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Central soccer secures top playoff seed

The soccer postseason for Class 3A teams began with regional quarterfinals on Friday and Saturday. Hinsdale South kicked off the playoffs at home on Saturday with a 7-0 victory over Kenwood, while Hinsdale Central and Downers Grove South will start postseason play this week. All have hopes of embarking on a long playoff run to Lincoln-Way North, home to the state finals Nov. 8 and 9.

Hinsdale Central

Regional: Hinsdale Central

Sectional: Hinsdale South

First Game: 6:30 p.m. Tues., Oct. 22, vs. No. 15 Lincoln Park or No. 17 Steinmetz

Outlook: Hinsdale Central has not lost in any of its 19 games this season, the only blemishes coming in the form of two ties against Downers Grove South early in the season and perennial power Naperville Central on Sept. 21. Otherwise, the Red Devils have steamrolled the opposition, going undefeated in conference play and shutting out their last five opponents en route to a second straight West Suburban Silver title.

Central is eyeing the Class 3A title as it opens the postseason at home against the winner of the Lincoln Park-Steinmetz regional quarterfinal game.

The relentless Red Devil attack is powered by forwards Christian Meyer, Sam Johnson, Alex Knight and Brandon Kim, who are flanked by stellar midfielders Bryan Loebig, Jack Niestrom and Jack Baderman. All have the ability to score in bunches, and even defender Max Krohn has appeared on the Central scoresheet numerous times this season.

Heading into postseason play, the No. 1 seed Red Devils have the inside track to regional and sectional titles. If the seeds hold, Central will face No. 8 Young for the regional title Oct. 26, with Lyons Township, Morton and Benet as potential foes at the Hinsdale South sectional.

Hinsdale South

Regional: Hinsdale South

Sectional: Hinsdale South

First Game: 11:15 a.m. Saturday vs. No. 19 Kenwood

Outlook: Hinsdale South’s only victory this season came in penalty kicks against Willowbrook on Sept. 17. It’s been a down year for the Hornets, who finished the regular season 1-17-1 following a loss to West Suburban Gold foe Morton on Tuesday.

While the 2013 campaign has been frustrating, the playoffs bring new hope and a clean slate.

Hinsdale South’s field will be a host site for this year’s regional and sectional tournament games, and the Hornets will have the home field edge during their playoff run.

In order for head coach James VanDenburgh’s squad to advance past the first round, forwards Daniel Jaworski, Dean Serritella and Peter Kokinis will need to rekindle their scoring touch – the Hornets have only scored twice in October. The Hornets advance will play No. 3 Benet at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in a regional semi.

Downers Grove South

Regional: Lyons Township

Sectional: Hinsdale South

First Game: 7 p.m. Tues., Oct. 22, vs. No. 12 Downers Grove North

Outlook: In spite of some inconsistencies on its home turf, Downers Grove South’s boys soccer team enters the playoffs as a No. 5 seed and with a matchup against rival Downers Grove North.

The Mustangs posted a 3-3-1 record at home, but excelled on the road, going 6-3-1 with victories that included Proviso East, Hinsdale South and Glenbard East. Additionally, the Mustangs posted the best record at the Hinsdale Invite, coming in second as a result of a tie-breaker.

The solid play of senior keeper Nick King has spread throughout the Mustangs’ roster.

King has recorded five shutouts this season and will be the key to a Downers Grove South playoff run.

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