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The following previews provide a brief glimpse into the four quarterfinal matchups that take place on Thursday, May 19:

Quarterfinal #1: Homewood-Flossmoor (29-3) vs Fenwick (23-8)

Game Time: 4:30pm; Thursday, May 19

Coaches: H-F - Pat Duignan (9th year) / Fenwick - Jack Wagner (16th year)

How They Got Here: H-F beat Bremen 11-2 at the LWN Sectional. Fenwick beat Oak Park 14-0 at the Fenwick Sectional.

Previous 2011 Meetings: Fenwick leads series 1-0. Fenwick beat H-F 9-4 on 4/9 at the Fenwick Tournament.

Current Rankings: H-F - #2 / Fenwick - #5

Top Performers: H-F (Rebecca Mathews - 128 goals) (Michelle Mayer - 93 goals) / Fenwick (Annie Collins - 48 goals)

The Goalies: H-F (Sophie Schloen) / Fenwick (Mackenzie Bonk)


Key Factors: Deja vu. These two teams met in the girls' tournament opener in 2010, with H-F building a 7-2 lead by the end of the third quarter en route to a surprising 9-6 win. The Vikings' return nearly everyone from last year's game, so confidence and experience should not be a problem. On the other hand, Fenwick earned a convincing 9-4 win over H-F to close out their own tournament at the end of Week 5, plus they are a much different team than last year with a lineup infused with several productive freshmen. This one's probably a toss-up, is likely close at halftime, and could come down to whoever makes the best adjustments heading into the second half.


Other Players to Watch

Fenwick (Alexa Ovalle, Cara Borkovec, Colleen Barron, Gena Wendt, Haley Wickham, Maggie Carey, Maureen Barron)

H-F (Anna Tenny, Annie Schloen, Hannah Ongman, Tess Adamonis)

Quarterfinal #2: Mother McAuley (17-14) vs Fremd (24-4)

Game Time: 5:45pm; Thursday, May 19

Coaches: McAuley-Vanessa Carroll (2nd year) / Fremd-Brian Newby (10th year)

How They Got Here: McAuley beat Lyons 7-3 at the Lyons Sectional. Fremd beat Barrington 14-0 at the Barrington Sectional.

Previous 2011 Meetings: McAuley leads the series 1-0. McAuley beat Fremd 3-2 on 4/23 at the Stevenson Tournament

Current Rankings: McAuley - #7 / Fremd - #8

Top Performers: McAuley (Vicky Arciniega - 52 goals) / Fremd (Sam Matuszewski - 62 goals) (Sam del Prado - 59 goals)

The Goalies: McAuley (Sarah Abbott) / Fremd (Julie Conrath)


Key Factors: Low-scoring, defensive, and close. Those are probably a few of the words one could use to describe the matchup between Mother McAuley and Fremd, who earlier this season played to a 3-2 finish at the Stevenson Tournament (McAuley won). Both teams are coming in riding a wave of momentum, with McAuley busting through a tough sectional with wins over Lyons and Sandburg, while Fremd shutout Barrington in the sectional final and earned a convincing win over Prospect to claim the MSL title the week before. Experience could also be a factor, with most of Fremd's team returning from last year's state run, while McAuley has no one left from their roster from the last time they made the state tournament (2008). Ultimately, it will probably boil down to whoever's team defense is best on Thursday night. In the first meeting, the Mighty Macs held the Vikings scoreless over the final four minutes as Fremd desperately searched for the game-tying goal. Whichever team's defense supplies that kind of effort will probably win this game.


Other Players to Watch

McAuley (Amy Kopale, Adriana Izquerido, Bria Nolan, Clare Bryar, Jackie Knightly, Kristen Kleist)

Fremd (Emily McCarthy, Emily Orlowski, Lauren Zambelli, Megan Kennedy)

Quarterfinal #3: Naperville Central (32-1) vs Stevenson (25-8)

Game Time: 7:00pm; Thursday, May 19

Coaches: NC-Jeff Plackett (9th year) / Stevenson-Jeff Wimer (11th year)

How They Got Here: NC beat NN 13-6 at the Neuqua Sectional. Stevenson beat Mundelein 9-5 at the VH Sectional.

Previous 2011 Meetings: NC leads series 1-0. NC beat Stevenson 7-5 on 5/6 at the Stevenson Tournament.

Current Rankings: NC - #1 / Stevenson - #6

Top Performers: NC (Abbey Kerth - 128 goals) / Stevenson (Karen Lowry - 94 goals) (Cheyenne Montijo - 90 goals)

The Goalies: NC (Julia Campbell) / Stevenson (Lisa Michalowski)


Talking Points: Home-pool advantage. While the Patriots have the benefit of staying close to home while getting prepared, Central faces an hour-long drive to let their nerves set in. Experience. On the other hand, something tells me nerves won't be an issue with the Redhawks, who are heading to the state tournament for the fourth straight year. They've finished third, second, and fourth in the last three years, so they must be doing something right to win in the quarterfinals. The rematch. Central beat Stevenson less than two weeks ago at this very pool by a 7-5 score to kickoff the Stevenson CoEd Tournament. In that short period of time, the Patriots have probably doubled their confidence level after getting past rival Mundelein in convincing fashion last weekend at the Vernon Hills Sectional. Meanwhile, the Redhawks are probably not lacking in confidence themselves, as they have won twelve games in a row and cruised to a sectional title win at Neuqua Valley last weekend.


Other Players to Watch

NC (Claire Wirtz, Emily Sejna, Gracie May, Lizzy Giuliani, Madison Nervig, Robyn Stanley)

Stevenson (Cami Haas, Erin McCook, Sam Petti, Shelby Kohalmy, Tori St John)

Quarterfinal #4: St Ignatius (24-4) vs Loyola (23-6-3)

Game Time: 8:15pm; Thursday, May 19

Coaches: St Ignatius-Mike Cashman (6th year) / Loyola-Rich Schici (7th year)

How They Got Here: St Ignatius beat Lane 11-3 at the UIC Sectional. Loyola beat New Trier 11-7 at the GBN Sectional.

Previous 2011 Meetings: St Ignatius leads the series 2-0. St Ignatius beat Loyola 8-5 (OT) on 4/6 and 9-6 on 5/7.

Current Rankings: St Ignatius - #3 / Loyola - #4

Top Performers: St Ignatius (Kate Stelnicki - 88 goals) / Loyola (Brittany Wallace - 123 goals)

The Goalies: St Ignatius (Kate Murphy) / Loyola (Kristina Alexander)


Key Factors: The Wolfpack have had the Ramblers number this season, winning both of the contests between the two teams. So who does that benefit? St Ignatius probably has the confidence to beat Loyola after those two encounters, but playing more than once has likely given Loyola head coach Rich Schici and company plenty of time to try and figure out a way to beat the Wolfpack when it matters most. St Ignatius will look to their defense to carry them as usual, just like they did when they limited Loyola to just 11 goals in the two games earlier this year. Can the vaunted St Ignatius defense keep the Ramblers from scoring, or will the one-two punch of Brittany Wallace and Evan Swenson find a way to outscore the Wolfpack and get to the semifinal round?


Other Players to Watch

St Ignatius (Maggie Maloney, Becky Insalaco, Meghan Murphy, Rebecca Martinez, Stephanie Fernandez, Tammy Stelnicki)

Loyola (Caitlin Sershon, Emily Levison, Evan Swenson, Kate Ansani, Rachel Nieman, Sarah Gross)

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