Girls Soccer: Smith takes coaching reins at Hinsdale Central
Former club coach Michael Smith will make his debut as a high school coach when he leads Hinsdale Central into action against host St. Ignatius.
Smith, who assisted former coach Skip Begley for one season, took over following the 2011 campaign, and has brought a club mentality to many of his practices leading up to the season opener, set for 5 p.m. Thursday.
“There is a new learning curve (for the players),” Smith said. “My approach is program wide, not just varsity wide. Not every team is on its own island. We introduce athletes to our entire program, then they go with their team for 20 to 25 minutes, and then we come back and work on the next progression.”
Smith has taught English at Hinsdale Central for six years, and coached at the Eclipse Select club for three years. He has been an assistant coach in the boys program with the Red Devils for three years.
Hinsdale Central (11-12-2 last season, 3-3 West Suburban Silver) returns five starters from its IHSA Class 3A regional championship team, which beat Fenwick 2-1 to earn the title. The Red Devils lost to Lyons Township 5-0 in a sectional semifinal.
Begley, who retired, won the program’s sixth regional title, its third in a four-year span.
Southern Methodist University-bound defender Lauren Shroyer is one of only two seniors to return. The other is defender Hadley Harrison, who did not start last season.
“Some juniors that are now seniors decided to play for the JV team,” Smith said. “This will allow younger players to get a chance that much earlier.”
Smith’s first roster includes five freshmen and five sophomores. Among the sophomores, goalkeeper Riley Glenn and midfielder Megan Schick were starters last season. The other returning starters are juniors Jenn Jarmy (forward), and defender Casey May. Glenn was one of the year’s biggest surprises last season. She was third on the depth chart to begin the season, and earned an opportunity on varsity due to injuries. Once she started, it was hard to take her out.
Her backup this season is sophomore Jenna Blodgett, who’s new to varsity.
Smith was able to attract a couple of former club-only players, who will play for the first time on varsity this season. He coached sophomore forward Allison Cerny when she played for Eclipse years ago, and junior defender Katharine Kormushoff is expected to make an impact as well.
Among the freshmen, midfielder Maeve McLaughlin is expected to make the biggest impact.
Smith believes the most improved player from last season might be Schick, who was listed as a defender in ’11, but moved to midfield by the time the postseason rolled around.
“When people say players ‘get it,’ she’s one of those players,” Smith said. “She’s an all-around great soccer player. She has an understanding of the game. I can play her on defense, midfield and in a stretch as forward. She’s only a sophomore, but a wonderful leader, really, through her actions.”