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BOYS' STATE QUARTERFINAL PREVIEWS

The following previews provide a brief glimpse into the four quarterfinal matchups that take place on Friday, May 20:


Quarterfinal #1: St Ignatius (25-8) vs Schaumburg (24-8)

Game Time: 4:30pm; Friday, May 20

Coaches: St Ignatius-Brian Drumm (4th year) / Schaumburg-Tom Gallagher (6th year)

How They Got Here: St Ignatius beat Latin 12-9 at the UIC Sectional. Schaumburg beat Conant 11-9 at the Barrington Sectional.

Previous 2011 Meetings: None.

Current Rankings: St Ignatius - #4 / Schaumburg - #15

Top Performers: St Ignatius (Mark Alvarado - 124 goals) / Schaumburg (Mike Gergen - 139 goals, Randy Carr - 117 goals)

The Goalies: St Ignatius (Mike Fratto) / Schaumburg (Mike George)

 

Talking Points: Momentum. Not much of a factor. The Wolfpack closed out the regular season with six wins a row, finished in third at the MCAC Tournament, then had three solid performances at sectionals to get back to state. The Saxons handed Palatine their only conference loss late in the year, then clinched their first trip back to state since 2008 with two narrow wins over Conant and Fremd. Experience. Definitely on the Wolfpack's side, as they made a run to finish third at last year's state tournament with a similar lineup, while the Saxons return four players who were just freshmen when the team qualified three years ago. Tournament opener. For all of the hype of the state tournament, there's something about the first game of the day that can lead to potential upsets. The crowd is still filing in, there's not much time to think between school, the drive to Lincolnshire, warmups, and so on...and before you know it, the game is underway. Schaumburg is the clear underdog coming into this game, but if they can grab an early lead and play solid defense early on, this could be one of those games. Don't miss it!

 

Other Players to Watch

St Ignatius (Brayden Amendola, Jaime Juarez, Kevin Barth, Paul Bouschlicher, Tom Maloney)

Schaumburg (Alex Koehl, Brandon Luke, Jack Martin, Justin Chen, Marty Kwiatkowski)


Quarterfinal #2: Loyola (19-14) vs McHenry (29-4)

Game Time: 5:45pm; Friday, May 20

Coaches: Loyola-Dan Hengelmann (3rd year) / McHenry-Craig Fowles (7th year)

How They Got Here: Loyola beat New Trier 16-11 at the GBN Sectional. McHenry beat Palatine 17-7 at the VH Sectional.

Previous 2011 Meetings: None.

Current Rankings: Loyola - #8 / McHenry - #5

Top Performers:  Loyola (Charlie Dowdle - 105 goals) / McHenry (Kyle Braun - 76 goals) (Dylan Clohessy - 72 goals)

The Goalies: Loyola (Robbie O'Connor) / McHenry (Alex Birkle)

 

Key Factors: It's classic old-school Loyola water polo against a physical and deep McHenry squad. Since the teams did not meet in 2011, there's a lot of mystery surrounding this game. The Warriors are a battle-tested team that had to survive a semifinal round game against Mundelein and then come back and beat Palatine, which they did in convincing fashion, to get to state. On the other side, the Ramblers showed their resilience with a comeback win over Glenbrook South in the sectional semifinals at GBN, then, in somewhat surprising fashion, ran out to a big lead over New Trier en route to a second-straight state berth. And even though both teams played at state last season, McHenry is the much more experienced bunch...they return several starters from a team that lost in the first round to St Ignatius in 2010. Loyola is back (after losing a close quarterfinal game to Mundelein last season) with a refreshed starting lineup that includes only one returning starter in Charlie Dowdle. Something will have to give on Friday night, as one of these teams will advance to play in the semifinals on Saturday.

 

Other Players to Watch:

Loyola (Brendan Hulseman, Erik Goosmann, Jordan Hodur, Tim Netzel, Tyler St Germain, William LeCompte)

McHenry (Andrew Hertel, Drew Schmitt, Joe Peck, Lucas Matthys, Phil Lesniak, Scott Dabrowski, Tim Briscoe)


Quarterfinal #3: Fenwick (33-0) vs Lyons (29-2)

Game Time: 7:00pm; Friday, May 20

Coaches: Fenwick-Dave Perry (24th year) / Lyons - Doug Eichstaedt (10th year)

How They Got Here: Fenwick beat Oak Park 24-6 at the Fenwick Sectional. Lyons beat Brother Rice 15-5 at the LT Sectional.

Previous 2011 Meetings: Fenwick leads series 1-0. Fenwick beat Lyons 8-6 on 4/29 at the Stevenson Tournament.

Current Rankings: Fenwick - #1 / Lyons - #2

Top Performers: Fenwick (Matt Farmer - 122 goals) (Connor Brown - 102 goals) / Lyons (David Sekula - 138 goals)

The Goalies: Fenwick (Dan Newell) / Lyons (Andrew Brown)

 

Key Factors: The top-ranked Friars won't have to wait long to be tested in their quest for an eighth-straight state title. To repeat in 2011, they'll have to run the gauntlet to get there, beginning with #2 Lyons Township in the state quarterfinal round. The Lions were one of only two teams to be within two goals of Fenwick, so they come into this game with the confidence that they can challenge the Friars in an elimination round. Their previous encounter came at the same Stevenson pool, but the crowd this time around will likely be much bigger and much louder than at the Stevenson Tournament in late April. The fact remains, however, that Fenwick enters the tournament with a perfect 33-0 record this season, so it will take an effort of epic proportions for LT to do what no team has done in the past seven years and beat Fenwick at state.

 

Other Players to Watch:

Fenwick (Dan Kelly, Dominic Gallo, Richard Mueller, Ted Herbstritt, Viken Huening)

Lyons (Joe Shannon, Kovas Zygas, Michael Brown, Ryan Schafer, Zach Schoneman)


Quarterfinal #4: Naperville Central (29-4) vs Sandburg (28-5)

Game Time: 8:15pm; Friday, May 20

Coaches: NC-Bill Salentine (11th year) / Sandburg-Jim Caliendo (18th year)

How They Got Here: NC beat Naperville North 19-5 at the Neuqua Sectional. Sandburg beat H-F 10-4 at the LWN Sectional.

Previous 2011 Meetings: NC leads series 1-0. Naperville Central beat Sandburg 8-4 on 5/5.

Current Rankings: NC - #3 / Sandburg - #6

Top Performers: NC (Kyle Rickert - 105 goals) / Sandburg (Erik Niemeier - 113 goals)

The Goalies: NC (Pat Stablein) / Sandburg (Tony Rogina)

 

Key Factors: The Eagles have been on a roll over the last month, losing only once in that span on their way to beating H-F in the LWN Sectional title game last weekend. Only one problem...that one loss was to Naperville Central exactly two weeks ago. The game was played in Naperville in a shallow-deep pool, so not only will the rematch be played in a neutral site, but the teams will have eight-lanes and an all-deep facility to work with. Other than that, the Eagles will rely on leading scorer Erik Niemeier, a well-balanced and defensive-minded starting lineup, and high-quality goaltender Tony Rogina to try and turn the tables on NC. For the Redhawks, they have won their tournament opener at state for the last three seasons, so they will be a tough out for the Eagles. Their combination of experience and firepower with Kristian Altuve and Kyle Rickert can be tough to stop, as evidenced by their three double-digit wins at the NV Sectional last weekend. Expect a thrilling nightcap to the state quarterfinals on Friday.

 

Other Players to Watch:

NC (Dennis Herron, Jay Howenstine, Jeff Depew, Kristian Altuve, Matt Reasons, Pat May)

Sandburg (Anthony Bonnar, Balys Gintautas, Cody Corridino, Lucas Krull, Matt Veldman, Stephen Zieler)

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