RBHS's Hazel Hall (17) looks to make a pass after stripping the ball from an Irish defender at RBHS on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. | Ian McLeod

Senior Jessica Sharenow and her Riverside-Brookfield High School girls soccer teammates have remained unified through yet another stretch of adversity.

Food often facilitates the bonding.

“Our team loves to eat together,” Sharenow said. 

The Bulldogs will have a taco truck onsite for fans May 5 during their annual Senior Night game against Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep. 

RBHS (12-4-1, 2-0 in Metro Suburban Conference) was unbeaten in its last five matches going into a key conference matchup against Wheaton Academy on May 2.

“Team dinners are our favorite so after that [Senior Night] game we’re definitely going to be hitting that taco truck,” Sharenow said.

In recent MSC crossover play, the Bulldogs beat Ridgewood 12-0 on April 26 and Aurora Central Catholic on penalty kicks on April 27 to decide a 3-3 tie after regular time.

The May 5game will come with anticipation and maybe some tears besides the food.

“It’s been really cool because we’ve seen all of the Senior Nights leading up to it,” said starting outside defender Sophie Swicionis. 

“Last year, we were in on planning it and now it’s fun to be kind of a surprise for us because the juniors plan it. It’ll definitely be emotional, but it’ll be really nice to be honored in that way.” 

The current challenge has been playing without senior standout defender Lena Lembcke. She’s been out recently with a slightly torn tendon in her foot but hopes to return in time for the IHSA state playoffs. 

Sharenow, an all-sectional player in 2022, and the All-MSC Lembcke usually form the middle of the Bulldogs’ defensive line. 

In the meantime, sophomore Lucy Drenth has moved from outside to central defender.

“It’s been stressful. Trying to live up to [Lembcke] has been tough and Jess, but Jess has been really helpful. I can always count on her to have my back,” Drenth said. 

The offense thrived against Ridgewood. Hazel Hall had three goals, all assisted by Ella Caputo. 

Other goals came from Nina Bretz, Lucy Drenth, Natalie Rubi, Madison Bisiules, Niamh Larson, Ericka Pacheco, Audrey Raymond, Monique Sandoval and Abigail Jurkovic.

Caputo had four assists, Larson two and Pacheco, Kate Newberry, Raymond, Abigail Ford, Andrijana Nikolic and Sandoval one each.

Goalie Piper Blair, Nina Bretz, Rubi and Sandoval are among other varsity seniors. 

“We’re all super excited, our class of seniors,” Sharenow said. “We have been playing together for five, six years on the same club so it’s sad seeing us all go but I think we’re super excited to play and have a great season.”