August 22, 2014
Cyclones looking to break through in 2014
In his 10 years managing Cyclones’ women’s soccer, Jim Knawa has not had the
high number of athletes come out for the team as he did this year. Not only were
the numbers good, but the quality of players and recruiting efforts have all the
makings of a successful 2014.
There’s a nice balance of athletes that can and will alternate from forward and midfield, which includes the nine returners. In addition to some walk-ons, Knawa credits his assistant coach James Kline for recruiting five top players in the off-season. Although Moraine Valley bid farewell to 2013 All-Region and All-Conference player Patricia Tuxford, who is now playing at Calumet College of St. Joseph, the three captains include returning All-Conference players Katie Gribbon (Marist) and Samantha Reyes (Marist) along with Diana Lozano (Richards). Alyssa Braun (Shepard) played for the Cyclones in 2012 and was the second leading scorer with eight goals and seven assists. She should be a big offensive contributor.
The Cyclones’ ace in the net will be newcomer Alexis Boyer (Tinley Park). She’s one of the top keepers in the south suburbs and fills a position Moraine Valley typically struggles to occupy. Kristina Cypser (Shepard), Cecia Esquivel (Eisenhower), Alexis Delgado (Reavis), Kortnie Hanold (Shepard), and Alejandra Hernandez-Lopez (Reavis) were the recruited players, most of whom will alternate with forward and midfield positions. Delgado and Maggie Hacker (Sandburg) will add some speed to the team with the offense looking to Hacker for some scoring power. Transfer student Esmeralda Padilla (Kelly/Daley College) will lend some experience at midfield and defense while Xitlaly Mandujano (Hubbard) has a good read on the ball.
There’s a lot of flexibility in this year’s squad and more balance among all positions. The players have been bonding and putting in extra workouts at the new Health, Fitness & Recreation Center, all of which should pay dividends this year, Knawa said.
“If we can put some goals in and work the ball in the middle of the field, then we’ll do good things,” Knawa said. “We have our usual tough competition from Lake County and Waubonsee, but I definitely hope to improve from last year (6-7-1 record).”
July 6, 2014
Cyclones sign fifth recruit
The Cyclones wrapped up signing players in the off-season by acquiring
Eisenhower grad Cecia Esquivel.
For four years, Esquivel was a strong contributor to her team. “Cecia was an outstanding forward. She was a four-year varsity player and was very committed to the team,” said her Eisenhower coach Beth Smolenski. “She always showed up ready to work, willing to try new ideas and made those clutch game plays when needed.”
This quick forward has versatility that will be a bonus to a skilled Moraine Valley squad.
“Cecia wraps up a very talented recruiting class this year. We had some concerns about entering the recruiting game late this year, but ended up landing five solid recruits,” said assistant coach James Kline. “Cecia was the icing on the cake. She brings experience, a love of the game and more dynamic speed to our team. Last year we struggled with numbers while having a full roster of talented girls. Depending on how Cecia handles the transition from high school to college, she allows us to either insert her in the starting lineup or bring her off the bench as a reserve without dropping our level of play. I’m excited that she chose Moraine Valley for the next two years, and we hope she scores a lot of goals for us.”
June 20, 2014
Shepard players sign with Moraine Valley
The Cyclones added two more athletes to their squad by signing
forward/midfielder Kortnie Hanold (left) and forward Kristina Cypser from
Shepard High School.
Kristina has the motor wanted in every player. “In the games I saw her play, she never stopped running. She put the other teams under pressure from her hustling. Not only is it great to have a player with that motor, but I also can see it rubbing off and pushing the rest of the team to try to match her effort. We are very excited to have her playing with us and not against her,” said assistant coach James Kline.
Kortnie has a very physical style of play and is a player whose work ethic is second to none. “Kortnie is another talented player we’ve added to an already very talented recruiting class. I’m excited to see what she brings to the program,” Kline said. “We’ve added some size with Kristina and Kortnie, which will make us more dangerous offensively on free kicks and corners. Neither girl shies away from trying to get their head on the ball for a goal which is always a great thing to see.”
May 29, 2014
Two Reavis players sign with the Cyclones
The Cyclones signed two players this week from Reavis High School—Alexis Delgado (midfield) and Alejandra Hernandez (center-mid)—who will join the Moraine Valley family this fall.
Delgado (pictured on left) was a two-year varsity starter at Reavis. She has dynamic speed, great first touch, is left-foot dominate, and is focused and determined not only in games, but practice as well. “Getting a player with Alexis’ talent is huge for our soccer program. Her style of play is very exciting to watch,” said assistant coach James Kline. “Her understanding of the game makes her a very difficult matchup for other teams. We expect her to compete for a starting spot from day one and are excited to have her as a Cyclone for the next two years.”
Hernandez was a three-year varsity player for the Rams. She can distribute the ball well and has the skills to be dangerous to face on the field. “With her signing, we continue to add depth to our squad. Her personality is going to be great for the team. On her signing day, you could tell how excited she was to get started and put her stamp on this program,” Kline said.
The Reavis soccer program prepared the duo well. “Alejandra has a passion for the sport and looks to grow as a player. Alexis only came into the sport as a sophomore in high school, but has an instinctual understanding of the game,” said Reavis girls’ soccer coach Phil Basile. “On behalf of the Reavis soccer program, athletics and school as a whole, we wish these two the best of luck as they advance both their playing careers as well as their educational endeavors. Go Cyclones!”
May 27, 2014
Cyclone signs with Calumet College of St. Joseph
Two-year Cyclone defender Patricia Tuxford (Richards) is now part of the Crimson Wave at Calumet College of St. Joseph. She signed to play soccer and complete her education at the Indiana institution starting this fall.
While at Moraine Valley, Tuxford was an All-Conference player for two years and named to the All-Region team this past season.
“Trish was a two-year starter for me and was one of my co-captains last season. She is a very versatile player with great soccer skills. Her presence on the field motivated her teammates to play at a higher level of competition,” said head coach Jim Knawa.
While at Calumet, she intends to major in Sports and Exercise Science, but she will be missed at Moraine Valley.
"Trish was an easy choice to be the anchor of our defense. Losing her is going to be tough on the team due to her determination and leadership on the field,” said assistant coach James Kline. “Calumet signed a very talented player. I see a bright future for her athletic career and wish her the best."