Redhawks seeking first-place trophyNaperville Central's Emily Sejna advances the ball. Jeff Cagle ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 18, 2011 7:08PM
Emily Sejna and Naperville Central are used to picking up state trophies. They just want the right one.
The Redhawks have finished fourth, second and third the past three seasons at the state tournament. This year, they’d like to complete the set.
“It’s been really tough,” Sejna said. “We were so close my freshman year and worked so hard my sophomore year to get up to that level again. The whole experience has really motivated us and this year we’re just hoping to compete really well.”
Sejna (96 goals, 58 assists) and fellow juniors Abbey Kerth (128 goals) and goalie Julia Campbell (2.88 goals against average) have been especially motivated in leading Naperville Central (29-1) to the best record in the state.
“We’ve always been a really deep team and our younger players have learned from the example of our older players,” Kerth said. “It’s just a great program that is blessed with a lot of talent.”
Standing between the Redhawks and a fourth consecutive state trophy is host Stevenson (25-8) in a state quarterfinal at 7 p.m. today.
Naperville Central defensive players Lizzy Giuliani and Robyn Stanley will have to contend with the Patriots’ powerhouse pair of Karen Lowry (94 goals) and Cheyenne Montijo (90 goals).
The Redhawks’ lone loss of the season was a 6-5 setback to five-time IHSA champ Fenwick (23-8), which will face Homewood-Flossmoor (29-3) in the 4:30 p.m. quarterfinal.
Rebecca Mathews (128 goals), Michelle Mayer (93 goals), Hannah Ongman (73 goals, 66 assists) and goalie Sophie Schloen (3.61 GAA) are all back from last year’s Vikings team, which ended the Friars’ two-year reign last season at the same stage.
Annie Collins (48 goals), Gena Wendt (43 goals), freshman Cara Borkevec (41 goals) and goalie Mackenzie Bonk (5.20 GAA) have emerged for Fenwick, which failed to reach the state-title game for the first time in six years last season.
“We could exorcise a demon, right or wrong, in the eyes of Friar nation,” said Fenwick coach Jack Wagner, whose team has only lost twice in-state and beat the Vikings 9-4 during the regular season.
Katie Stelnicki (88 goals), Stephanie Fernandez (52 goals) and Becky Insalaco (48 goals) will lead St. Ignatius (24-4), which finished second last year, against Loyola in the 8:15 p.m. quarterfinal.
Brittany Wallace (123 goals) and goalie Kristina Alexander (4.50 GAA) pace the Ramblers (23-6-3), who have made six of the last seven state tournaments.
Mother McAuley (17-14) goes up against Fremd in the 5:45 p.m. game.
Victoria Arciniega (52 goals), Jackie Knightly (44 goals) and sophomore goalie Sarah Abbott (3.82 GAA) are big reasons why the Mighty Macs, who eliminated defending state champ Lyons in the sectional finals, are back at the state tournament for the first time since 2008.
Sam Matuszewski (62 goals) and Sam DelPrado (59 goals) lead the Vikings (24-4).