Whether it’s girls volleyball, girls tennis, boys soccer, boys basketball, football or wrestling just to name a few sports, Lyons Township has established a reputation for remarkable seasons, deep postseason runs, and even a few state titles in recent years.

Although the LT girls soccer program has yet to match the boys soccer 2009 state championship accomplishment, the club is moving in a seriously upward direction. Lyons finished 18-5-1 (5-1/second place in West Suburban Conference) last year en route to regional and sectional championships. The Lions’ dream season ended with a 1-0 loss to eventual state champion Waubonsie Valley in the supersectionals.

Despite losing all-state player/Iowa recruit Katie Nasenbenny (19 goals, 6 assists), Steph Condon (all-sectional), Hope Spangler (all-conference), Lauren Grissim and goalkeepers Renata Butikas and Kesley Sopron to graduation, the Lions welcome back a plethora of talented players.

Senior forward Kelsey Holbert is a returning all-state player intent on leading the reloaded Lions. Senior defender Elise Gordon, senior forward Lauren Moberg, senior midfielder Coco Corrigan and senior defender Emma Meyering all return as well. Returners Sarah Mazur and Ari Kowalski served as excellent defenders last year, while junior Maggie Orlowski is ready to take over in goal for Butikas.

“We have a very solid group of core players,” LT coach Bill Lanspeary said. “Hopefully they can provide leadership for the younger players on our team.”

OPRF and York are the preseason West Suburban (Silver) Conference co-favorites, but LT, Hinsdale Central and Downers Grove North could all easily challenge for the title.

After opening against Waubonsie Valley on March 17, LT faces a series of tough games including St. Ignatius, Andrew and Lincoln-Way North before the end of March. The Lions also will compete in the Pepsi Showdown and Naperville Tournament this season.

“We’ll be missing some players for various games through the early stretch of our season,” Lanspeary said, “but it should give us a good idea of where we stand and what we need to work on. Our schedule will challenge us and get us ready for anything we’ll see in the playoffs.”

Lanspeary believes LT can win conference. His big picture aspiration is as clear as it is cliché’.

“I honestly want us to get better every day,” he said. “We want to be playing our best soccer at the end of the year. I expect that from this group of players.”