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Sports

QUICK READ: Upset on Geneva's mind again

Geneva coaches would be wise to enter 630-213-5500 into their speed dials and somehow remember extension 5509. Those numbers reach the Streamwood athletic office, which has led the Vikings to a pair of empty parking lots in the past two weeks.

First it was the girls track team, which learned its sectional meet would be pushed back a day as athletes waited in the bus. On Wednesday, girls soccer coach Megan Owens arrived expecting to see 40 minutes of soccer that never took place.

Geneva will face Conant in the IHSA Class 3A Bartlett Sectional finals at Streamwood at 3:30 p.m. today with more postseason minutes under its belt than the Cougars. The Vikings won their semifinal with a 1-0 overtime stunner against St. Charles North on Tuesday. In the later match, Conant led Bartlett, 1-0, after one half when the game was suspended. It was awarded to the Cougars on Wednesday per an IHSA postseason rule that states such games can end if one team is ahead at halftime.

The ruling flew in the face of the teams' supposed agreement to play on.

"You feel for Bartlett," Owens said. "It's the biggest game of the season. What's the harm in playing another half?"

That's spoken like a true veteran of extra time. Geneva (11-7-3) edged St. Charles East in penalty kicks to win the Elk Grove Village Regional after 120 minutes of scoreless soccer. Then came the North game.

"That would be nice if we wouldn't have to go into overtime," said senior midfielder Emily Hinchman, who beat the North Stars with a goal 1:10 into OT. "If we could put one or two in earlier."

Owens agrees but concedes that "it's really a case of going up against some of the best teams and defenses in the state."

She puts Conant (16-1-4) in that group after one half of scouting Tuesday night.

All-American attackman:
Chad Ellis achieved an Illinois High School Lacrosse Association honor beyond his years in 2008 and felt unfulfilled.

He did the same thing in 2009 and was ecstatic.

On Sunday, the St. Charles attackman became only the third junior to gain IHSLA All-American status as the league announced its awards and postseason pairings. It sure beat his All-DuPage II Conference selection the year before.

"My confidence was down going into this year because I thought I should have done better," Ellis said. "This really struck me because I never thought I'd get All-American as a junior."

Ellis, a student at St. Charles North, is the first All-American for the St. Charles program since Tom Feicco in 2007. He also was named All-State and, ho-hum, All-Conference. The announcement came amid a weekend full of watching lacrosse on TV. The NCAA championships traditionally air on ESPN on Memorial Day.

Childlike curiosity fueled Ellis' participation in the sport. He remembers attending older brother Brett's middle school track meet as a fourth-grader and looking behind the bleachers when he got bored. A lacrosse practice was taking place below.

"From then on, I always wanted to play lacrosse," Ellis said. "I thought it was the coolest sport."

St. Charles (13-1) received a No. 5 seed for the 25-team state playoffs and will host the winner of Thursday night's Wheaton Warrenville South-Conant game at Norris Stadium at noon Saturday. A pair of wins would set up a potential semifinal meeting with four-time defending state champion New Trier, which topped St. Charles in April, 14-9, at Norris.

In addition to Ellis, St. Charles boasts six other postseason award winners, including Pat Killeen and Sean McGushin, who both were Second-Team All-State and First-Team All-Conference.

Bound for Bloomington: Geneva's Emily Hinchman visited with Illinois Wesleyan coaches and players on Thursday after committing to the Bloomington school earlier this month. It was only a day trip; she had to be back in the afternoon for Vikings practice.

Hinchman also considered Loyola, Marquette and Bradley but chose Wesleyan for its nursing program.

"I've given nursing a lot of thought in the past year," she said, "and I'd always known there were a lot of opportunities there."

A guard on Geneva's fourth-place Class 4A girls basketball team, Hinchman only wanted to pursue soccer in college.

"But I'll pick up a ball again," she said. "I know I want to play intramurals."

• Kevin Druley is a sports reporter for the Chronicle. Call him at 630-845-5347 or e-mail kdruley@kcchronicle.com.

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