Girls Soccer: Hudik, fellow seniors, help Nazareth nab regional crown
Nazareth's Gianna Milaro gets past the last Providence Catholic defenders to score the first goal of the match at Nazareth. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun Times Media
Updated: July 2, 2012 8:24AM
Nazareth senior defender Alyssa Hudik has been a starter for a good portion of her three-year varsity soccer career.
Her start on Friday was special, however.
The Roadrunners started all seniors in the IHSA Class 2A Nazareth Regional final in LaGrange Park.
“It was awesome,” Hudik said. “I played with a lot of the girls as a freshman, and I’m glad they all got an opportunity to play. We’ve been through thick and thin together.”
Nazareth beat Kennedy 8-0 to capture its fourth straight regional championship.
“Every program goes into the year with the goal of winning a regional championship,” said Nazareth coach John Nikchevich. “It’s good for each group to have a goal that others have had, and reach that goal. But I think, with this group, it’s about getting to the next step. They were happy to win regionals, but pretty quickly after it, the feelings and emotions changed to getting ready for sectionals.”
Four-year varsity seniors Tricia Masterson, Katie Driscoll and Grace Rafferty experienced regional championships every year of their high school careers. Nazareth’s other seniors are Hudik, Lindsey Fredian, Steph Janus, Kasi Henrikson, Maggie McKenna, MaryKate Halm, Isabella Fiermonte and Nina Peconio.
“It was nice for them to play together,” Nikchevich said. “They had never played together as a unit before. It was fun. To me, it was a little bit more fun to watch the seniors out there and enjoying themselves.”
Megan Tobin had two goals against Kennedy, while Milaro (goal, 3 assists), Peconio (goal, 2 assists), Masterson (goal), Claire McCracken (goal), Maggie McKenna (goal) and Haley Renehan (goal) also contributed.
Nazareth has won six regional championships in the past seven years.
“It means a lot to our program, especially since seven years ago was our first regional championship,” said Hudik, who helped the Roadrunners win their first sectional championship when she was a sophomore. “It shows how we’ve come a long way. I’ve been on varsity since I was a sophomore and worked hard, so it means a lot to help continue the legacy at Nazareth. Our team has a lot of passion and the same goal of continuing to move forward.”
The Roadrunners (17-0-2) were set to play Rosary in the Nazareth Sectional semifinal on Wednesday, with the winner facing either No. 1 seed Benet or No. 4 Glenbard South on Saturday. Nazareth, the No. 2 seed, tied East Suburban Catholic Conference rival Benet 3-3 on April 18.