Game On - Spring 2024

season though, featuring seven players that either started or saw considerable minutes. Key- ing that group is the senior trio of twin sisters Elle and Katie O’Brien, and Sarah Thatcher. Elle O’Brien blasted in the goal that sent Des Moines Christian packing in the 2023 state semi- final round — one of her 12 goals on the season — and she was named to the all-tourna- ment team. Katie O’Brien, who will shift back to a midfield posi- tion, scored five goals as a jun- ior, and Thatcher, who will move up top to forward, col- lected eight goals a season ago. Yeah, that’s a pretty good place to start. “Katie’s like that velociraptor, she just hunts,” Jones said. “She will devour ground and

win soccer balls. Elle’s grown in confidence, and her success comes from hard work. And Sarah is one of those girls who devours ground too.” Anna Saltzman and Claire Koenig return toward the front as well. Koenig punched in 12 goals last season. At the center-mid attack, both coaches are excited about the prospects of sophomore Ma- disen Powers, who was a key figure in last season’s success as a rookie. Powers’ speed and skill make her one of the team’s most dangerous players. “Teams are going to focus on Madisen because she is so le- thal,” Currans said. “But she can do a lot of things. She will be passing, she will be defend- ing, and if someone loses a

ball, she’ll be fighting to get the ball back.” “She’s turned into quite a le- thal shot artist,” Jones said of Powers. The Tigers will rely on a number of players to hold the back line, including Taylor Pyle, Ella Gebhart, Keaton Hanson, Mia Kautman, Sammy Johnson and Greta Platts. In goal, Gil- bert must replace multiple-year starter Braelyn Thomas, and the coaches say both Mollie Schnormeier and Annika Yoder- Stoulil will see time in net. “They’re both working hard and doing well,” Jones said of his goalies. “I think we have a couple of good options there.” The talent is there, and the character is there. The Tigers now have a little less than two months to put it all together to make a run at state. And stand- ing in their way is a difficult league slate that incudes a showdown with No. 5-ranked (2A) North Polk, as well as a regular season-ending bout against defending 2A state champion Dallas Center- Grimes. “It’s going to take growth and the ultimate belief that we are as good as we think we can be,” Jones said about the post- season possibilities. “It will take buy-in too, and I think we’ve got a lot of buy-in. We don’t have to sell that much.”


No. Name


1 2 3 4 5 6

Claire Koenig Raya Mueller Elle O’Brien Adi Siegel Madisen Powers Anna Saltzman Keaton Hanson Greta Platts Sarah Thatcher Sammy Johnson Abby Patel Kayla Rash Kwin Deike Mia Kautman Katie O’Brien Taylor Pyle



Mollie Schnormeier Jr.

Sr. Sr. So. So. So. Sr. Jr. Jr. Fr. Jr. Fr. Sr. Jr. Sr.

10 11 12 14 16 17 24 25 26 32 35 53

Noreen Diaconu VoineaFr.

56 Sr. 13/39 Annika Yoder-Stoulil So. Ella Gebhart


No. Name

Gr. So.

7 8 9

Lila Kruckenberg Lillian Cassady Elle Ellingson Isla Wadsley Kaylin Richards Taryn Hicks

Fr. Sr.

15 18 23 27 28 31 34 41 42 44 50 52

Bryanna Hernandez Fr.

Jr. Jr. Jr.

Allie Grandgenett Fr. Mayson McQueeney Sr.

Izzy Terrones Mady Hermsen Alex Weary Carly Saienga

Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. Sr. Fr.

Lulu Smith

Sophomore Keaton Hanson will take on a bigger role as part of the defense for the Gilbert girls’ soccer team this spring.

Kennady Hansen

36 GAME ON | SPRING 2024

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