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Falcons, Tigers among teams with soccer title hopes

The soccer postseason kicks off Friday in Class 2A and 3A with regional quarterfinals for West Chicago and St. Francis. Wheaton North, Wheaton Warrenville and Wheaton Academy begin play next week in regional semifinals. No matter the start date or the division, all hope to start long postseason runs to Lincoln-Way North, home to the state finals for both classes Nov. 8 and 9.

Wheaton North

Regional: Glenbard East

Sectional: Schaumburg

First game: 6:30 p.m. Tues., Oct. 22, vs. No. 5 Glenbard West.

Outlook: Scoring goals has been the biggest issue this fall for Wheaton North, which posted a 4-10-1 record through its first 15 games.

The Falcons have found the back of the net just 15 times this season and have been shut out in seven of their losses.

The squad was picked as the No. 12 seed in the Schaumburg sectional and will square off against No. 5 Glenbard West in its playoff opener. The winner will advance to play either No. 4 Glenbard North or No. 16 Glenbard East in the regional final.

Wheaton Warrenville South

Regional: Conant

Sectional: Schaumburg

First game: 6:30 p.m. Tues., Oct. 22 vs. No. 7 Conant

Outlook: Wheaton Warrenville South is 6-10-3 on the fall after a 3-0 loss to Wheaton Academy on Saturday.

Scoring has been the team’s biggest issue, with the Tigers being held scoreless in 12 matches, including in all 10 of their losses. For the fall, the squad has totaled nine goals with Anthony Berardi scoring a team-high four.

The defensive group of Ryan Trachman, Joey Spera, Mike Stelletello, Lalo Robles and Louis Cruz has been a strength with goalie Edson Gomez notching four shutouts.

The Tigers drew the No. 10 seed in the sectional and will kick off the postseason against Conant. With a win, the Tigers would most likely see No. 2 Lake Park in the regional final Oct. 26.

Though the results have been mixed, South coach Guy Callipari believes his team has the mettle for a deep playoff run.

“We seem to have found an identity that suits our personality and ability,” Callipari said. “The young players have adjusted to the speed of play and complexities of the game.”

Wheaton Academy

Regional: Glenbard South

Sectional: Burlington Central

First game: 6:30 p.m. Tues., Oct. 22, vs. No. 5 IMSA or No. 4 St. Francis

Outlook: In the midst of a great regular season, Wheaton Academy was awarded the top seed at the Class 2A Glenbard South regional. The Warriors, who are looking to make a return trip to the state finals, will play either IMSA or St. Francis in their playoff opener, and if they advance, would see either Fenton or the host Raiders in the regional final.

“We think our playoff road is more challenging this year,” said coach Jeff Brooke. “We have some quality [teams] in our regional, and our sectional includes a team that has only lost two games. If we were to get back to the final four, we would have to beat Peoria Notre Dame in the supersectional, which will be a tall task. But, we are excited about how we are playing and will take each day as an opportunity to play well.”

Ty Seager has 18 goals and eight assists and Sam Hardy checks in with 11 goals and 13 assists.

West Chicago

Regional: Metea Valley

Sectional: Metea Valley

First game: 4:30 p.m. Friday vs. No. 16 Oswego East

Outlook: Because of the forfeiture of four wins from earlier in the season, West Chicago was left with the No. 17 seed in the Metea Valley sectional. The Wildcats play at Oswego East in a regional quarterfinal matchup and, with a win, would then see No. 1 seed Naperville Central in the semifinals.

West Chicago’s official record stood at 0-15-3 after a 3-0 defeat to Naperville North on Friday.

St. Francis

Regional: Glenbard South

Sectional: Burlington Central

First game: 6 p.m. Friday vs. No. 5 IMSA

Outlook: A young and inexperienced St. Francis squad moved its record to 5-9-2 overall after a 4-0 loss to Bartlett on Oct. 10.

Receiving the No. 4 seed at the Class 2A Glenbard South regional, the Spartans will take on IMSA in a regional quarterfinal. A victory would pit St. Francis against No. 1 seed Wheaton Academy in the semifinals on Tuesday. The regional championship game is Oct. 25.

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