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Prep Girls Soccer Insider: Batavia grateful for R&R

Batavia’s Kim Stanczak gains control of the ball during an April 23 game against Geneva.
Batavia’s Kim Stanczak gains control of the ball during an April 23 game against Geneva.

A nonconference match for Batavia scheduled for today against Oswego East was canceled to accommodate a rescheduled conference game Oswego East needed to make up.

And that's just fine by Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco.

"It's not the worst thing at all," Gianfranceso said. "It'll be a nice opportunity to get some rest and then move forward from there."

The Bulldogs returned home from last weekend's tournament in Iowa banged up, as a handful of girls on the team are dealing with various physical setbacks.

That's why Gianfrancesco would prefer rest to game action in the final stages of the regular season.

"Really it comes down to just getting healthy," Gianfranceso said. "I think No. 1, just making sure we're 100 percent going in [to the postseason], that's the biggest thing right now."

Batavia won't make it back to full health. Gianfrancesco confirmed that sophomore twin sisters Paige Renfus and Tori Renfus are both out for the season with torn ACLs. Paige Renfus' tear happened more recently, April 26 in a tournament game in Iowa.

Batavia is scheduled to open up play in the IHSA Class 3A Lake Park Regional on May 14 against Hoffman Estates. The Bulldogs are the third seed in the 17-team 3A Hoffman Estates Sectional.

Gianfranceso said he likes what he's seen from his team this spring – when healthy.

"I think when we've got our full squad, I think we're pretty solid," Gianfrancesco said. "I think we've been doing some good stuff. It's just when we're putting in players not playing those [regular] minutes is when it becomes a little bit of a struggle, but I guess just composure on the ball and playing the ball quickly, we want to continue the things we're doing."

Rosary ready 

Rosary coach Kristy Kane doesn't anticipate any extensive tweaks to the Royals' game plan based on the 45-plus minutes Rosary and St. Francis played Thursday night before lightning postponed the match to next week.

The Royals and the Spartans are the last two unbeaten teams in the Suburban Christian Conference. Both have one other conference match remaining but the head-to-head resumption on May 11 will loom large.

The teams were scoreless when the match was postponed but a delay of more than an hour during the first half disturbed the match's flow.

"I feel like [the players] already know what they needed to do based off the first 30 minutes," Kane said. "I think we need to do the same things we did [Thursday]. We already know, so we don't have to talk about it that much or work on it much."

Chip on Spartans' shoulder?

Despite being undefeated and having yielded only three goals all season, defending IHSA Class 2A state champion St. Francis was not awarded the No. 1 seed in its sectional.

That honor went to Fenwick in the 16-team, IHSA Class 2A Riverside-Brookfield Sectional. St. Francis is the No. 2 seed.

"I understand why Fenwick was picked because they have one or two wins against pretty solid 3A programs," St. Francis coach Jim Winslow said. "I don't worry too much about it. The only thing is we may end up in the regional final … theoretically we could end up playing, I think, [Riverside-Brookfield]. And the only bummer about that would be, what's the field like down at Solorio?

"But it is what it is. It's already done and over with, and you move on. Would I have liked to have had a No. 1 seed? Sure. Do I think we deserved it? Yeah, but it didn't work out that way."


Hannah Rawson, St. Charles East, Jr., F

What she did: Rawson scored three goals on Wednesday as the Saints wrapped up conference play with a 7-0 win against Streamwood.

St. Francis defense

What the Spartans did: St. Francis has allowed only three goals all season, perhaps the most striking statistic behind the team's 13-0 record. The Spartans kept fellow SCC unbeaten Rosary off the scoreboard for the first 45-plus minutes Thursday until lightning postponed the match.


Kaneland is developing some reliable scorers as the season is unfolding.

Michelle Ortiz and Kiandra Powell have both been scoring semi-regularly in recent weeks as the Knights' offense continues to show substantial progress after a slow start to the spring.


Who's going to win the Suburban Christian Conference, part II.

Rosary and St. Francis were supposed to settle that matter on Thursday but the conference's last two unbeaten teams were postponed after a pair of lightning delays. The scoreless match will be resumed with 32:17 left in the second half at 10 a.m. May 11 at Rosary. The first portion of the match was played at Glenbard South.


St. Charles North has stubbed its toe just a teenie-weenie bit lately.

The North Stars lost the championship match of the Tournament of Champions on Saturday in Iowa, then settled for a scoreless tie Tuesday against York.

But none of the above is any reasons for North fans to make other plans for the weekend of May 31-June 1 in Naperville.

North was without three elite starters in the loss in Iowa, and if there's ever a time of year for a team to take its foot off the gas just a tad, this is it.

Safe to say the North Stars will be an awfully tough out once the state tournament begins.

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