Girls soccer: Saydie Holland steps up in sophomore season, named Player of the Year
By EDDIE CARIFIO
SYCAMORE – For the second year in a row, Saydie Holland led the Sycamore soccer team in scoring.
The degree of difficulty this time was, on all fronts, much higher.
Holland scored 29 goals and had eight assists in her sophomore campaign, helping the Spartans reach the sectional championship for the second straight year – even with the team’s reigning MVP, junior Ella Holland, sidelined all season with an injury.
Saydie Holland was named the Daily Chronicle 2017 Girls Soccer Player of the Year, a year after her sister won the award.
“Not having Ella in the middle with me was difficult, but the whole team, myself included, we all adapted to not having her there,” Saydie Holland said. “That made other people step up and become leaders.”
Saydie Holland scored 24 goals last season playing alongside her sister, but moved into the role as the team’s first option on offense.
Sycamore coach Dave Lichamer said Holland’s play this season eased the loss of her sister.
“It would have been more of a nicety having Ella out there, but it wasn’t a necessity,” Lichamer said. “Ella played an important part in terms of goal scoring, and Saydie had to take on some responsibility. ... A lot of the goal scoring we had early in the season had to come from other places, and Saydie stepped up in that role.”
The Spartans reached the state tournament in 2016, taking third place. They had high expectations heading into this season, even after the injury to Ella Holland. They were less than four minutes away from winning the Class 2A Hampshire Sectional, but Burlington Central scored two goals for the win.
Holland had the goal in that game, one of seven times she scored in the postseason. She was scoreless in only one postseason game, a sectional semifinal against Boylan – and she was hurt early in that one and didn’t play much in the first half or at all in the second half.
She even had a hat trick in the playoffs, opening with three goals against Rochelle in a regional semifinal.
“We all came together (this year),” Saydie Holland said. “That sectional game was tough, but it was fun the whole year. It’s going to be one we remember, for sure.”
The Spartans finished the year with only two losses – including one in a tournament game to host Freeport. After a string of close games to start the year, Holland said the team started clicking after a 6-0 win April 20 at Sterling.
“We started with a rocky start,” Holland said. “We weren’t really connecting passes. By April, the Sterling game, we really clicked there.”
Holland said it was an adjustment this year not playing alongside her sister, and looks forward to her likely return next year.
“Having Ella back is going to be really nice,” Holland said. “Having another player I can talk to on the field, and have her share her ideas and stuff with us – it’s really helpful.”
“It was more about having someone you could talk to, more than soccer,” Holland said. “Her still being on the sideline, it was still helpful. She would still critique me, or tell me what I’m doing right and stuff.”
Daily Chronicle 2017 Girls Soccer Player of the Year
Saydie Holland, soph., MF, Sycamore
All-Area First Team
Taylor Zitkus, sr., D, Kaneland – Zitkus anchored the backfield for the Knights, a strength for the team. She added a physical presence, coach Scott Parillo said, and also was good in the air.
Emma Stice, sr., D, Sycamore – The anchor of the stifling Sycamore defense, the versatile Stice also moved up when needed, scoring seven goals and dishing out an assist. She was first-team all-conference in the Northern Illinois Big 12, and will compete at North Alabama in college.
Erica Coulibally, soph., D, Sycamore – The speedy Coulibally made her mark on the Sycamore defense. She also had a goal and an assist.
Emma Rourke, jr., D, DeKalb – The Barbs' defensive MVP, she helped anchor a unit that had 10 shutouts. She also was first-team all-conference in the Northern Illinois Big 12.
Jenna Lewey, jr., MF, Sycamore – Lewey moved from defense to the middle of the Spartans' offensive attack with reigning Daily Chronicle Girls Soccer Player of the Year Ella Holland sidelined with an injury. She had seven goals and 11 assists.
Cali Carl, sr., MF, Sycamore – Carl was named the Northern Illinois Big 12's player of the year, scoring three goals to go with eight assists. She handled most of the set pieces for the Spartans.
Holly Collingbourne, sr., MF, Kaneland – Even missing a big chunk of the year because of injury, Collingbourne led the Knights with 12 goals and nine assists.
Abbie Lomahan, soph. F, Kaneland – In Collingbourne's absence, the sophomore Lomahan stepped up to fill the scoring void for the Knights. She scored 11 goals and dished out six assists.
Hanna Hickey, sr., F, DeKalb – Hickey helped the Barbs to their first postseason win in four years. She was first-team all-conference in the Northern Illinois Big 12 and was the MVP at BarbFest. She finished the season with 19 goals and four assists. She will continue her career at Truman State.
Taylor Meier, soph., F, Sycamore – Meier had a team-high 13 assists, and was second on the team with 16 goals.
Maegan Schwartz, sr, GK, Sycamore – Schwartz finished with 14 shutouts in her first full season in goal, and had a 0.48 goal-against average.
Kylie Kurz, sr., D, Kaneland
Rachel Younker, soph., D, Genoa-Kingston
Veronica Siegwarth, jr., D, Genoa-Kingston
Lindsy Franzene, soph., D, DeKalb
Christina Ryzhov, soph., D, DeKalb
Morgan Johnson, jr., MF, Indian Creek
Maggie Bouque, sr., MF, Genoa-Kingston
Marisa VanWyhe, jr., MF, Indian Creek
Bella Bettner, jr., F, DeKalb
Renee Corriveau, sr., F, Hinckley-Big Rock
Tanner Prellberg, sr., GK, Hinckley-Big Rock
Honorable mention – Savannah Burns, soph., MF, Sycamore; Haley Brown, jr., D, DeKalb; Ari Ward, sr., D, Indian Creek, Kate Cassidy, fresh., D, Indian Creek; Tori Prellberg, soph., F, Hinckley-Big Rock; Jessica Pope, jr., MF/F, Genoa-Kingston; Sam Noble, jr., MF, Hinckley-Big Rock; Annie Kossman, sr., D, Hinckley-Big Rock; Avery DeBernardi, jr., MF, Hinckley-Big Rock; Alexis Coronilla, sr., D, Hinckley-Big Rock; Hannah Mueller, sr., D, Hinckley-Big Rock