Wolf: “If they never score, we can’t lose”

By Bob Narang

Olivia Wolf isn’t afraid of raising expectations for Warren’s (Gurnee, Ill.) girls soccer team.

The senior defender at the fourth largest high school in Illinois is the ideal player to push her teammates to a higher level. Her friendly and outgoing personality makes the 5-foot-7 spark plug an ideal captain and leader to unite the Blue Devils heading into the 2020 spring campaign.

“We all like each other and get along, and that’s a big part of winning,” said Wolf, who is just as successful off the field with a 4.25 grade-point average. “We all want to have a special season.”

Entering her final campaign, Wolf admits that she gladly accepts the added responsibility of attempting to guide Warren to another winning season and a longer run in the state playoffs – especially after the graduation of high-scoring midfielder Courtney Chomko.

The three-year varsity starter, who is mulling a Division I offer, was among the key players on the 2019 team that pulled off a stunning 1-0 victory over Libertyville in a Class 3A regional championship last May.

The result was shocking to many because just a few weeks earlier, the Blue Devils suffered a 4-1 defeat to the Wildcats. But thanks to the solid play of Wolf and the rest of her backline mates, Warren goalie Sarah Barbosa faced a mere six shots to record the shutout.

“It was a great postseason run for all of us to experience,” said Wolf, whose team had their dreams of an Elite Eight berth end when rival Stevenson posted a 2-1 victory in the Sweet 16 a few days later. “We learned from that, just how far we can go as a team when we all work together. That pushed us in the offseason to work even harder to go even further.”

Warren coach Ryan McCabe (ninth season) can’t say enough about Wolf.

“(Olivia’s) leadership style is similar to her playing style,” said McCabe, whose team went unbeaten in 16 of its 25 games in 2019. “She’s very calm under pressure, direct communication and energetic. Olivia will be the anchor of our backline, which has three returning defenders.”

To no surprise, the consistent play of the FC1974 U-18 Elite club player has attracted attention from several colleges, as she was named North Suburban All-Conference during the high school season and All-Regional during the club campaign.

Along with all her accolades on the field, Wolf is a recent National Honor Society inductee and also a member of the Future Business Leaders of America.

“I’m still looking into my options,” Wolf said. “Soccer is going to be a part of my future. I love it.”

Bio on reporter: Bob Narang has been covering prep recruiting and sports for the past 25 years. His work also appears in the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, Athlon Sports and the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.