Lyons Township High School seniors Rielly Chesna, Izzy Lee and Eleanor Musgrove have been soccer teammates since fourth grade with the Lyons Township Soccer Club.
“I’ve just known them for so long. They’re kind of like sisters now,” Musgrove said.
Before the trio separates to play NCAA Division I women’s soccer, they hope to contribute to the Lions’ first state championship.
LTHS (16-1) is the No. 1 seed in the IHSA Class 3A Glenbard West Sectional. Last season, the Lions lost to O’Fallon 1-0 in the state final. Their 2022 playoff run starts May 18.
“We definitely want to win. I don’t think anybody likes taking a second place when we went that far,” Lee said. “It just motivates us to take that next step further and bring it home.”
Before their 2-0 home victory over Lincoln-Way East on May 7, the Lions honored their 18 seniors as part of their annual Pink Out Game, which raised funds for the Karen Dove Cabral Foundation.
Without COVID-19 restrictions, the players have resumed team-bonding activities. They also support other LTHS spring sports as a group.
“We all know each other in our soccer element, but now outside of soccer. The friendships just grow, which makes it easier to play with each other,” Chesna said. “At the start of the season, I was kind of scared the vibe’s not going to be the same. I think I’m having more fun this season and I know that we’ll go far.”
The 6-foot Lee (Illinois) is among the state’s top goalies and part of a strong defense with 13 shutouts and five goals allowed.
Musgrove (Air Force) is an offensive central midfielder with a team-high six assists and co-best nine goals with Caroline Mortonson.
Chesna (Long Island), among the Lions’ most versatile players (3 goals, 3 assists), recently moved from forward to outside defender to use her speed against opponents’ top forwards.
“You can just tell on and off the field how much they like playing with and being around each other,” LTHS coach Bill Lanspeary said. “We have players that come to us from many different clubs and they’re from some different age groups, but they all come together really nicely for us.”
There’s six other varsity seniors in Maggie Brejcha, Brigid Dunne, Kate Fulscher, Ava Pike, Bella Schierl and Sara Schierl in addition to six juniors, four sophomores and freshman Mortonson.
Musgrove is the fourth-generation military member in her family. She will pursue space operations, economics and management and the hiking and outdoor opportunities of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I was always interested in a military academy but I also love being outdoors,” Musgrove said.
Lee continues her family’s Illinois tradition. She liked the soccer and prestigious systems and design engineering programs.
“My whole family has gone there, so I’ve been there a lot,” Lee said.
Chesna wanted “new challenges” outside of this area and will study business.
“What’s nice about Long Island is it’s really close to the city, so I’ll be able to go hang out with my team in New York City as well,” Chesna said.
Have things changed over the years? One occurred during the lost 2020 COVID season.
Lee finally grew the expected 5 to 6 inches based on her parents’ height.
“I was actually shorter than them for a long time,” Lee said. “I kind of retained the skills that I had when I was smaller around the goal but then you add height and I can cover some of the higher balls. It just adds to my game, I think.”