The Alleman girls soccer team has overcome some obstacles this season.
The Pioneers started the season down three starters due to graduation, including their leading scorer in Kendall Wendt.
One of Alleman's best players, Kiersten Bailey, transferred to Moline. The roster has 13 sophomores and five freshmen among its 22 players. The team dealt with injuries before the postseason, including a season-ending injury to senior captain and starting center back Chassity Colburn.
Still, none of that has derailed the Pioneers from knocking at the doorstep of their second appearance at the state tournament. Young players have stepped up, girls have adjusted their positions after injuries, and the team continues to stay together.
The Pioneers (17-2-1) take on Lombard Montini Catholic (12-4-1) Tuesday in the Class 1A Supersectional at 5 p.m. at the Benedictine University soccer field in Lisle.
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Alleman has been dominant to this point, outscoring its four opponents 27-1, with the only score against it coming on an own-goal.
Any questions about if the team can have a successful season have been answered. It has won seven straight games.
The Pioneers believe the team is state-caliber.
“I think it’s something we wanted and we’ve been working for,” coach Chad Hollmer said of the sectional title. “They’ve definitely earned it. I think they’ve probably surprised a lot of people, including myself. They’re playing extremely well.”
Montini beat Chicago Hope Academy 4-2 to win its first sectional title. The Broncos finished fourth in the Chicago Catholic Conference.
Alleman’s only state appearance came in 2015 when it finished third.
The team has been unselfish and does not care who scores the goals. Its top scorers are both sophomores in Abby Glackin (17 goals) and Audrey Erickson (14), and 14 players have scored at least two goals. Seniors Regan Bowling and Colleen Kenney have stepped up on the back line.
Hollmer said the team has shown its school pride this season.
“They’re making sure they see things out the way they want them to,” he said. “They’re kind of writing their own script for Alleman and making sure that there’s some good publicity that comes along with it.
"We’ve been a good, close group all year. They’re a good model for what the school is and where we’re trying to go.”
If Alleman continues to play well, the destination might just be a trip to the state semifinals in Naperville at North Central College.
“There’s always more to be done,” Hollmer said. “It’s one of the things we talked about is to get better every single day. So if we continue to do that, we put ourselves in a good spot. They are working hard and they know what their goals are.”