Marmion and St. Charles North are 0-for-the-Barrington Invitational as pool play winds down.
Both teams will have another chance in the pool play finale on Friday after the Cadets and North Stars each dropped both of their first two matches in Barrington.
Marmion coach Ricky Del Toro has been surprised by the Cadets' defensive struggles early in the season, though there were improved results on the defensive front Tuesday, when the Cadets fell to the host Broncos, 2-0. Del Toro said Marmion went back to its familiar alignment of playing four defenders against Barrington after experimenting with using three guys in the back in the season's first few matches, including a 3-1 loss to Lake Zurich to open tournament play.
The Cadets (0-3-1 overall) return an experienced defensive corps, making the Cadets' problems there perplexing to their coach.
"We're getting a lot of [scoring] chances, it's just the other end where we're struggling a little bit, but I think it will come around," Del Toro said.
Marmion has a new goalkeeper, sophomore Matt Fletcher. Del Toro said Fletcher is 6-foot-3 and athletic, and has not been the source of the Cadets' problems.
"It's everything in front of him," said Del Toro, whose team will face Wheaton Warrenville South on Friday in the final pool game.
Marmion went on to have a strong season after starting 0-4 at Barrington last year, but Del Toro said the Cadets nonetheless are determined to avoid getting skunked there this season.
On the other side of the Barrington bracket, St. Charles North will also seek to redeem itself on Friday in its pool finale against Crystal Lake South.
North is 0-3 on the season, having dropped its season opener against Neuqua Valley before losing Barrington tournament games against New Trier and Rockford Boylan, which beat North on Tuesday, 2-0.
North coach Eric Willson said he's not panicking about the 0-3 start given the rugged schedule the North Stars have encountered. He praised senior goalkeeper Billy Larsen for keeping North competitive, and said the team played its best half of the season in the first half against Boylan.
Pending Friday's results, the Cadets and North Stars could see each other on the final day of the tournament on Saturday.
Geneva is 0-2 in UEC River play after Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Larkin.
It was an especially bothersome setback considering the Vikings were unable to convert a pair of penalty kicks and Geneva had what coach Ryan Estabrook thought should have been ruled a goal not recognized by the referee.
"It was a game we look back on and say, we felt like we should have four goals last night, maybe even six goals, to be honest," Estabrook said on Wednesday. "We're just not getting it done that way. It was a little bit frustrating."
Larkin goalkeeper Aldair Dominguez had lots to do with Geneva's angst on Tuesday. Both of the Vikings' penalty kick shots were on frame and "well taken," Estabrook said.
"The Larkin coach was telling me he thinks he's the best goalkeeper that's ever been at Larkin and, after this game, I could see why he said that, because the kid played phenomenal," Estabrook said.
The Vikings (1-2 overall) will seek to regroup today in a home match against DeKalb. Geneva lost its conference opener against Streamwood before falling to the Royals.
– Jay Schwab, email@example.com
IN THE GROOVE
St. Charles East's defense
What they did: Entering Wednesday's game against Lyons, the Saints had yet to give up a goal, having blanked West Chicago and Batavia before Friday's game against Wheaton Academy was suspended by lightning.
Alan Camarena, Burlington Central, Jr., M/F
What he did: Camarena scored the final three goals on Saturday as Central defeated Yorkville, 4-1, as part of the DeKalb Invitational.
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM LAST WEEK
St. Charles East is going to be a load for anyone in the Upstate Eight Conference River to deal with.
The defending UEC River champion Saints made a statement Thursday to open conference play, whipping host Batavia, 5-0.
WHAT WE'LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Which area teams can make constructive adjustments.
Several Tri-Cities area teams are struggling out of the gate, and it's not uncommon to tinker with personnel and different formations in the first few matches. Soon, though, it will be time for coaches to start pushing the right buttons that will lead to improved results.
COACH SLY SAYS
Watch out for brothers DiLeonardi.
You don't have to be a soccer savant to see that Daniel and Evan are going to be a load this season for St. Charles East – just ask Batavia.
Look for the Saints to show off some crazy depth in the scoring department this fall, but it's a good bet at least one of the DiLeonardi boys will be on the scoresheet most nights.