North’s soccer team fell short in its bid to return to state for the second straight time, but the Golden Raiders were still honored for another successful season.
Nine players made the All-Fox River Classic Conference team and Tim Eirich was named the league’s coach of the year after winning back-to-back league championships for the first time in program history.
North, which fell to Arrowhead in a sectional semifinal, has not lost a conference game in two years and allowed a total of two goals in FRCC games this season.
“This is all done with five juniors and nine sophomores on the varsity team,” Eirich said. “They are an outstanding group of ladies to coach. They work hard each and every day, and they all have a passion to excel and win.”
Five Golden Raiders made the first team, including seniors Emma Little and Meredith Opie.
Little, a defender, received honorable mention last year.
“Emma was the heart and soul of our defense this year,” her coach said.
Opie, who made the first team last year, too, finished with seven shutouts in league games.
“Meredith is an outstanding athlete and is probably the best goalie I have ever coached,” Eirich said.
Junior Ashley English made the first team as a midfielder.
“Ashley was the motor that made the team run,” Eirich said.
Sophomore Dana Fish earned first team recognition as a forward who totaled 20 goals and six assists.
“Dana is a blessed athlete and an unbelievable scorer,” her coach said.
Another sophomore, Megan Little, also made first team as a defender.
“She is one of the next budding defensive stars in the conference,” Eirich said.
North finished with two juniors on the second team in defender Leah Moyer and midfielder Maggie Mueller. Both got honorable mention last year. Getting honorable mention this year were senior defender Alivia Hundt and sophomore forward Emma Belmore.
Lutheran/Christian has three honored: Lutheran senior forward Katelynn Witte made the All-Big East Conference first team after leading the co-op in scoring with 12 goals and 12 assists in her fourth year starting on varsity.
“Katelyn is our strongest offensive threat, even while drawing coverage from her opponents’ best defenders,” Lutheran/Christian coach Phil Zastrow said. “She proved to be an excellent leader and her efforts made our team better.”
Lutheran senior midfielder Emma Otten got on the second team, and Christian sophomore defender Elliana Gonzalez received honorable mention.
After six seasons as coach, Zastrow has stepped down to spend more time with his family and also focus on his job.
South’s Pfile also makes team: Senior Amy Pfile, a goalkeeper, made All-Fox River Classic second team.
The four-year starter led the league with 170 saves this season.
“Amy is a great athlete and competitor,” Redwings’ coach Scott Feltner said. “Her best characteristic was her bravery in the net, as she wasn’t afraid to dive at the feet of oncoming forwards. I’d be remiss in not mentioning the great coaching she got from my assistant, Adam LaBorde, who works with our keepers.
“The team is going to miss her next year.”