SOCCER

What is next for Lady Leafs soccer?

Chris Steele
Lainie Dahl is one of the many Geneseo players with experience on the pitch.

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