What the Fenwick girls soccer team lacked last season, the Friars have gained this season.

Experience is the key ingredient to this year’s Fenwick squad as 17 players return from last season’s 10-9-1 team, including the entire defense.

Lizzie Cusick, Kelly Collins and Momo Chapa anchor the defense, while stalwarts Bridgett Hillsman, Maddie Stupinski, Molly Wallach, Jackie Mannion and Emily McGann take up midfield positions. Forwards Lauren Frank, Caroline Murphy, Nora Madden and Maggie Reilly are also back to provide leadership and scoring opportunities.

Third-year head coach Robert Watson also has five capable newcomers at his disposal in Cali Pyzdrowski, Jesse Cwik, Mary Nettleton, Sydney Jensen and Collette Jaslowski. Pyzdrowski, a senior, has committed to Marquette. Cwik, also a senior, will take on goalkeeping duties. Nettleton and Jensen are both sophomores who saw significant time on varsity last season.

The Friars, who kicked off the season by sweeping through the Windy City Classic and edging Bolingbrook 1-0 in a shootout for the title, begin East Suburban Catholic Conference play at Providence on March 21. They’ll host Mother McAuley on March 23 (Noon) in their home opener. The travels up the street to take on cross-town rival Oak Park on April 4 (5:30 p.m.).

“We are setting expectations very high, but will work to improve every minute of every day,” said Watson.