Marian High School girls soccer team seeks return to championship
Last June, the Marian Central Catholic High School girls soccer team fell just short of the IHSA Class 2A state championship when they lost to Triad (Troy) 2-1 in a penalty-kick shootout. Although the team lost several teammates to graduation, the Lady ’Canes are hoping for another chance to claim the state title.
Marian head coach Kristian Rockall said there are two keys to the team’s success this year – they have to work hard and believe.
“I want to see the same work and intensity as I saw in the program last season,” Rockall said. “We have a lot of returning players, and I think it will definitely be achievable to get there again. We have enough players with experience to reach the highest level.
“I also want to see them all believe. The whole squad needs to believe we are going to be able to be successful …. If we have those two things, we can be successful. We have the players to do so, providing we don’t have more injuries.”
Captains for the Lady ’Canes are seniors Laura LeFevour, Susan Piggot and Megan Graf and junior Robin Wenzel. LeFevour and Wenzel recently returned from injury, and Graf was just ruled out for the season with a concussion. Goalkeeper Rita Wiszowaty also may be out for a few weeks with a finger injury.
Rockall said he will lean heavily on his captains to help lead the team.
“I need them to inspire the team on game days,” Rockall said. “I need them to be very encouraging to the younger players. We have eight sophomores this year (more than any other grade). I need the captains to be good role models to the younger players almost like guidance counselors.
“I want my captains to have an open relationship with me and let me know if there are any issues on the team that I don’t see as a coach.”
Piggot said she knows the team has obstacles to overcome and they just need to stay together and continue to work hard.
“We need to not let any of that affect us,” Piggot said. “We need to just go hard, put that aside and do our best…. I feel we are going to do really well. Everyone on the team is practicing really hard, and I feel like all the hard work will pay off.”
With the season set to start, Rockall said he doesn’t plan on looking back on last year but is hoping the players can bring the mindset they had to this season.
“I don’t want to dwell on [last year] too much,” Rockall said. “Obviously, if you dwell on it too much, you are not going to repeat it. I’ve used it a couple of times so far to get the players that were there to remember the fighting spirit that we had. We almost felt invincible…. Having that strong mindset and confidence is huge, so I want to take that away from last year.”
Piggot said a chance for another return to the state championship game is all the motivation the team needs.
“We all want to get back [to the state final] again because it was a lot of fun,” Piggot said. “It’s a huge motivation for us.”
The rest of the roster includes seniors Samantha Koffler and Caitlin McKenna; juniors Abigail Beck, Megan Hart, Kristen Kummen, Jessica Thome and Rebecca Turski; and sophomores Samantha Benigni, Julia Bennett, Courtney Furlong, Victoria Girolamo, Jacqueline Guilbeault, Ellen Koscielniak, Taylor Larsen and Simona Slater.