Chicago Sun-Times
By Patrick Z. McGavin

May 2012 Archives

Rematches from the regular season dominate the most interesting subplots in the Class 3A sectionals that begin on Tuesday.

Perhaps the most interesting is Barrington traveling to Rockford Boylan, in the first sectional semifinal. The Fillies administered the Titans' first loss in April with a 1-0 overtime victory on junior Molly Pfeiffer's header in the quarterfinals of the Naperville Invite.

The No. 5 Fillies (17-5) have been one of the great stories this year. After a tough start against a brutal schedule, opening losses against then No. 1 Naperville North and No. 2 Neuqua Valley, Barrington got hot, found a great keeper in freshman Hannah Luedtke, and a deep and talented team ended up winning the West division of the Mid-Suburban League.

They defeated Hersey 1-0 for the MSL Cup, avenging their only conference defeat. Barrington has great incentive to capture their fourth consecutive sectional title. Barrington is the host of the super sectional next week.

Senior defender Samantha Frank is one of the team's emotional leaders. Her corner kick assisted Pfeiffer's game-winner against Boylan. "The beginning of our season was frustrating at times but it helped develop us as a team," she said. "We've learned what it means to be a team. There are no egos."

She is also one of four seniors who knows her high school career is nearing the end. It is likely to be an emotional game for a team that has lost in the supers three consecutive years.

"During the playoffs you never know which 80 minutes could be your last. The time has come for us to work hard and play the game, and we can rest later. As a senior the playoffs can bring a wave of emotions. I am just trying to stay focused on playing my very best and being a good teammate."

Motivation: On the last Friday in April, Naperville Central defeat Lockport 1-0 and Plainfield North routed Metea Valley 4-0.

Last week, the same schools were involved in regional finals, and the Porters stunned the previously No. 2 Redhawks 1-0; Metea Valley, playing on its home field, beat the Tigers by the same score. They meet in one sectional semifinal Wednesday at Naperville North.

The marquee game is the third match this year between No. 2 Naperville North and No. 4 Neuqua Valley. The teams entered the season ranked the top two programs. After Naperville North beat the Wildcats 2-0 on March 21, first-year coach Steve Goletz told Neuqua Valley coach Joe Moreau, "I'm sure we'll see you again."

The two matches at Downers South are both rematches. Top-ranked Loyola beat Maine South in the final game of the regular season. They meet the Hawks again Tuesday, at Niles North. If the seeds hold, Loyola is set for its fourth consecutive state tournament game against rival New Trier.

Loyola beat New Trier 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the Pepsi Showdown in April.

A girls season that started with a rush of activity, great early games, exciting in-season tournaments and some dramatic upsets, is suddenly down to the close of regulation this week.

The week is still rife with intrigue. The Class 1A state tournament begins in earnest this week with regional finals scheduled for the end of the week.

The Public League gets a moment in the sun, thanks to the conclusion of the city tournament on Thursday at Gately Stadium.

A wild quarterfinal round saw Curie beat Northside 1-0 in double overtime on freshman Lucy Gutierrez's goal. Junior star Jasmin Carrera continues her prolific scoring burst by adding two goals in the Indians' dramatic 3-2 win over Farragut.

Those teams meet in the first semifinal Tuesday at Lane Stadium, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Payton continued to thrash the opposition, using four goals by Michigan-bound star Corrine Harris to whip Lincoln Park 6-0. They meet Young, in the other semifinal. Emerging sophomore star Margaret Zahrah registered a hat trick for the Dolphins.

With junior midfielder Mia Espino back from a European sojourn, Young has demonstrated a much improved offensive attack the second half of the season. They also boast the city's best keeper, senior Rachel Hobert.

Harris has averaged two goals a game, scoring 27 goals despite playing just 13 games after missing six games from complications of an enlarged spleen.

Lane is attempting to become the first school to capture three consecutive city titles. The last team to beat them was Payton, during Harris' freshman season three years ago. Young is the only other city program to win consecutive titles.

Young hammered Payton 8-0 when Harris was out. Young and Payton 1-1, and Young and Lane tied 2-2.

The other major event is the championship of the Mid-Suburban Cup, which features a rematch of No. 7 Hersey (15-5-2) traveling to No. 8 Barrington (14-5) Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Fillies' best player, junior forward Molly Pfeiffer, suffered an injury in Barrington's conference clincher over Prospect. Coach Ryan Stengren said it is 50/50 whether or not she plays. "I'm more concerned right now about the playoffs," he said.

Hersey beat Barrington 1-0 two weeks ago. The Huskies, who won the East division with an 8-3 mark, suffered a rare two-game slide after No. 9 Conant and a dangerous Elk Grove team both edged Hersey.

In the prelude on Tuesday, the East teams that finished second through seventh travel to their West counterparts, in contests that begin at 4:30.

Here is that schedule:

No. 18 Buffalo Grove at No. 9 Conant
Elk Grove at No. 14 Schaumburg
Prospect at Palatine
Rolling Meadows at Fremd
Wheeling at Hoffman Estates

How good has been Barrington been in conference play? The Fillies have a 31-3 goal to goals allowed differential. Hersey is the defending MSL Cup champion. It makes a great conclusion to the regular season.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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