2 in NIB-12
2014 Season Recap: Rosary once again ended the Knights’ season, this time in a 3-1 upset off penalty kicks. Rosary knocked off Kaneland in 2010, 2011 and 2013 in the Regional finals. Rosary lost twice to KHS in the regular season. The outgoing senior class for Kaneland amassed a sparkling 50-24-9 record during its four years.

by Doug Oleson
KANELAND—Have fun, stay healthy, and improve with every game.

Those are among the goals head coach Scott Parillo has for the Kaneland girls soccer team, which was scheduled to open its season this week, weather permitting.

“Our goal is to score goals,” said Parillo, who is in his 11th season as head coach after two as an assistant.

At least two of his players have a slightly higher goal.

“Our biggest goal is to win the Regional,” junior forward Ashley Crotteau said.
Although fellow junior Emily Chapman is confident they can achieve this goal, she said, “We’re just going to take it one step at a time.”

Both girls are among the 17 returning players on this year’s 22-player varsity squad. A year ago, the Lady Knights went 14-4-2. One of their losses was to St. Charles East, which finished second in the Illinois High School Association’s 3A state playoffs. Another loss was to Normal, which took second in 2A. After sharing the conference title with Sycamore—who should contend for this year’s crown along with DeKalb—the Lady Knights season ended unexpectedly with a surprising loss to Rosary on penalty kicks in the Regional championship.

“It was an upset,” Parillo admitted.

Disappointing as it was at the time, the loss is serving as incentive for this year’s squad, which is headed by six returning All-Conference players: Chapman; Madison Jurcenko, a senior midfielder/forward; Holly Collingbourne, a sophomore midfielder/forward; Taylor Zitkus, sophomore defender; and Courtney Diddell, senior midfielder.

The other seniors on the team are Emily Grams, Colleen Landers, Taylor Opperman and Heather Ortiz.

Like all area sports teams, the Kaneland crew—which started practice March 2—has pretty much been confined to the high school gym because of the cold and the snow. In fact, it wasn’t until last week that the girls ventured outside for the first time.

“We put on our water wings outside and played,” Parillo said jokingly.

Being inside, everyone agreed, limits what a team can work on.

“You can’t do too much inside,” Parillo said.

According to Chapman, the team has mainly been focusing on getting in a lot of touches and small side scrimmages.

“It’s been hard in the gym,” Crotteau said, noting they’ve still been passing and playing well together. “I am really excited and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish.”

The girls were scheduled to start their season at home on Wednesday by hosting Hinckley-Big Rock. As of press time, Parillo said the match was in doubt because there was still ice on the field, which is shaded by the school and doesn’t get enough sunlight. The girls are also scheduled to play at IMSA on Thursday before traveling to Belvidere for a 10 a.m. match.

After playing in Rosary on Wednesday, March 26, the Lady Knights have a long break, not retuning to action until Tuesday, April 7, when they host DeKalb.

Photo: Senior Heather Ortiz (left) and the Knights hope to get past the Regional tournament in 2015. File Photo

Struck down

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

in Baseball/Boys Track/Girls Soccer/Girls Track/Softball/Spring Sports by

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

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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

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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

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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.”

Barrage of offense

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#7 bringing it back

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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