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Notebook: Wheaton Academy

By Jared Birchfield, 05/02/24, 2:00PM CDT


Wheaton Academy travelled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, on April 25 to play two-time defending Oklahoma Class 4A state champion Holland Hall (15-2-0). 

After battling to a 0-0 tie in regulation, the Warriors took the shootout 5-4. Katelyn Schoepke, Rebecca Schulenburg, Gianna Hughes, Eva DeSouza and Mia Filippo all converted their penalty kicks. Goalkeeper Calla Brust stopped two of the Dutch’s shots. 

“It’s great practice for the state series playoff time where you’re playing somewhere new,” Wheaton Academy coach Maria Selvaggio said. “You’re also playing a new opponent, so it’s great experience for that too.”

The following day, Wheaton Academy travelled to Arkansas to take on Bentonville West High School, another defending state champion. However, the match was called off at the last minute. 

“We drove over to Arkansas, which is just a 90-minute drive. They had storms that day. And so, unfortunately, that game got cancelled,” said Selvaggio.”It was a huge bummer. We were warming up and 10 minutes from game time, and they called it.”

The Warriors hit the road again this weekend to play in a tournament at Western Michigan
Christian. The two schools routinely play each other. 

This year the Muskegon, Mich., school honors the family of Alia Zuidema, a Western Michigan Christian player who died from a pulmonary embolism last April during a trip to play Wheaton Academy and Timothy.

“They want it to be a competitive showcase, but also honor her and her family,” Selvaggio said. 

Playoff preview

The Warriors are seeded first in the Class AA Lemont Sectional. Wheaton Academy (11-0-3) opens state tournament play in the Mansueto (Chicago) Regional on May 14 against the winner of the May 10 play-in game between 17th-seeded Kennedy and no. 16 seed Trinity.

“This is one of the strongest teams we’ve had, so we’re really happy with the one seed and are really excited,” Selvaggio said. 

The manager hopes for a rematch with second-seeded Lemont in the sectional final. Lemont won its own regional last year, beating Wheaton Academy 3-1 after a controversial foul call. 

“There was a really questionable penalty kick and that changed the game for us,” the Wheaton Academy coach said. “At the end of the game, when you’re down a goal, you kind of try some things and we ended up giving up a third goal. I would love to see them again.”

Wheaton Academy is the top-ranked team in the seventh-week edition of the Chicagoland Soccer Class AA Super 7 poll. Fourth-ranked Lemont is 13-3-0. All of its losses have come against Class 3A teams, including no. 6 Wheaton North and tenth-ranked Glenbrook South.