The soccer postseason begins tonight for Class 1A Lisle, while the playoffs for Class 3A teams like Benet kick off on Friday. The divisions are different but the goal is the same – to sustain a long playoff run that culminates in the state finals in November.
Regional: Hinsdale South
Sectional: Hinsdale South
First Game: 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 vs. No. 16 Hinsdale South or No. 19 Kenwood
Outlook:After one of the finest seasons in school history, Benet’s boys soccer team is eyeing a deep playoff run. With two games left in the 2013 campaign (Oct. 16 at Proviso West and Oct. 18 at St. Viator), the Redwings currently sit at 14-3-1 and can clinch an East Suburban Catholic Conference title by knocking off St. Viator on Friday in Arlington Heights.
Benet lost its second game of the regular season, but then went 10-0-1 in its next 11 contests. Senior forward Michael Rindler has paced the Redwings offense, scoring goals in six out of the last eight games, including a hat trick during a 3-3 draw with West Chicago on Sept. 23.
Flanked by forwards Eddie Manzke and Kyle Kenagy, Rindler and the Redwings offense wreaks havoc on opposing defense – winning possession battles, controlling the ball and scoring goals. As long as the offense keeps up its torrid pace, the Redwings will be a tough out come playoff time.
First Game: 4 p.m. Wednesday vs. No. 3 EPIC Academy Charter
Outlook: The Lions are hoping their recent hot streak carries over into the postseason. The Lions won five out of their last six games down the stretch, including dominating performances over Plano, Sandwich and Newark.
Lisle, the No. 2 seed in its regional, has enjoyed immense success over the past two years in Class 1A, reaching a sectional title game last year and finishing as state runner-up in 2011. This year’s Lions boast a deep team laden with seniors and emerging young talent. The 22-man roster has 17 upperclassmen and 5 freshman and sophomores. In order for Lisle to repeat its previous feats, forwards Jon Harmon (junior) and Max Tarasewicz (senior) will have to shoulder the offensive load while senior defenders Mitch Boyce, Jimmy Gill, Ian Parks and Josh Soukup remain solid on the back end.
Should Lisle move past EPIC Academy, it will face either Montini or Westmont for the regional title at 4 p.m. Friday at Lisle Junior High.
First Game: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23 vs. No. 8 Marist
With two games remaining against Homewood-Flossmoor and Lincoln-Way Central, the Raiders’ roller coaster season will at worst end with a .500 record, as their season record currently stands at 11-9. But Bolingbrook is catching fire at the right time, going 4-2 in October.
The season has not been without tragedy, however, as Bolingbrook player Javier Vera died while swimming in a local quarry on Aug. 28.
Bolingbrook hopes to win to honor Vera – who was described by coaches and players as a great teammate and a positive influence withing the soccer program – with an extended playoff run. The Raiders will begin the postseason against Marist, and with a win would likely face No. 1 sectional seed Lockport for the regional title at 3 p.m. Oct. 26.
Downers Grove South
Regional: Lyons Township
Sectional: Hinsdale South
First Game:7 p.m. Tuesday, 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 in September, 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.