Thursday was a heck of a day for St. Charles East.
Not only did the Saints nab the No. 2 seed in the 17-team Hoffman Estates Sectional, but East routed a quality opponent – Sandburg – in a Naperville Invitational match.
East coach Paul Jennison considered the Saints’ performance in their 4-1 win against the Eagles on Thursday night to be their best showing of the season. Sandburg is the No. 1 seed in the 3A Andrew Sectional, which has 18 teams.
“Probably our best performance of the season, to be honest with you,” Jennison said. “We played very well, moved the ball around nicely. It was just the response we were looking for after Saturday.”
The Saints were coming off 3-1 losses on Saturday against Evanston and Barrington, and had lost three in a row overall, including a 1-0 loss to St. Charles North in conference play.
As for the No. 2 seed, Jennison wasn’t complaining, but he also doesn’t want the postseason possibilities to distract his girls from late-season improvement.
“It’s been a nice day all-around,” Jennison said on Thursday night. “We’ll put it on the back-burner for a week and we’ll concentrate on [the playoffs] once the season’s wrapped up.”
North, Batavia cross state lines
St. Charles North and Batavia are sharing a tournament field this weekend at the Tournament of Champions in Burlington, Iowa.
The teams opened play in Iowa on Friday and are scheduled to play two more matches today.
North is a traditional entrant in the Tournament of Champions field while Batavia is new to the event. The North Stars entered the tournament having allowed only one goal so far this season, on a penalty kick in the team’s lone loss against Neuqua Valley.
“Hopefully we have a great weekend seeing what we can do against some other good teams,” North coach Ruth Vostal said.
Rosary hosting tournament
The Rosary Soccer Invitational will take place today, with round-robin matches to be played at both Rosary and at IMSA.
The Rosary pool includes Joliet Catholic, Joliet West and Plainfield South, while West Aurora, Willow Academy and St. Edward will join host IMSA.
The Royals last won the tournament in 2011. West Aurora was the tournament’s champion last year.
IN THE GROOVE
Alex Gage, St. Charles North, Sr., M
What she did: Gage is generally known more for her versatility than her goal-scoring but, on Wednesday, she scored four goals as the North Stars routed Streamwood to clinch the outright Upstate Eight Conference River title.
Carly Pottle, St. Charles East, Sr., F
What she did: Pottle tallied three goals on Thursday as the Saints dominated south suburban power Sandburg, 4-1, in a Naperville Invitational game.
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM LAST WEEK
Top-seeded St. Charles North and second-seeded St. Charles East could be on a crash course to meet in the 3A Hoffman Estates Sectional title game.
Third-seeded Batavia and seventh-seeded Geneva are also in the sectional and will try to disrupt that potential intracity rematch. Postseason seeds were unveiled on Thursday.
WHAT WE’LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Which area Suburban Christian Conference power will prevail as conference champion.
Rosary and defending 2A state champion St. Francis, both unbeaten in conference play, are scheduled to meet Thursday at St. Francis in a showdown that figures to determine the conference title.
COACH SLY SAYS
Teams will always look for a little bit of extra motivation, and Sly thinks Geneva and St. Francis might have gotten some from the postseason seeds released this week.
Geneva was the seventh seed in the Hoffman Estates Sectional (compared to Batavia, which got the 3 seed). The Bulldogs and Vikings just tied this week, and even though Batavia’s record is better, Geneva has played the tougher schedule so far.
Meanwhile, what does an undefeated, defending state champion that hasn’t allowed any goals have to do to get a top seed?
St. Francis was given the No 2 seed in the Riverside-Brookfield Sectional behind Fenwick.
All this probably doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme, but some eyebrows have justifiably been raised.