Of the 18 players on Trinity’s soccer roster, Claire Hasley is the lone senior. That’s pretty encouraging news for the present and future of a program whose varsity squad went 15-7-1 and won a regional championship in 2013. In fact, the Blazers advanced all the way to a sectional final where they were dealt a 3-1 loss by Payton.

Along with Hasley and her invaluable experience, Trinity features a bevy of promising sophomores (nine players) and juniors (five players) on the roster. Sophomores Heather Baran (forward) and Emily Doyle (midfielder) provide plenty of scoring punch, along with freshman Sara Doyle, Emily’s sister. Baran scored 10 goals as a freshman last season en route to all-conference and all-sectional accolades. Another returning all-conference player is junior goalie Kathyrn Sugg. Sophomore Annie McKenna, who starred on the Blazers’ outstanding basketball team (which finished 25-6 this winter), is an excellent defender on the Trinity soccer team

The Blazers also welcome back junior midfielder Kaitlyn Buss, who missed all of last season due to injury. Buss is the quarterback of the defensive backfield for Trinity. Sophomore midfielder Monica Gomez and the McGuire sisters, Lauren and Shannon, are expected to make major contributions.

“Our goals are to develop an identity and return to the state sectionals,” Trinity coach Dave Preston said. “We’ll have team speed and we surprise a lot of teams because of our hard work ethic. I think we might lack leadership a bit in the beginning, but as the season progresses we’ll develop a structured style of play based on possession and control.”

Trinity and St. Ignatius are the favorites to win the GCAC championship this spring. St. Ignatius defeated the Blazers 4-1 at Toyota Park (Apr. 23) in their season opener. Overall, Trinity is off to a 2-2 start, picking up victories over Proviso West, 4-0, and Francis Parker, 2-1, last week.

Trinity hosts Mother McAuley on Thursday (4:45 p.m.) at Memorial Field in Melrose Park. On Saturday, the Blazers hit the road to take on Queen of Peace at 2 p.m.

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...