What is next for Lady Leafs soccer?
The question coming into the Lady Leafs’ soccer season is what’s next?
Geneseo is coming off a dream season in 2016.
The Leafs won the program’s first sectional title, defeated Peoria Notre Dame for the first time and made its first Elite Eight appearance.
While Geneseo will be replacing major contributors all around the pitch, the Leafs’ coach Ian Kline was able to use a lot of lineup variations last season to prepare players for this moment.
“We’ve had some really talented players in the past at Geneseo,” Kline said. “I think that shows that we are always going to have strong players at Geneseo.
“It’s hard to replace a Lauren Coulter or Jordan Wagner or Meghan Wethington. There’s a lot of people who you can say we would love to replace them, but we are always going to have another player who is ready for that challenge.”
With Geneseo’s team concept, a strong defense will be key to success.
A junior keeper, Taylor Magerkurth finished the season with 13 shutouts and only allowed 21 goals in 24 matches last season.
Kline said defense’s team concept has led them to success as they work together as a unit to limit shots and control the ball.
The Lady Leafs’ defense will get a boost with senior Ally Klein’s return to the backline.
“I’m sure she will fall right back into the swing of things,” Kline said.
A major contributor her sophomore season, Klein was sidelined just a few games into 2016 after tearing her ACL.
Geneseo’s Katelyn Mielke also missed the 2016 season after tearing her ACL late in the second half of Geneseo’s 7-0 regional championship victory over Sterling.
A group of experienced seniors and juniors makes up the core of Geneseo’s attack.
The Lady Leafs’ Paige Gramling, Jenna Decker and Lainie Dahl all made solid contributions last season.
The Leafs’ McKenzie Davison and Heather Dietrich earned playing time during their sophomore seasons.
The Lady Leafs will be the favorites in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference.
Geneseo has dominated the conference in recent memory, but early season games against Western Big 6 teams will lend some insight into where the Leafs stand this season.
2017 Geneseo girls' soccer roster
1 Taylor Magerkurth 11 Goalkeeper
2 Lauren Murray 11 Forward
3 Ellie Korthals 11 Midfielder
4 Kennady Thies 11 Forward
5 Katelyn Mielke 12 Defender
6 Rachel Daniels 10 Forward
7 Paige Gramling 12 Defender
8 Ally Klein 12 Defender
9 Jenna Decker 12 Midfielder
10 Melanie Parker 11 Defender
11 Caitlin Gorge 10 Midfielder
18 Tori Verbeck 10 Midfielder
19 Heather Dietrich 11 Forward
20 Lainie Dahl 12 Midfielder
22 Abigail Zobrist 12 Defender
28 McKenzie Davison 11 Midfielder
29 Savanna Anast 12 Defender
Coach: Ian Kline. Assistants: Harvey Morton and John Petrov. Manager: Keith Hipkins.
2017 Geneseo girls' soccer schedule
March 20 Geneseo at Moline Browning Field, Moline 6 p.m.
March 21 Galesburg at Geneseo Geneseo High School 6 p.m.
March 28 Geneseo at Alleman Alleman Sports Complex 6 p.m.
March 30 United Township at Geneseo Geneseo High School 6 p.m.
April 3 Dixon at Geneseo Geneseo High School 6 p.m.
April 4 Geneseo at LaSalle-Peru L-P Sports Complex 6 p.m.
April 7 Geneseo at Urbana Tournament Urbana High School 4 p.m.
April 8 Geneseo at Urbana Tournament Urbana High School 8 a.m.
April 11 Rochelle at Geneseo (Varsity Only) Geneseo High School 4:30 p.m.
April 13 Geneseo at Sterling Sterling High School 6 p.m.
April 18 Ottawa at Geneseo Geneseo High School 6 p.m.
April 20 DeKalb at Geneseo Geneseo High School 6 p.m.
April 25 Geneseo at Sycamore Sycamore High School 4:30 p.m.
April 27 LaSalle-Peru at Geneseo Geneseo High School 6 p.m.
May 4 Geneseo at Rochelle (Varsity Only) Rochelle High School 4:30 p.m.
May 9 Sterling at Geneseo Geneseo High School 6 p.m.
May 11 Geneseo at Ottawa Ottawa High School 6 p.m.
May 12 Geneseo at Regional Quarterfinals TBA TBA
May 13 Geneseo at Regional Quarterfinals TBA TBA
May 16 Geneseo at Regional Semifinals TBA TBA
May 17 Geneseo at Regional Semifinals TBA TBA
May 19 Geneseo at Regional Finals TBA TBA
May 20 Geneseo at Regional Finals TBA TBA
May 23 Geneseo at Sectional Semifinals TBA TBA
May 24 Geneseo at Sectional Semifinals TBA TBA
May 26 Geneseo at Sectional Finals TBA TBA
May 27 Geneseo at Sectional Finals TBA TBA
May 30 Geneseo at Super-Sectionals TBA TBA
June 2 Geneseo at State TBA TBA
June 3 Geneseo at State TBA TBA