Ali Berg | Bishop McNamara | Forward | Junior

Berg’s ability to habitually wear down defenders and her knack for finding the back of the net led the Irish to a 10-6-2 season. The junior striker’s motor never stopped as she scored 18 goals and passed out seven assists. Her effort and production earned her a second consecutive all-GCAC selection.

Angel Boynton | Wilmington | Midfielder | Senior

Saving her best effort for the final season of her career, Boynton led the Wildcats to six wins this spring. The midfielder scored three goals, was an all-Interstate Eight honoree, her second straight such honor, and also was named to the IHSSCA all-Sectional team.

Mikayla Brandon | Bradley-Bourbonnais | Midfielder | Senior

Time and time again, Brandon left her fingerprints on Boilermaker wins this season. The 5-foot-11 senior scored 11 goals and dished out 10 assists as BBCHS went 17-5-2. Brandon earned all-SWSC and all-Sectional honors, and, as coach Rohan Robinson said, she “no question, showed she’s one of the best players in the area.”

Mattie Brown | Herscher | Forward | Junior

If you watched Herscher this season, chances are you saw Brown score. Brown, just a junior, broke the school’s scoring record on April 24 with her 57th career goal. She added seven more before the season ended, putting her career total at 64, and looks to add to that as a senior. Brown, who also passed out nine assists, was an all-conference and all-Sectional selection.

Ryan Conway | Manteno | Midfielder | Junior

If the Panthers’ had an engine, it came in the form of Conway. The incredibly talented midfielder ran Manteno’s offense, and her 18 goals and 13 assists back up that claim. With superb vision and high soccer IQ, Conway led the Panthers to 13 wins and a regional title while providing a ton of hope for 2019.

Alyse Crowe | Manteno | Forward | Junior

Crowe, the Panthers’ junior captain, provided an offensive spark on a nightly basis. The all-conference forward scored 12 goals and tallied 14 assists and switched positions whenever her team needed a boost. Similar to Conway, Crowe’s leadership took center stage as she led a young team on a lengthy postseason run.

Manteno's Alyse Crowe (left) and Wilmington's Angel Boynton (right)

Manteno’s Alyse Crowe, left, controls the ball as Wilmington’s Angel Boynton, right, defends in a game at Manteno earlier this spring. Both Crowe and Boynton have been selected to the 2018 all-area team.

Carah Graham | Beecher | Midfielder | Senior

The Bobcats’ senior captain is dangerous from anywhere on the field, considering she scored four times this season off of set pieces. Before heading to Calumet College of St. Joe’s next year, Graham led Beecher in scoring with 15 goals and in assists with 17. The Bobcats finished 15-8 and won a regional contest for the first time since 2012.

Kira Grisham | Manteno | Defender | Freshman

Speed, energy, talent. All are characteristics Grisham has, and all are ones she habitually put on display for spectators. When needed, the freshman moved into Manteno’s offense and was effective. However, she made most of her living off terrorizing opposing forwards. Put bluntly, when the Panthers needed a big play, Grisham provided it.

Autumn Hollowell | Bradley-Bourbonnais | Forward | Senior

The 2018 Daily Journal Player of the Year built quite the resume before her senior year commenced. So, it was no surprise to see Hollowell do nothing but live up to her reputation. The forward scored 37 goals and passed out 11 assists, earning all-conference and all-Sectional honors. She ends her career as BBCHS’s all-time leading scorer with 88 goals.

Hailey Janssen | Beecher | Defender | Junior

Janssen frequently was given the job of marking the opponent’s best player. She took the challenge head on and regularly held them scoreless. On top of her defensive abilities, she also scored six goals. Beecher coach Dawn Compton called Janssen “one the best defenders I’ve ever coached.” That’s a bold statement but one that’s well deserved.

Bridget Kauzlaric | Coal City | Midfielder | Senior

Kauzlaric is listed as a midfielder but can play just about anywhere she’s needed. The Coalers’ senior captain and leader guided the team to eight wins this spring, scoring 15 goals and passing out six assists. If there’s anything that’s certain, it’s the fact Kauzlaric leaves Coal City with big shoes to fill in the middle of the field next season.

Alexis Keener | Bradley-Bourbonnais | Defender | Senior

Yet another imperative part of the Boilers’ success this season, Keener made her last stint at BBCHS a memorable one. While scoring seven goals and tallying six assists as a defender, Keener was voted as the SWSC’s Defender of the Year ... a second consecutive such honor.

Lauren Krisko | Bishop McNamara | Midfielder | Junior

Krisko played an instrumental role in Bishop McNamara’s transitions from midfield to the attacking third. Arguably the Irish’s most technical player, she scored 14 goals and passed out 11 assists. She was an all-GCAC selection and rightfully so, as she continued to pen her place in Bishop McNamara’s success.

Bishop McNamara's Lauren Krisko

Bishop McNamara senior Lauren Krisko fights for possession during a game against Resurrection College Prep earlier this spring.

Abbie Kukuck | Herscher | Goalkeeper | Senior

Frankly, without Kukuck on it, the all-area team loses its credibility. The Tigers’ senior goalkeeper is quite possibly the best to ever hold that title. As Herscher won 19 games, Kukuck pitched 13 shutouts and posted 88 saves. The all-conference net specialist ends her career with the most saves (555) and shutouts (35) in school history.

Zoie Langlois | Bradley-Bourbonnais | Midfielder | Junior

Running the Boilermakers’ offense with speed and precision, Langlois scored 17 goals and posted nine assists during her team’s 17-win season. This year marks Langlois’ second straight all-area honor and couples with her all-conference selection. Thankfully for BBCHS, the high energy midfielder will be back and relied on more than ever next season.

Hailey Leschkies | Beecher | Goalkeeper | Junior

With 76 saves and 13 shutouts, Leschkies proved to not only be one of the area’s best goalkeepers but arguably one of the area’s most improved players. The junior had a goals-against average of 1.12, an improvement of more than a goal and a half from a year ago, and posted five more goose eggs.

Karina Marrs | Reed-Custer | Defender | Senior

The University of St. Francis commit was vital to Reed-Custer’s game plans. Marrs scored four goals and put up a proverbial defensive wall against countless opponents. She’s a two-time all-area selection, a two-time all-conference player and, in the back, helped the Comets record two shutouts.

Jillian Milton | Herscher | Midfielder | Junior

Long before this season was thought about, Milton was one of the area’s top overall players. With 12 goals this spring, Milton has scored 40 in her career, with 12 as a sophomore and 16 as a freshman. Paired with Herscher’s multiple other scoring threats, Milton is sure to have yet another banner year as a senior.

Herscher's Jillian Milton

Herscher’s Jillian Milton heads a first-half goal during the Tigers’ 5-0 victory against Wilmington earlier this spring.

Madison Orr | Herscher | Midfielder | Senior

At the center of Herscher’s defensive plans was Orr, night in and night out. Orr consistently marked the Tigers’ opponent’s best player and had success in doing so. The senior added two goals and five assists, was an all-conference selection and will be missed next spring in the center of the field.

Gabi Perez | Reed-Custer | Goalkeeper | Senior

Perez was a four-year starter for the Comets and kept her team in multiple games with her play this season. She recorded 317 saves and had two shutouts for a team that finished with an 8-8 overall record. She was tested constantly and answered the bell on each occasion.

Kaitlyn Randle | Bradley-Bourbonnais | Goalkeeper | Freshman

The future, much like the past, of Bradley-Bourbonnais’ soccer program is bright. Randle provides stability in the net for the next three years, and, if you haven’t noticed, she started her career on the right foot. She tallied 38 saves and recorded 15 shutouts against arguably the best competition any goalkeeper in the area had to play against.

Carli Rickson | Peotone | Midfielder | Senior

Peotone, which went 8-7-1, relied on Rickson to create offensive sparks ... and that’s exactly what she did. The senior scored eight goals and was near the top of the area’s leaderboard in assists with 18.

Olivia Schultz | Herscher | Defender | Junior

Herscher coach Chris Longtin called Schultz, “relentless in the backfield.” It’s the perfect compliment to one of the area’s most flawless defenders. Schultz passed out two assists while earning all-conference and honorable mention all-Sectional honors.

Maggie Walsh | Peotone | Forward | Senior

Walsh long has been heralded as one of the area’s best pure scorers. This year, she did nothing but meet those expectations. The senior striker found the back of the net a whopping 30 times, providing much of the Blue Devils’ offense by her lonesome.

Rachel Wandless | Wilmington | Goalkeeper | Freshman

Just a freshman, Wandless has a bright career ahead of her. Why? In goal for the Wildcats, she stopped 203 shots and was one of two freshmen on the Interstate Eight’s all-conference team. Wilmington won six games this spring. Wandless posted five shutouts. Those numbers go hand in hand.

Special Mention: Solange Regalado, Beecher; Kate Bireline, Beecher; Olivia Lorene, Bishop McNamara; Brenna Castillo, Bradley-Bourbonnais; Molly Sutter, Bradley-Bourbonnais; Adilene Pereda, Kankakee; Halia Tudor, Kankakee; Madi O’Dell, Manteno; Kendall Ridgley, Manteno; Rachel Paw, Peotone

Managing Digital Editor

Derrick is the Daily Journal's managing digital editor with an emphasis on covering local sports. He's an Ohio native and loves spending time with family, traveling, and attending MLB games.

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