Boys soccer: DuPage County season preview

  • York's Joe Hernandez, right, returns for the defending Class 3A state champions.

    York's Joe Hernandez, right, returns for the defending Class 3A state champions. Mark Busch/mbusch@shawmedia.com

  • Benet's Nick Roe (24) is one of the key returnees for a Redwings team that went 15-6-1 last year.

    Benet's Nick Roe (24) is one of the key returnees for a Redwings team that went 15-6-1 last year. Mike Mantucca

 
By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 8/22/2022 5:44 PM

Addison Trail

Coach: Ryan Dini (10th season)

 

Last year's record: 11-7-1, 4-2

Top returning players: Matias Aguilar, sr., MF; Christian Alcaraz, sr., F; Luca Fischer, sr., D; Jose Leyva, sr., MF; Emilio Macias, sr., D

Top new players: Joey Morales, sr., GK; Christopher Ortega, jr., F; Cristian Teran, so., D

Worth noting: One dozen new Blazers, including the added 6-foot-4 presence of Morales in goal, will look to find roles among the eight returning players. Speed and quickness will be an asset for a squad that will be tested not only in conference, but also while hosting the Joe Novy and competing in the Body Armor Series.

Benet

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, which will be especially challenging as the Redwings aren't as deep as they have been. Roe is a difference maker in the back. Augustine has a club background but hasn't played for Benet since his freshman year.

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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

Top new players: TBD

Worth noting: Schmitt believes the Trojans are ready to make a giant leap forward this year after taking their lumps due to 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: Stapelton has praised the tight-knit cohesiveness of this group and believes such a team strength, combined with the talented on field abilities of their core of returning players, could help the Mustangs earn victories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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 North

Coach: Spero Mandakas (5th season)

Last year's record: 8-10-3, 2-3-2

Top returning players: Christian Escobedo, sr., MF; Pablo DeLaCruz, sr., F; Stavros Veremis, sr., GK

Top new players: Tyler Nack, sr., D; Mark Szklarczyk, sr., D

Worth noting: The Panthers possess a great deal of experience with 16 seniors and 19 players with varsity experience. Strengths include Veremis (7 shutouts in 2021) as the last line of defense in front of a back line that welcomes back three players who missed last season. Escobedo, DeLaCruz and Jorge Roman will lead a dynamic attack.

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 upcoming sophomores, as well as Kula to contribute to their attack while 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 quad, including Reilly, Julian Salgado, Schueler and Trejo who are all four-year starters while Reilly is the defending MSC Red Player of the Year. Is this the year for the Knights to win their first regional title?

Lake Park

Coach: Sean Crosby (7th season)

Last year's record: 6-9-4, 2-4-1

Top returning players: Shane Donnelly, sr., MF; Anthony Juarez, jr., F; Oscar Sagan, sr., D; Andrew Swacha, sr., GK

Top new players: Francesco Cardone, jr., MF; Devin Czeremuga, sr., MF; Jake Tourillot, jr., D

Worth noting: Welcoming back a large senior class, the Lancers hope to finish in the top half of the DuKane. Crosby said it will be a blending of youth and experience with a half dozen underclassmen in the lineup. Donnelly and Juarez return to lead the attack while Sagan and Jack Tucci will anchor the back line.

Metea Valley

Coach: Josh Robinson (13th season)

Last year's record: 11-8-2, 3-2

Top returning players: Erick Mena, sr., F; Daniel Wilkinson, sr., MF

Top new players: Anthony Hildreth, so., MF; Abel Lopez, so., F

Worth noting: The Mustangs will endure some growing pains with just four returning starters along with three rotation players back from a season ago. Sophomore newcomers like Hildreth and Lopez are among an energetic group that will look to compete in the DVC.

Montini

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 'Zombie' Miller, sr., D

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

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

Naperville Central

Coach: Troy Adams (13th season)

Last year's record: 15-8-1, 3-2

Top returning players: Carter Adams, jr., MF; Patrick Berryman, jr., D; Patrick Bohan, jr., D; Nathan Kwon, sr., F; Joey LoDuca, sr., F; Sean O'Reilly, sr., MF; Austin Waite, sr., GK; Josh Weigel, sr., MF

Top new players: TBD

Worth noting: The Redhawks return eight starters and 70% of their scoring from a season ago, which includes their top five goal scorers. Waite returns in goal with Berryman and Bohan in front of him. Several Redhawks competed for national titles on their respective clubs in the off-season, but the hunger remains to achieve on the high school scene.

Naperville North

Coach: Jim Konrad (19th season)

Last year's record: 21-6-2, 5-0

Top returning players: Ale Arredondo, sr., D; Alex Barger, sr., MF; Ryan Konrad, sr., D; Aiden McMahon, sr., F: Noah Radeke, so., MF; Adam Zielke, sr., D

Top new players: Connor Hanrahan, so., D; Mike Przykyl, sr., MF/F; Jason Stokes, so., F

Worth noting: While the Huskies only return four starters, expectations remain extremely high for a program that's won six straight DVC titles and three state titles during that same time frame. Barger, an Indiana commit, leads the way for a squad that's particularly strong defensively.

Neuqua Valley

Coach: Arnoldo Gonzalez (8th season)

Last year's record: 8-10-1, 3-2

Top returning players: Garret Lee, sr., F; Derek Sisbarro, sr., MF; Nick Varrone, jr., GK

Top new players: Wesley Karubas, fr., D; Esteban Pimentel, so., MF; Vincent Stanislao, so., GK

Worth noting: Varrone made 128 saves last year and helped the Wildcats inch toward .500. He's just one of seven returnees and among four returning starters. New additions will have opportunities to contribute right away while Lee and Sisbarro were second, respectively, in goals scored and assists last fall.

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

Top new players: TBD

Worth noting: With a top flight goalkeeper in Hartle and a solid back line, the Spartans expect to be competitive this year. The key to their real success will come down to finding chemistry and scoring consistently, a task which a solid mix of upperclassmen are assigned to this fall.

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 as 17 players return for a team that also posted 10 shutouts. Will the Trojans become road weary? Eighteen of their first 19 matches are away from home.

Waubonsie Valley

Coach: Jose Garcia (9th season)

Last year's record: 6-14-2, 1-4

Top returning players: Gean Riberio Scarpell, sr., MF; Cade Valek, so., D

Top new players: Lachlan Ladd, so., F; Amiel Nichani, so., TBD

Worth noting: Garcia praised the makeup of his group of kids and is hopeful that good team camaraderie can help the Warriors make strides in the DVC this fall. Look for Ladd and Nichani to stand out right away and provide a spark.

West Chicago

Coach: Jose Villa (11th season)

Last year's record: 18-6-1, 7-1-1

Top returning players: Diego Martinez, sr., MF; Nathan Sanchez, sr., MF/D

Top new players: Faris Osman, sr., MF/F; Cung Thwang, so., MF

Worth noting: High soccer IQ, skill level and technical ability have the Wildcats excited about their forthcoming season. Villa likes how the newcomers are fitting in with the returning players from an 18-win squad and a program that hasn't forgotten the magic of a state title just three years ago.

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 'x' 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 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 6 goals last fall. Will they be able to provide opportunities in the offensive third this year?

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.

Willowbrook

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: As a first-year head coach, Lopez said he's thrilled to share his experience and knowledge with the kids and is hopefully it translates into a great season. The addition of Amin, who had been committed to playing club prior to this season, should be huge while Acosta and Voss are experienced leaders.

York

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 its state champion squad, they are still a deep team that will once again be dangerous with José Herrera (24 goals, 10 assists in 2021) leading the way and several others now ready for center stage in Elmhurst.

Note: Fenton, Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South and Lisle did not respond to our request for team information.

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