Versatile York girls soccer team ready for action
By Mike Miazga
York girls soccer coach Dan Vana has a lot to look forward to this season.
His Dukes’ squad is filled with plenty of potential thanks to a talented group of returners mixed in with talented newcomers.
“I think a strength of ours is our versatility,” said Vana. “We have a lot of players who can play a lot of different positions and in the conference we play in you need that versatility because there are so many good teams.”
York went 10-9 overall last year and finished 3-3 in the always tough West Suburban Conference Silver Division.
Back for the Dukes this season is four-year varsity starter Jenna Dvorak (defense), three-year starter Jenna Lundgren (midfield), along with junior forward Maggie Bleyer and senior midfielder Gabby Uribe. Lundgren will continue her soccer career at Western Illinois University.
“We also have some good senior leadership,” said Vana.
Key newcomers to the squad include senior defender Elizabeth Kowalski, junior midfielder Lauren Healy, senior midfielder Whitney Wood and junior midfielder Morgan McCarthy. Kowalski, who did not play for York last year (club soccer commitments), will continue her career at the next level at the University of Miami (Ohio).
Sophomore Kathleen Levins is the team’s goalie.
Vana said a major key to the team’s season is on the defensive front.
“We play solid team defense,” he said. “If our defense is good and we play solid and good back there like we can and find a goal somewhere, we can be very successful.”
Vana added the gelling together of the team also will be a factor. “It will be the development of the four returning starters and the development of the girls who did not play last year. How quick we get on board and up to speed will be important for us, especially in the conference we play in.”
Vana said that process already is well under way.
“It’s a fun group of girls,” he said. “They like to be around each other and that’s half the battle right there. They work hard for each other and when you have something like that, you usually can have a good season.”
York is competing in the Elk Grove tournament this week and is slated to head to Gurnee on Saturday to face Warren High School in a non-conference game.