LA GRANGE PARK – Nazareth will try to erase the memory of the upset loss in last year’s Class 2A regional semifinal.
Leading the charge will be returning all-sectional forward Chris Tovar. Tovar already has opened his scoring account with 10 goals in the Roadrunners’ first five games and will be supported by Mark Haraus, Sam Abed and freshman Mike Usher in the attack.
Coach Doug Hunt will look to guide the Roadrunners to a first regional title since 2010, when they won a second consecutive regional.
Nazareth at a glance
Conference: East Suburban Catholic
Home field: Valenta Stadium, 1209 W. Ogden Ave., La Grange Park
Top returners: Sam Abed sr. D Mark Haraus sr. M Chris Tovar sr. F Mike Zebrowski sr. GK
Promising newcomers: Connor O'Neill so. M Mike Usher fr. F
Reigning Catholic League Blue coach of the year Robert Watson has his hands full after all seven all-conference performers from last year's sectional-winning squad graduated.
In all, 13 seniors graduated from that 16-7-2 team, which also shared the Blue title. Carlos Soto will split time between goalkeeper, where he will be tasked with replacing current Valparaiso keeper Jacob Peterson, and forward. The Friars must also replace Jack Alberts, who was the Catholic League player of the year and an all-state midfielder who is now at Marquette.
Conference: Chicago Catholic Blue
Home field: Dominican Priory, 7200 W. Division St., River Forest
Top returners:Joaquin Camara sr. DJimmy Madormo sr. DTom Smith sr. DCarlos Soto sr. F/GK