The Riverside-Brookfield High School girls lacrosse team looks to take the next step from its first varsity season in 2021.

The Bulldogs return four starters from last year’s lineup that was 10-7 and lost its sectional playoff opener 13-2 to Downers Grove North. They lost their season opener 18-6 to Maine South on March 16.

“Our team goal is to best our record from last season and win a playoff game,” RBHS coach Matt Bultas said. “[Our strengths] are aggressive play on the field and the desire to be their best at all times.”

Senior goalie Ella Gomez made 180 saves in 2021 and allowed two goals or fewer three times. Gomez earned all-conference honors and will continue playing in college at West Virginia Wesleyan.

Other returning starters are junior midfield Ava Regan (51 goals, 14 assists in 2021) and senior attack Alyssa Pencak (24 goals, 5 assists) and sophomore Maggie Durkin (10 goals, 5 assists), last season’s No. 2, 3 and 4 top scorers. Seniors Sarah Wood (3 goals), senior Ella Rios and Grace Cavanaugh are returning letter winners.

Defense key for LTHS girls lacrosse

The Lions return nine key seniors from last season’s 11-10 team that finished third in the West Suburban Conference at 5-5 and reached the sectional semifinals before losing to York 15-6. 

Maddie Radtke

Attacker Maddie Radtke (43 goals, 13 assists in 2021) and midfielder Allie Kuhlman (37 goals, 7 assists) were the Lions’ top two goal scorers in 2021. They were joined by senior midfielder Ryan Maley (23 goals, team-high 19 assists) and junior Amanda Hahn in earning all-state and All-WSC honors.

Other returning seniors are midfielder Natalie Moran, attackers Anna Haggerty (12 goals, 2 assists) and Catie Ramicone (3 goals), defenders Aubrey Decker, Emma Newman and goalie Megan Perr (153 saves). Freshman Grainne Kristufek and Emma Dwyer have joined the roster.

“Our team strengths this season are definitely our defense and communication,” LTHS coach C.C. Luxem said. “When the team is confident in each other’s abilities, we work so well together. We want to continue to make improvements every day, even if they are small.” 

The Lions have started 0-3 against three of the state’s premier teams — losing to Glenbrook South 11-10, New Trier 20-0 and Benet Academy 12-5. 

Radtke, Kuhlman, Maley and Ramicone each have scored two goals and Maley has three assists. 

Last season, Glenbrook South and Benet finished second and fourth in state, respectively. New Trier gave state champion Loyola Academy its closest postseason match, losing 13-12 in the sectional finals.

Gabriel Vasquez

RBHS boys lacrosse off to 1-1 start

Gabe Vasquez, Wyatt Dosek, Anthony Perry, Matt Laube and Andrew Kosiak lead 10 seniors on this season’s Riverside-Brookfield High School boys lacrosse roster. 

The Bulldogs (1-1) beat Immaculate Conception 12-6 in the March 15 opener and lost to Fenwick 13-9 March 19. 

Kalbfleisch back at LTHS helm

LTHS head coach Bill Kalbfleisch has returned to the program for the first time in seven seasons.

Sam Kidder

Last season, the Lions (7-7) lost to Glenbard West 15-4 in the sectional quarterfinals.

Senior midfield Sam Kidder led the 2021 Lions with 39 goals and 43 assists and earned All-West Suburban Conference honors. Senior midfield Cullen McManaman had 16 goals and 15 assists and was third-team all-conference.

Other standouts for the Lions include seniors Joey Dombrowski and Colin Patrick, juniors Finn Buckley, Christian Cho and Will Glimco and sophomore Sean Cherry (2 goals).

The Lions (1-3 in 2022) have beaten Batavia 9-4 while losing to Marist 13-10, Waubonsie Valley 9-5 and defending state champion Loyola Academy 20-5.