Riverside-Brookfield High School senior Ava Regan has played lacrosse since first grade and will continue next season at NCAA Division III Chapman University in Orange, California.
Regan and junior Maggie Durkin are co-captains for a young Bulldogs’ girls lacrosse roster, which has eight freshmen and six sophomores.
“I feel like I do have to take more of an initiative,” said Regan, an attacker and midfielder and the lone senior. “Last year, we had a pretty decent size of captains. Now there’s two of us. It’s more trying to take that leadership role and continue motivating and pushing everyone towards success.”
The Bulldogs return five starters and nine letterwinners from a 2022 team that was 2-11 and played well in their Hinsdale Central Sectional opener but lost to Trinity 15-10.
RBHS (0-3) has lost to St. Laurence 12-1, Mother McAuley 18-1 and Fenwick 14-2 so far this year.
“The goal is development of the underclassmen,” RBHS coach Matt Bultas said. “They are the future of the program and we are hoping to find some key contributors for years to come.”
Regan (52 goals, 31 ground balls in 2022) and Durkin (33 goals, 19 ground balls, 49 controlled draws) were last season’s top offensive players. In 2021, Regan also had 51 goals and a team-best 14 assists and Durkin had 10 goals and five assists.
Juniors Mia Diaz (11 ground balls), Isabella Arreola and Josie Adlesick also are returning starters. Juniors Naomi Galas, Phelan Larsh, Kathryn Ryan and Faye O’Bryan are returning letterwinners.
Key newcomers include starting freshman attacker Maggie Porter, sophomore goalie Senia Johnson, who had 13 saves as last year’s backup, freshman midfielder Tali Schultz.
“[Our keys] are playing hard and playing with intensity, practicing every drill and scrimmage like it is a game is vital in being prepared for the actual games,” Bultas said.
Regan and Durkin each have two goals. Durkin currently is injured and missed the St. Laurence game, where Regan scored the game’s final goal.
LTHS girls lacrosse
Lyons Township High School girls lacrosse has experienced captains with fourth-year varsity seniors Amanda Hahn and Lauren Kudia and third-year varsity junior Caitlyn Curtin.
Otherwise, the Lions have little overall varsity experience from last year’s 10-10 team that reached the Hinsdale Central Sectional semifinals before losing to York 19-9.
“We have a lot of younger players, which can be a strength because we have so much room to grow. The way that we’re starting the season is not the way we’re going to finish,” said Hahn, a standout defender limited last season by injury.
Brookfield resident Kudia (13 goals, 7 assists in 2022) and Curtin (19 goals, 9 assists) were among the Lions’ top scorers along with sophomore Grainne Kristufek (11 goals). This season, Kristufek already has a team-high eight goals with three from Kudia and two by Curtin.
Nora Collins and Ella Federle are the other two seniors among nine with varsity experience. Newcomers include sophomores Ashley Culin and Anna Murphy (3 goals each), goalie Stella Summerfield (19 saves), Emma Dwyer (11 ground balls) and Kaelyn Roth, juniors Grace Goldby, Mary McManaman and Charlotte Rice, senior Grace Gonzales and Lauren Zulanas, the lone freshman.
“A very new team. They’re getting adjusted but they all work well together,” LTHS coach C.C. Luxem said.
“It’s a lot of taking the few returning varsity players to really lead this team, and they’re taking that on and doing a great job. The younger girls are eager to play, eager to make improvements. They’re asking great questions, really paying attention during games.”