Trinity High School’s soccer team has made significant improvement in Alex Hurtado’s second season as head coach.
After winning just once in 14 matches last year, the Blazers are 7-8-1 heading into the IHSA Class 2A De La Salle Sectional tournament as the No. 8 seed. Trinity begins postseason play May 17 versus Noble/ITW Speer at Fenton. With a win, the Blazers would likely meet top seed Payton Prep for the regional title May 20.
“Considering we graduated 10 players, this team has done very well this season,” Hurtado said. “This is a fairly young team with the bulk being freshmen and sophomores, so I’m expecting the program to continue to grow and improve as we develop.”
Despite having just three senior starters, Trinity has drastically increased its goal output and has cut down on goals allowed. Last year, the Blazers scored just nine goals and gave up 95. This spring, they’ve tallied 40 goals and conceded 56.
Freshman Grace Ramel leads Trinity with 25 goals, including three hat tricks. Sophomore Lesly Guerra has 13 goals, about doubling her total from last year, to go along with seven assists.
“Although the stats don’t show it, senior captain Kiara Martinez, junior Stephanie Jacinto, and freshman Natalie Linares have been outstanding,” Hurtado said. “Kiara’s drive, discipline, and leadership has kept us stable this year. She’s a selfless player that hustles all 80 minutes and holds all others accountable on the field.”
Hurtado feels the Blazers will continue to get better as they gain more experience.
“We finished in last place [in the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference] again,” he said. “Next season, we should finish higher and be competing for titles in the coming years with the younger core as our foundation.”
The Oak Park and River Forest High School girls soccer team opened postseason play May 16, after Wednesday Journal’s press time, with an IHSA Class 3A regional semifinal at Maine South.
If the Huskies, seeded 9th in the Evanston Township, defeat the Hawks, second-seeded New Trier would be the likely opponent in the regional final May 19.
OPRF (7-8-1) entered the state tournament on a high note, notching a season high in goals during a 9-0 home victory over Reavis on May 11.
“It was a fun Senior Night,” said OPRF coach Christine Johnston. “All 11 seniors started and played most of the game. [Reavis] was a physical team and they didn’t give up by any means. It was something we needed as we head into the playoffs.”
Kiki Leman had a hat trick, and Bella Amunategui, Addison Bliss, Keira Kleidon, Gweny Lopez, Sabina Mazur and Lilah Malik each had a goal.
“I always teach the girls that the playoffs are a different season,” Johnston said. “Records are 0-0 and it doesn’t matter if you’re ranked or not. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day, and I think we’re confident and playing as a team right now.”
Fenwick, which finished fourth in last year’s IHSA Class 2A tournament, brings a 4-9-5 record into this year’s postseason.
The Friars is seeded seventh in the De La Salle Sectional and hosts Lake View to the Priory Campus in River Forest on May 17 at 5 p.m. With a win, either Bulls Prep or Westinghouse would await on May 19 at 4 p.m.
Grace Kapsch leads Fenwick with 12 goals, while Fiona Roche and Susie Shank have three goals apiece. In goal, Lena Hyland has a goals-against average of 1.30 with 116 saves.