College notes: Georgette Topalis among many Chicago-area players for Winona State women’s soccer

Chicago Tribune Sports 1 day ago

Winona State women’s soccer player Georgette Topalis plays her home games in Minnesota, but one look at the Warriors’ roster would make it seem like she’s still in the Chicago suburbs.

Topalis, a Buffalo Grove graduate, is one of 11 players from the Chicago area on the Warriors’ roster. She said having so many Illinois players on the team has made Winona State better.

“Having a lot of Illinois players on the team is a huge advantage for us as a team,” she said. “Over the summer, five of us played on the same summer club team and were practicing and playing games three or four times a week.

"Also, we would get together to run our fitness test together, and it was helpful to be able to do this with my teammates. I think doing this helped build our field chemistry up. It’s nice knowing you have teammates near you in the summer as a support system, both on and off the field.”

Topalis has paced the Warriors (4-6) through the first half of the season. Topalis has started eight games and has scored four goals, including two against Northern Michigan on Sept. 13.

Topalis said she’s aiming to score eight goals by the end of the season.

“This season, I have had a different mindset than the past two,” said Topalis, a junior from Arlington Heights. “I realize how fast time is passing, and it’s crazy to me I only have two seasons left. I want to make a difference on the field and prove that the work I have been putting in my whole life is paying off in the end."

Topalis had 26 goals and 10 assists at Buffalo Grove and said she relishes the opportunity to be a leader for the Warriors.

“Being an upperclassman on the team now has made me more confident as a player, and I want to help the younger players out,” she said. “I know that in order to win games, we need all 11 people on the same page. I know that these are my last two seasons of soccer, so I want to make the most out of it and have been working the hardest I have ever worked to be the best player I can be.”

Among the other local Warriors are sophomore midfielder Riley Harmon (Carmel) and junior midfielder Camryn Cadiz (Stevenson).

A Giant in Charleston: Highland Park graduate Ireland Hieb has been a key contributor for the Eastern Illinois women’s volleyball team.

Hieb, a freshman outside hitter, had 133 kills through 55 sets for the Panthers.

In her third collegiate game, the 6-foot-2 Hieb collected 17 kills and five digs in a loss to Drake on Aug. 31. She also tallied 16 kills against Central Michigan on Sept. 20.

DeJulio steady for Salukis: Southern Illinois freshman defender Sam DeJulio is earning quality minutes in her first collegiate soccer season.

The St. Viator alumna had played 1,097 minutes as of Saturday. Twice this season, DeJulio has logged 110 minutes in a game, most recently in a scoreless tie against Eastern Illinois on Thursday.

Have a suggestion for College Notes? Email Bob Narang at bobnarang@yahoo.com

Bob Narang is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

Twitter @Pioneer_Press


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