April 27, 2015
Rodriguez signs with Cyclones
The Cyclone roster is building steam after the team signed midfielder/forward
Marbella “Bella” Rodriguez from Kelly High School in Chicago.
Rodriguez played under Cyclones head women’s soccer Coach Al Palar in the fall for Inter FC. An athletic and quick player, she is another solid addition to this budding squad.
“Bella is really a special player. She was on top of the list of targeted recruits. When she first told me the good news of her decision to play for and attend Moraine Valley, I was very excited,” Palar said. “Bella has that natural quickness that you just can’t teach, and that’s what makes her so dynamic. You have players who are fast, and you have players who are quick. Bella is naturally both of those. She’s the type of player who takes an already good team and makes them a great team.”
And her high school coach agrees. “Kelly High School is proud to see Marbella attend a great institution like Moraine Valley. Marbella is going to be a great addition to the team, and most importantly to the Moraine Valley community. We wish her much success,” said Kelly soccer Coach Stan Mietus.
April 21, 2015
Cyclones sign three Rams
The Cyclones nabbed three more studs for their lineup this fall, this time a
trio from Reavis High School in Burbank. Vicky Paczkowska, Ewelina Kmin and
Karina Lopez signed on to compete at Moraine Valley starting this fall.
“Signing these three is great for the program in numerous ways. All three bring their own skill-set that will fill specific needs for our team next year,” said Moraine Valley women’s soccer assistant Coach James Kline.
Originally a transfer from Marist High School, Lopez is the type of defender coaches always want on their team. For the last three years she has been the backbone to the Rams program. She possesses great speed, doesn’t shy away from physical play and shows great composure on the ball. She is a three-time All-South Suburban Conference (SSC) as well as Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association (IHSSCA) All-Sectional player. “With the opportunities I’ve had to see her play, it’s apparent that she also has the ability to be the leader of a defense while making the rest of her teammates better. We’re excited to see her continue her playing career in a Cyclone’s jersey,” Kline said.
Kmin is a three-year varsity starter who brings versatility, depth and more speed to the Cyclones. Her junior year she was the top goal scorer for the team with 17 and was selected to the SSC All-Conference team. Kmin was a team captain in both her junior and senior year due to her tireless work ethic. When being scouted, she demonstrated that she isn’t just a player with speed, but can take opponents one-on-one. “When you lose your top scorer from the previous year, landing a girl like Ewelina puts you a little more at ease. Her skill-set is going to gel well with our returnees and will make us very dangerous up top,” Kline said.
Paczkowska is the true definition of a student athlete. She finished in the top 10 percent of her class and has been a varsity starter for Reavis the past three years. A physical player, Paczkowska is a quality defender both at the outside and inside positions. She is an encouraging teammate and true competitor who leaves everything on the field each game. “From watching her play and getting to know her, she appears to be one of those players who will bring an intense and hardworking attitude not only during the game, but during our training sessions,” Kline said.
“The Reavis soccer program is proud to be sending three of its members to play at Moraine Valley this fall. Vicky has a passion for the sport and looks to the next level of competition to grow as a player. With her blazing speed, Ewelina is a dangerous opponent for any defense. Watching Karina play is truly a pleasure for any fan of the game of soccer,” said Reavis soccer Coach Phil Basile. “On behalf of the Reavis soccer program, athletics and school as a whole, we wish these three the best of luck as they advance both their playing careers as well as their educational endeavors. Go Cyclones!”
Pictured from left to right are Lopez, Kmin and Paczkowska.
March 12, 2015
Cyclones sign Stagg player
The Cyclones signed their first recruit of the offseason, Stagg defensive player
Alex Abed, who will compete at Moraine Valley starting in the fall.
Abed played all four years with the Chargers and was a pivotal force for the team. “She has helped solidify a defense that has been one of the main reasons for our success at the varsity level the last four seasons. She is a tremendous competitor and is always ready for a challenge. She not only gives us a very athletic and reliable defender on the field, but also is someone who has done well scoring goals on set pieces,” said Stagg girls’ head soccer Coach Chris Campos. “Because of Alex’s knowledge of the game, she can play anywhere on the field. I wish her the very best as she continues her soccer career at Moraine Valley.”
Abed played for local Inter FC this past fall under Al Palar, who is the new Cyclones head women’s soccer coach. “Alex is as versatile as they come. Her athleticism paired with her understanding of the game allows her to be effective at every position on the field. She’s quick, strong and technical with the ball. It’s such a luxury for a coach to have a player like Alex on the squad who can be confidently put anywhere on the field and know that the she will do the job and do it well. I think my favorite part about Alex is her competitive attitude and how much she hates to lose. Whether it’s a game or a training session, you are only going to get better with maximum effort. That’s what Alex brings every day,” Palar said. “I’m very excited about her decision to sign with the Cyclones and continue her education here.”
November 11, 2014
Cyclones on the up and up
With a goal to improve over last year’s results, the Cyclones did that and then
some in 2014.
Finishing overall at 10-8 and 4-3 in conference was progress over last year’s 6-7-1 overall and 2-3-1 conference records. Not only that, but Moraine Valley also hosted the first region playoff game, finishing in the top four, both of which haven’t been done since 2009. Unlike in previous seasons, the Cyclones also boasted a bursting roster, topping out at 22 players.
“The numbers were fantastic. I hope we build on that,” said head Coach Jim Knawa, who finished up his 10th year at the helm. “Overall, it was a pretty good season. And we didn’t lose a step all year because we had a really strong bench.”
With typical seasonal injuries, players filled positions where needed. The only hiccup was a rotating goalkeeper. Throughout the year the Cyclones had six different keepers, mostly field players not used to defending in the net. Diana Lozano (Richards) stepped up and played a majority of the latter half of the season in that critical position. She later was named to the All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference second team.
Alyssa Braun (Shepard) was the leading Cyclone scorer with 18 goals followed by Maggie Hacker (Sandburg) with seven. Braun was named to the All-NJCAA Region IV second team and All-Conference first team while Hacker had a nod to the conference second team. As always, the defense was solid and played a pivotal role for the Cyclones. That group was comprised of Kortnie Hanold (Shepard), Xitlaly Mandujano (Hubbard), Katie Gribbon (Marist), Denise Ruiz (Reavis), Samantha Reyes (Marist), and Liliana Cabrera (Hubbard). Several Cyclones also received awards. Hanold and Esmeralda Padilla (Kelly) were named to the All-Region first team while Alexis Delgado (Reavis) earned All-Region second team honors. Hanold and Padilla had nods to the All-Conference first team while Delgado was second team All-Conference.
The Cyclones shut out seven teams, but were shut out five times showing their sometimes hot and cold nature, Knawa said. But overall the squad gelled and played well. Looking ahead, the Cyclones could return 10 players in addition to another recruiting push, which bulked up this year’s roster. Things are looking up.
“We lost to strong teams this year and we need and want to get to that level and compete with those powerful programs like Waubonsee and Lake County. We’re going in the right direction,” Knawa said.