Batavia and West Aurora, located only a few miles apart, traveled to central Illinois for what turned out to be a high-profile rematch.
The Bulldogs and Blackhawks met for the second time this season in the championship match of the Morton Tournament on Saturday, with Batavia prevailing, 2-0.
Batavia defeated Edwardsville and Romeoville earlier in the tournament before taking advantage of another crack at a West Aurora team that defeated the Bulldogs on Sept. 4 in Aurora.
“It was kind of a neutral field so it’s nice to be able to play on a neutral field, too, and see what happens in that case,” Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. “It was nice that it worked out that way because we had lost to them, 1-0, earlier and we really pounded them. You could even talk to [West Aurora coach Joe Sustersic] over there. We should have beaten them 3 or 4 to zero.”
After tying Plainfield North on Monday – the Bulldogs’ fourth game in four days – Gianfrancesco looked forward to days off Tuesday and Wednesday to regroup for tonight’s rivalry match with Geneva.
“We’ve got them at home, so we’re looking forward to that,” Gianfrancesco said.
Kaneland started its conference schedule with a 3-1 loss on Tuesday to DeKalb, a match that coach Scott Parillo said was reflective of Kaneland’s recent scoring struggles.
Parillo said at times it’s felt like there’s “Saran Wrap” protecting the goal.
“We’re creating many, many opportunities, and they’re just not happening,” Parillo said. “They’re not going in. That’s a big concern.”
Parillo is eager for the Knights (3-3-1) to break out of their win one/lose one pattern they’ve been stuck in, but a hot streak won’t be easy with 3A foe Geneva on the schedule Monday. The Knights also added Upstate Eight Conference foe Streamwood to the non-conference schedule this fall, a game the Knights lost.
Parillo thinks the strong competition will pay dividends as the season unfolds.
“I would hate to think we toughened up the scheduled for nothing,” Parillo said.
Saints, Cadets on collision course
Area powers St. Charles East and Marmion will meet a week from today as part of the Saints’ home invitational that begins Monday.
East opens Monday against Belvidere, then faces Plainifeld South on Wednesday before closing pool play at 4:30 p.m. Thursday against the Cadets.
The tournament wraps up Saturday with matchups to be determined based on pool-play results. The championship match is scheduled for 12 p.m.
Glenbard North, Streamwood, Elgin and Plainfield Central are on the other side of the draw.
– Jay Schwab, firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THE GROOVE
Ian Larson, Batavia, Sr., M
What he did: Larson was Batavia’s top offensive performer over the weekend as Batavia won a tournament in downstate Morton, and he stayed hot Monday, notching a goal in Batavia’s 2-2 tie against Plainfield North.
Daniel DiLeonardi, St. Charles East, Sr., F
What he did: DiLeonardi notched his second hat trick of the season in Thursday’s win against Bartlett, giving the speedy senior 10 goals on the season.
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM LAST WEEK
Wheaton Academy is going to be a factor in the Pepsi shootout.
The Warriors started well in the prestigious event, knocking off Metea Valley on Tuesday, 2-0. Drew Sezonov made seven saves for Wheaton Academy in the win.
WHAT WE’LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Whether Geneva can begin digging out of its hole in the Upstate Eight Conference River standings.
The Vikings lost their first two conference games, to Streamwood and Larkin, but have a chance to notch a needed conference W in tonight’s rivalry game at Batavia.
COACH SLY SAYS
Looks like the SCC race is going to come down to Marmion and Wheaton Academy.
The Warriors have been pretty impressive so far this season, no small feat considering stud scorer Grant Stoneman chose not to come back out this season.
Marmion has been strong in its own right after a sluggish start, and will have a chance to add more luster to its postseason seeding resume next week in the tournament at East.