Girls Soccer: Lemont ready to take the next big step
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media March 19, 2014 10:32PM
Lemont's Kim Jerantowski. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media
Girls Soccer 2014
TOP 10 TEAMS
1. Lemont: Jerantowski and Fritz, as good a duo as any in the state, could lead the Indians to their first state title.
2. Sandburg: An Elite Eight squad in 2013, Sandburg is young — with eight sophomores in key roles — but has plenty of talent, led by Illinois signee Emily Osoba.
3. Andrew: Five key seniors, including Valparaiso-bound Sydney Gountounas, lead the way as the Thunderbolts look to improve on a 15-5-1 2013 campaign.
4. Lincoln-Way North: The Phoenix loses nine seniors from last year’s sectional finalist, but returns several key pieces, including leading scorer Rachel Pappas and goalie Bethany Dombkowski.
5. Tinley Park: Michelle Youngberg takes over as coach for Paul Dorney and inherits plenty of talent from a 16-6 regional champion in 2013.
6. Lockport: The Porters lost a huge group of seniors, and talented junior Lacey Clarida — who graduated early and has begun her college career at Alabama — from last year’s 14-4 team, but should reload quickly.
7. Shepard: The Astros return 10 starters from a squad that finished 14-5-1 and won the South Suburban Red in 2013.
8. Lincoln-Way West: Juniors Emily Wyskiel and Natalie Tannura have combined for 41 career goals and will look to lead a young Warriors squad.
9. Lincoln-Way Central: The Knights had a disappointing 2013 campaign, bowing out in regionals, but should rebound this year with a more experienced squad.
10. Lincoln-Way East: The Griffins are on the rise, with nine players with at least two years of varsity experience, returning from a 10-9-1 team in 2013.
TOP PLAYERS (in alphabetical order)
Jazmin Aldape (Sr. midfielder), Bloom; Bethany Dombkowski (Sr. goalie), Lincoln-Way North; Sammi Farkos (Sr. midfielder), Homewood-Flossmoor; Samantha Fiorella (Sr. forward), Lincoln-Way East; Kelly Fritz (Sr. goalie), Lemont; Sydney Gountounas (Sr. defender), Andrew; Nina Izzo (Sr. forward), Queen of Peace; Kim Jerantowski (Sr. midfielder), Lemont; Mary Licata (Sr. defender), Lockport; Hailey Losselyong (Sr. forward), Marian Catholic; Hannah Lustig (Sr. forward), Stagg; Kyleigh Maday (Sr. midfielder), Providence; Aleks Mihailovic (Jr. forward), Lemont; Monica Munoz (Jr. midfielder), T.F. United; Emily Osoba (Sr. midfielder), Sandburg; Aubrey Quick (Jr. midfielder), Shepard; Jenna Rivera (Sr. defender), Tinley Park; Kelly Shine (Sr. defender), Evergreen Park; Mary Kate Wetzel (Sr. midfielder), Mount Assisi; Emily Wyskiel (Jr. midfielder), Lincoln-Way West.
Updated: April 21, 2014 6:27PM
Kim Jerantowski and Kelly Fritz have two state trophies to show for their time at Lemont. Now they want the big one.
“It’s our senior year,” Fritz said. “We’ve worked so hard, and now we have one more shot at it. We want to bring home that state title.”
Jerantowski and Fritz have been varsity standouts since they were freshmen. They were part of teams that finished third in the state in Class 2A in 2011 and fourth a year ago.
They’re the key cogs in what the Indians expect will be a title-contending team.
“It’s been a pleasure and honor to have those two in my program,” Lemont coach Rick Prangen said. “As a coach, every now and then you get special players and those two are in that group.
“For me, I just want them to have the senior year they deserve to have and go out in the style that’s befitting of their accomplishments and what their work rate has been. They’re the kind of players that every coach dreams of having.”
Jerantowski, a center midfielder who’s signed with Northwestern, is the reigning SouthtownStar Player of the Year after a 21-goal, 17-assist season in 2013.
The UIC-bound Fritz, one of the state’s top goalies, recorded 16 shutouts and posted a 0.64 goals-against average in earning All-Area honors last year for the second consecutive season as the Indians finished 21-5-2, falling to Prairie Ridge in the state semifinals.
Their leadership means just as much as all those numbers.
“We’re always here to give the younger girls feedback since we have three years of experience already,” Fritz said. “We want to let them know that it’s not only fun, we’re here to win. It’s important to work hard. We’re going into this season with no expectations, just working our butts off to do our best.”
Lemont returns eight starters overall, with juniors Aleks Mihailovic (16 goals last season) and Savannah Brija (10) among them.
The Indians were in a similar position in 2012, returning most of the third-place squad from 2011, and did not make it out of regionals.
In 2009, they finished second — then lost in sectionals in 2010.
It’s a trend they’re eager to break.
“We can’t think anything’s going to get handed to us,” Jerantowski said. “Every team is going to play hard against us. We have to be ready. We want to go out there and break this curse Lemont soccer has.
“We want the state title so bad.”