IN THE GROOVE
St. Francis, Sr., M
What she did: Bucaro notched the lone goal Thursday night as St. Francis nipped rival Wheaton Academy, 1-0, to remain unbeaten in Suburban Christian Conference play leading up to today’s showdown with Rosary for the conference title.
Kaneland, Sr., GK
What she did: Ginther posted back-to-back shutouts against Sycamore on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the Knights’ offense rewarding her in the second match as Kaneland edged the Spartans, 1-0, one day after the teams played to a scoreless tie.
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM LAST WEEK
Geneva is heading to the postseason with major momentum.
The Vikings have outscored their past six opponents by a combined score of 31-0, including matching 4-0 wins on Wednesday against Bartlett and Thursday against Glenbard South.
WHAT WE’LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
How many area teams can play their way into a regional final via next week’s semifinal matches.
Among the more intriguing potential regional championship matches: Geneva vs. St. Charles East at the IHSA Class 3A Bartlett Regional and Kaneland vs. Rosary at the 2A Rochelle Regional.
Knights conditioned out of necessity
Kaneland coach Scott Parillo isn’t especially proud of how well-conditioned his Knights are.
“They had to be,” he said matter-of-factly.
The Knights finished the regular season 10-4-3 despite minimal depth.
For example, the Knights only had 14 girls – or three substitutes – available for Wednesday’s 1-0 win against Sycamore, their second match against the Spartans in as many days. The Knights were missing one of their starters with a potential concussion.
“There were [matches] we only played with 13 players, with 14 players,” Parillo said. “To do as well as we did with this team is a testament tot their hard work and their playing as well as they have. I would hate to see us not win a regional championship this year. I think it would just be a shame.”
The Knights open the postseason Wednesday in an IHSA Class 2A Rochelle Regional semifinal against Illinois Math and Science Academy.
Parillo said he likely will call up some girls from the lower levels to supply additional depth for next week.
“Hopefully, with a little deeper bench, maybe we’ll be able to break that little jinx of not only playing Rosary in a regional championship but hopefully winning that elusive regional championship,” Parillo said.
The Knights are looking for their first girls soccer regional title in program history. Wednesday’s win marked Parillo’s 100th as coach of the Knights’ girls program.
North not worried
St. Charles North absorbed an uncharacteristic whipping – a 3-0 loss against Waubonsie Valley in Wednesday’s regular season finale – but North Stars coach Ruth Vostal shrugged off the result.
“We were just trying to get through the game healthy,” Vostal said. “We’ve had a few people banged up a little bit so we played different formations, we played with different players in different positions. We knew it was going to be a fun night, it was a great night playing [senior night] on our home field, so we just tried to have fun with it.”
Vostal said key starters Kenzie Rose, Natalie Winkates and Kelly Manski did not play as the North Stars sought to be “extra cautious” leading up to the postseason. She expects the full team to be available for the IHSA Class 3A DeKalb Regional next week.
Vostal said she can’t remember the last time North absorbed a three-goal defeat, and on the subject of unusual occurrences, Vostal does not think the North Stars have been sent west for regionals as they are this season. Elgin is the lone team the defending Class 3A state runner-up North Stars have faced this season that will be part of the DeKalb Regional.
“i know they have a great facility and a great field, and we play well on those big, wide turf fields,” Vostal said.
Game back on
Most teams are finished with the regular season, but Rosary and St. Francis still have their biggest regular season match to play.
The teams are scheduled to reconvene at 10 a.m. today at Rosary, where the Suburban Christian Conference’s two undefeated-in-conference teams will resume action after lightning postponed their match last week. The scoreless match will be continued with about 32 minutes to play in the second half.
St. Francis is the home team but does not have a home field to play on. The first part of the match was played at Glenbard South.
– Jay Schwab, firstname.lastname@example.org
COACH SLY SEZ
Bring on the postseason. Coach Sly likes the area’s chances to grab plenty of postseason hardware both in 3A and 2A.
There just aren’t many weak sisters around this area when it comes to girls soccer, especially this season. St. Charles North (3A) and St. Francis (2A) both played on the last day of the season last year, and they’re both capable of doing the same again this year, but don’t count out teams like St. Charles East, Batavia, Geneva, Rosary, Kaneland and Burlington Central from making plenty of postseason noise.