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Sectional Semifinal Previews - GIRLS

By Aaron Brown


30 of the top 32 seeds emerged victorious on Thursday in the girls' sectional quarterfinals, so Friday's semifinal action should provide some of the best play possible with season's on the line at eight different sites tomorrow night. The first eight semifinal games kick off at 7:00pm and are followed by the second semifinal contests at 8:15pm. The following previews bring up some key things to look at with just two days left before the state tournament field is set.


Editor's note: I wrote these at 3:00am, so if there are any mistakes or typos, please let me know as soon as possible.



Barrington Sectional

7:00pm Fremd vs Buffalo Grove

Fremd brings a 28-1 record into their semifinal matchup with Buffalo Grove, a team they beat 13-3 on March 11. Seven different players scored for the Vikings in that contest, so they will be looking for the same type of effort when they face the Bison at 7:00pm on Friday. BG's best hope will be to attempt to shut down Fremd's most prolific scorer, Erika Lauraitis, while getting strong offensive production on the other end of the pool from the likes of Angela Rodriguez, Kathryn Emerson, Nicky Delaney, and Sara Fasching. That could prove to be easier said than done, as Lauraitis scored 5 times in the first meeting and is a big-game performer for the Vikings.


8:15pm Schaumburg vs Barrington

The second contest between Schaumburg and Barrington is up for grabs, as the teams split the season series in 2010. The Saxons won the first meeting 10-7 back in March, but the Fillies turned things around on April 13 with a 9-7 victory. Can Saxons' goalie Jackie Sumsky and the Schaumburg defense limit Barrington's offensive production, or will Catherine Byron, Erika Elliott and Yessica Buenrostro supply enough offense to carry the Fillies to the sectional finals?



GBS Sectional

7:00pm Loyola vs Prospect

Loyola started their quest to get back to the state tournament with a 22-6 win over Maine West on Thursday night. They will face a much more difficult defensive squad on Friday at the GBS Sectional when they face a disciplined Prospect team that enjoys playing in low-scoring matches. Can players like Maeve O'Connor, Ashley Letrich, Caitlin Sershon, and Krissy Durkin provide enough offensive production for the Ramblers to move on, or will Meg Dix, Lisa Mazur, and Tori Shields be able to limit Loyola's chances and pull off a minor upset on Friday night?


8:15pm New Trier vs Evanston

The seesaw battle between New Trier and Evanston adds another chapter on Friday night, as the two teams meet in a decisive final battle with a sectional finals berth at stake. Evanston won a narrow 6-5 decision two weeks ago on a goal by Ellis O'Connor, but the Trevians turned things around with a 7-1 win over the Wildkits in the CSL title game last weekend with a terrific defensive performance. Something's gotta give when they play at GBS on Friday at 8:15pm.



LWC Sectional

7:00pm H-F vs Lincoln-Way East

Homewood-Flossmoor was perfect against the field at the LWC Sectional, so they have plenty of reason to be optimistic as they continue on in the postseason. They will not want to look past Lincoln-Way East, as the Griffins edged Andrew 8-7 in sudden death overtime on Thursday night when Abby Maze scored just over a minute into the third overtime period. The Vikings are a tough team to stop offensively, as they can count on Hannah Ongman, Maya Holst, Michelle Mayer, and Rebecca Mathews to provide the bulk of the offense, while their defense in front of goalie Sophie Schloen continues to impress in 2010. They will have to deal with Alyssa Toland, Brittany Becvar, Mary Reilly, and Maze if they hope to extend their season by one more game.


8:15pm Bremen vs Lincoln-Way Central

The contest between Bremen and Lincoln-Way Central should have a different feel to it than the 18-5 win over the Knights that Bremen earned on the first day of the season. Catherine Vivado, Cassie Jo Miller, and Co. are a difficult team to hold down, as evidenced by their 28-3 record in 2010. Do they have the ability to stop Knights' freshman Danijela Jackovich after she has had a full season of preparation? They will also need to stop Sarah Hanly, Jamie and Jessica Graf, and Markie Kulovitz if they hope to earn a win that would get them to the sectional finals. A key to this fixture could also be the performances of the goaltenders, as Bremen's Julie Velcich and LWC's Kelsey Martiniak both have the ability to carry their teams on the defensive end of the pool in any given contest.



Lyons Sectional

7:00pm Lyons vs Richards

What else can be said about the performance this season of Lyons Township after they have put together a 28-0 record through ten weeks of water polo action? They are one game away from getting back to the sectional finals, but in order to do so, they will need to avoid looking past Richards, a team they did not face in the regular season. LT goalie Grace Trilla earned her sixth shutout of the season on Thursday, so the Bulldogs may find it tough to score on the Lions defense. Meanwhile, Adriana Hoak, Allie Grimes, Katelyn Jacobs, Kirby Kaptur, and Lizzy Kosin provide a ton of balance and offensive firepower that has the Lions thinking big things in this postseason.


8:15pm Mother McAuley vs Sandburg

Meanwhile, Mother McAuley has put together another solid late season run that has them geared towards getting back to the state tournament. Their matchup on Friday with Sandburg is an interesting one, as they will have to stop Jamie Pappanastos, Kathy Asztalos, Melanie Czerwinski, and Tara Capouch from getting things going on the offensive end for the Eagles. The Macs expect their solid defensive unit to hold up, while Jackie Knightly, Katie Moran, Yuri Chavez, and Vicky Arciniega provide head coach Vanessa Carroll's team with plenty of offensive firepower that could propel them to the next round.



Neuqua Valley Sectional

7:00pm Naperville Central vs Neuqua Valley

In the three previous meetings between Naperville Central and Neuqua Valley, the Redhawks have earned 9-2, 18-4, and 10-1 wins. So why should Central avoid looking ahead to the next round? Simply put, the Wildcats are a team that has beaten teams like Mother McAuley, Latin, and Prospect this season and are always capable of an extraordinary performance when the season is on the line. Jessica Zimmerman, Tricia Bannister, and goalie Danielle Cirrintano will be hopeful that they can stay in the game with the Redhawks early on in order to make things interesting in the first semifinal. For Central, they will look for Abbey Kerth, Claire Fleming, and Emily Sejna to provide the majority of the scoring, while goaltender Julia Campbell has emerged as a solid last line of defense for head coach Jeff Plackett as they look to get back to the sectional finals.


8:15pm Waubonsie vs Naperville North

Waubonsie Valley posted a 2-0 record against Naperville North in 2010, so on paper they look like strong favorites when they face the Huskies for a third time at 8:15pm on Friday night. A closer look at the results...a 6-5 win during Week 1 and a 6-2 victory in Week 3...shows that if the Huskies can keep things close and low-scoring that anything could happen in a late night playoff game. The Warriors will count on Amy Slana, Alex White, Ember McCoy, and Nikki Mandl to try and lead them to the final round, while the Huskies will need huge performances from starters like Audrey Chien and Lindsay Jansen if they hope to beat Waubonsie Valley for the first time in 2010.



UIC Sectional

7:00pm St Ignatius vs Lane

While St Ignatius enters their semifinal contest with Lane as the prohibitive favorite, they will want to make careful note of Lane's performance in the CPS title game last weekend. The Indians shocked Young 9-8 behind solid offensive performances by Ana Chavez and Cassidy O'Connell, and they will be looking for more of the same against the Wolfpack. Don't expect head coach Mike Cashman's team to overlook Lane, as players like Celeste Almarez, Kate Stelnicki, Stephanie Fernandez, and Yvette Leon have plenty of experience and should also have the of motivation of getting another shot at a state tournament berth if they can earn a win tomorrow night.


8:15pm Latin vs Young

When Latin and Young last met on May 3, Yadi Casimiro scored a decisive overtime goal to send the Dolphins to a 5-4 victory over the Romans. If that contest is any indication, the two teams should be in for another tightly-contested fixture in the late game at UIC on Friday. The Dolphins will likely count on Casimiro and Gabi Cabrera to provide the bulk of their scoring, while Latin will need solid efforts from Ashley Henderson, Brittany Wallace, and goalie Chloe Kaulus if they hope to make it to Saturday's sectional final game.



Vernon Hills Sectional

7:00pm Mundelein vs Hersey

Mundelein is seeking another solid defensive performance after they limited Lake Forest to just one goal in Thursday's contest against the Scouts. They will have to do it against a quality offensive Hersey team that features Christine Rovani, Caroline Stoklosa, and Meg Nolan. In order to stop them, the Mustangs will rely on goaltender Emily Tylka, who has several outstanding performances thus far in 2010. On the offensive end, Mundelein banks on Alexis Jones and Evelyn Kurzac to provide most of the scoring, while players like Jacqui Lodor and Sarah Honda can also give head coach Drew Schneider several other quality scoring options.


8:15pm Stevenson vs Wheeling

One of the best matchups on Friday night will likely take place in the late game at Vernon Hills between two-seed Stevenson and third-seed Wheeling. The Patriots have been building for a strong postseason run, but the Wildcats are tough, balanced squad that will depend on great performances from players like Amy Wilson, Christa Khatcherian, and Leah Malsom. For the Patriots, Cheyenne Montijo and Karen Lowry will look to provide the bulk of the offensive production for head coach Jeff Wimer's team.



York Sectional

7:00pm 7:00pm Fenwick vs Resurrection

The defending state champions continue their quest to defend their title in 2010, with their next contest against an up-and-coming Resurrection squad in just their third season. Fenwick won the first contest between the two teams back on March 31 by a 12-6 score, so Emma McKernin, Stephanie Ovalle, and the rest of Jack Wagner's team will look for more of the same in order to get to the sectional finals.


8:15pm York vs Oak Park

In the second semifinal, York and Oak Park meet for the third time this season at 8:15pm in Elmhurst. Huskies' goalie Vicki Maslowski earned a 4-0 shutout over the Dukes in tournament play in the second week of the season, but York earned a 6-5 decision over OPRF later in the year. Who will emerge from this contest to challenge for a state tournament berth on Saturday?





For more previews and info, check out the Girls' Sectional Previews and the 2010 Sectional Center.





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