In seven games this spring, the Fenwick High School girls soccer team has a 6-1 record and outscored its opponents 26-3. The Friars are off to a very promising start, considering the team finished 8-7-1 and lost to York 3-0 in a Class 3A regional final last season. Fenwick also moves down to Class 2A this spring which should improve the team’s postseason chances.

Records and projections aside, optimism is mostly warranted due to the Friars’ abundance of talented returning players. Senior goalkeeper MacKenzie Blaze, senior midfielders Lauren Stibich and Kaylie Fredian, senior forward Morgan Hosty, junior midfielder Anissa Nourse and junior forward Mary Kate Kapsch lead a balanced Fenwick squad.

“Having so many upperclassmen has allowed us to have a quicker start than many teams,” Stibich said. “We have a great base with so many leaders. All we’re doing this year is building upon our base.”

Defensively, the Friars have an excellent backline featuring Shannon Ehrhardt, Tess Shannon, Lauren Miller, Alyssa Ruiz and Marguax Shearer. Midfielders Regan Holquist and Anna Waring complement Stibich, Fredian and Nourse well. Known for her speed, sophomore Lily Reardon plays forward along with Hosty.

“Going into our games, we hype each other up and also focus on what is ahead of us,” Waring said. “I believe our selflessness with the ball definitely contributes to our success. We trust each other with the ball.”

Fenwick advanced to the championship game of the Windy City Ram Classic on March 25 at Toyota Park. Facing Stagg in the final, the teams battled to a scoreless draw. The Chargers earned the win by beating Fenwick 3-1 in penalty kicks during a shootout. Angelina Kosmas, Ally Mussallem and Maja Persa each converted a penalty kick for Stagg, while Shearer scored the Friars’ lone kick.

In the semifinals, Fenwick cruised to a 3-1 victory over Lincoln-Way Central. Hosty opened the scoring on a breakaway goal via a lead pass from Ehrhardt just a few minutes into the game. Nourse tacked on a pair of goals to give the Friars a 3-0 lead at halftime. Blaze had six saves in goal.

The Friars shook off their loss to Stagg by shutting out Mother McAuley 3-0 at the Priory on March 26. Stibich had a goal and an assist, while Nourse (goal), Hosty (goal) and Natalie Brennan (assist) also contributed. Blaze notched her fifth shutout this season.

 “For the rest of the season, I think we will be very competitive,” Nourse said. “I’m excited to see where we end up in the Chicago Catholic League and how far we’ll get in the state tournament.”