GAME PREVIEWS (Saturday, May 24)
9:00am - Fenwick vs Naperville North
The Friars have been waiting nine weeks to get a chance to avenge their Week
2 loss to Naperville North in the title game of their own tournament. The
Huskies have also been waiting nine weeks to beat Fenwick when it really
matters at the state tournament. That time has finally arrived for both
squads, as the first boys' semifinal round game on Saturday morning pits #1
Naperville North against #3 Fenwick for a spot in the state championship
game on Saturday night.
The Huskies wasted no time getting past Sandburg in the first quarterfinal
round game on Thursday, as Nolan Roberts scored 5 goals and Drake McClure
tallied 4 scores in a 17-4 win over the Eagles. Fenwick was equally
impressive, as Ryan Masi scored 5 times and Danny Farmer registered 4 scores
in a 15-7 victory over St Ignatius.
The only meeting between the two teams resulted in a one-goal victory for
the Huskies. In that game, the Friars held a 5-3 halftime lead before North
outscored the hosts 8-5 in the second half. Gianmarco Duin scored 4 goals
and Drake McClure netted 3 scores in that win for the Huskies, while Danny
Farmer led the Friars' offense with 3 goals.
The most-highly anticipated game of the season is finally upon us and it
goes down bright and early on Saturday morning (9:00am) at Stevenson High
10:15am - Loyola vs Stevenson
The Ramblers and Patriots are both just one victory away from having another
shot at claiming their first IHSA state championship. Loyola came close in
2012 before losing to Lyons in the title game; Stevenson finished in second
place last season after losing to Fenwick in the state finals. Which team
will get their best-ever opportunity to walk away with the state title with
a crucial semifinal round win?
Loyola methodically took apart the Palatine defense on Thursday night to
advance to the semifinals. Cam Shewchuck and Ragen Murphy both scored 4
goals in a 15-9 win over the Pirates. Meanwhile, the Patriots completely
shut down the Brother Rice offense in the first half of their 12-7 victory
over the Crusaders. Alex Divanyan and Mitchell Sokolsky both recorded 3
goals, while goalie Shaurya Gilani made 15 saves in the win.
The teams have a recent history, as the Ramblers edged the Patriots 9-8 in
Week 8 in the same pool that serves as host of Saturday morning's semifinal
game. Loyola used a balanced effort that featured 2 goals apiece from
Shewchuck, Jack Schermerhorn, Matt Kearney, and Tom Baker to earn the
regular season victory. The Patriots also had contributions from a wide
variety of players, as Andrew Shashin scored 3 times and Divanyan, Sokolsky,
Alex Kapacki, Liam Holzer, and Zach Stephens each scored once in the loss.
2014 could be the best chance for both teams to win a state championship.
Only one can make it to the final game. And both teams are so evenly matched
that it would be impossible to try and predict who will emerge from this
contest as the winner. Loyola won the previous meeting. Stevenson gets to
play in their home pool. Both teams have confidence after coming off
impressive wins. Who will get to play for another state title on Saturday
11:30am - Stevenson vs St Ignatius
The Patriots and Wolfpack face off in the rubber match of their season
series with a berth in the state title game on the line. The teams split
their two regular season meetings in the 2014 campaign, so flip a coin and
try to predict who will win and then enjoy the show at Stevenson High School
Stevenson rolled to a 13-2 triumph over New Trier on Friday, as their top
playmakers (Allison Travetto, Melissa Gartenberg) combined to score 9 goals
in the win. Head coach Jeff Wimer will likely call on both players to
perform at the same level against SICP on Saturday. Later in the evening,
the Wolfpack used a balanced approach to get past Lincoln-Way East, as Diana
Fernandez scored 4 times and Beca Martinez netted 3 goals in a 15-4 victory
over the Griffins.
When the two teams met in early April at the Fenwick Tournament, Tammy
Stelnicki paved the way for Ignatius to earn a 13-7 win over the Patriots
with a five-goal performance. While she played more of a distributor and
defender on Friday against LWE, expect her to take charge again on the
offensive end if the Wolfpack hope to get to the state title game.
Meanwhile, Travetto scored 4 times and Becky Callen made 15 saves when
Stevenson beat St Ignatius 9-7 in Lincolnshire in a late-April contest.
Callen will probably need to have a big game in goal if the hosts hope to
get to the title game.
All in all, both teams have a legitimate shot at a state title by the time
the dust settles on Saturday night. Whichever team gets off to a favorable
start in this contest could be in the driver's seat to advance to the final
12:45pm - Fenwick vs Mother McAuley
The historic rivalry between Fenwick and Mother McAuley will add another
chapter to an already epic saga when the Catholic League teams square off in
a state semifinal game on Saturday afternoon.
Fenwick faced a tough challenge on Friday night, as they overcame a 6-5
halftime deficit with a big third quarter to emerge with an 11-8 victory
over Naperville North. Colleen Barron totaled 5 goals and Janie Angelini
came up big with 3 scores to push the Friars into the semifinal round. The
Mighty Macs also faced a stern test from Palatine before pulling away in the
second half to claim a 13-8 win. Clare Bryar recorded 7 goals and Fran
Williamson netted 5 scores in the victory for Mother McAuley.
The Friars got the better of the Mighty Macs twice in 2014, as they earned a
14-4 win back in early March and also edged Mother McAuley 8-6 at the
Fenwick Tournament in early April. Barron totaled 9 goals and Catie Wallace
scored 7 times in the two games, so McAuley's strategy will likely focus on
shutting down both of Fenwick's playmakers this time around. Bryar and
Williamson scored 8 of the 10 goals for the Mighty Macs in the two losses,
so while both will need to once again have top-notch performances, the team
will likely need additional contributions from players like Julie Olivares
and Maggie Hennigan.
One thing is for sure: the team that advances from this game to the state
finals will have an excellent chance to the win the title. Which team will
have that when all is said and done on Saturday afternoon?