Loaded all-area team tough to beatAll-area girls soccer team (bottom row, left) Courtney Raetzman, Zoey Goralski, Kelsey Holbert, and Elise Gordon ; (top row, left) Laura Gardner, Carly Stevens, Aimee Wronski, Callie O'Donnell, Alexa Wilde and Megan Oyster. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: June 3, 2011 6:49PM
Headlined by five players who helped their teams to undefeated regular seasons, the 2011 Sun-Times All-Area squad features seven players who will play Division I soccer in the fall.
Two of them — including the only sophomore on the team — have extensive experience within the U.S. national youth system, and all of them have distinguished themselves as the area’s best.
Laura Gardner, Loyola: The senior midfielder, who won’t play soccer when she attends Notre Dame in the fall, scored 19 goals and set a school season record for assists (17) in helping the Ramblers to an undefeated regular season and the first sectional title in program history.
Zoey Goralski, Neuqua Valley: An uncommitted sophomore forward, she’s a member of the U-17 girls national-team player pool. Goralski put relentless pressure on opposing defenses with 18 goals and 14 assists as she played a major role in the Wildcats reeling off 24 consecutive wins before the only loss of their season in the sectional finals.
Elise Gordon, Lyons: The senior defender, who will attend Virginia in the fall but not play soccer, was the backbone of a backline that was responsible for 18 shutouts and allowing only 13 goals in 26 games. Gordon also had three goals and an assist.
Kelsey Holbert, Lyons: The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee-bound senior midfielder scored 19 goals, had eight assists and was one of the most talented players on the ball in the area.
Elise Kotsakis, Fremd: The Butler-bound senior forward has torched opposing defenses for 35 goals heading into the state semifinals while drawing double- and triple-team coverage throughout the season. She led the Vikings to the state tournament for the second time in three years.
Callie O’Donnell, Plainfield North: The uncommitted junior had 24 goals and 20 assists as her vision on the field played a pivotal part in the Tigers’ emergence as a top-10 team for much of the season.
Megan Oyster, Neuqua Valley: The 2011 Sun-Times Player of the Year is an All-Area selection for the second consecutive season. Oyster, who’s involved with the U-20 women’s national team, will play for UCLA in the fall.
Courtney Raetzman, Conant: A Kentucky recruit, the junior forward/midfielder has 22 goals and 15 assists heading into the state semifinals and helped lead the Cougars to the Mid-Suburban West title.
Carly Stevens, Loyola: The senior goalie set school records for wins (24), goals-against average (0.149) and shutouts (24). Stevens, who will play at Loyola University, also holds the school record with 102 games played — having never missed a match as a four-year starter.
Alexa Wilde, Neuqua Valley: The Baylor-bound senior midfielder scored 21 goals, had three assists and was one of the most complete players in the area a year after she sacrificed for the team by playing in goal.
Aimee Wronski, Huntley: The Illinois State recruit is a two-time All-Area selection. The senior forward, who had 35 goals and eight assists, finished her career with 102 goals.