Boys Soccer: Kaneland enters Class 2A regional as top seed

Updated: October 9, 2012 7:34PM

Recent history has shown the area’s regional final to be a springboard to state success when it comes to the Class 2A playoffs.

Last year, that regional plaque was used by Marmion as the foundation to a fourth-place state finish. The season before, it was Burlington Central.

Those same Rockets are once again hosting the regional that includes long-time rival Hampshire as well as No. 1 seed Kaneland and IMSA. While each coach acknowledges nothing is assured, they’re all aware that becoming the regional survivor has lately been the momentum builder to better results.

As the top seed, the Knights were looking for two more regular-season wins to have a five-match win streak before the Oct. 17 opener against the winner from Friday’s IMSA-Sycamore game.

“Being the top seed for the regional isn’t any extra pressure because if you win, you were supposed to win. If you lose you’re done,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. “If you win, you’re just one of four regional titleists, so it’s not 3A where they seed teams in a sectional from one through 18. One thing I like about our team is that nothing rattles them. We’ve been behind and battled back. I think it comes with the experience of having nine seniors and 10 juniors plus one sophomore. We finally had the luxury to leave all our freshmen and all but one sophomore continue developing at the frosh-soph level.”

The veteran Knights coach also has the luxury of having son Anthony Parillo (a school-record for juniors 26 goals) heading the offense.

Burlington Central and Hampshire are long-time rivals which can make that opener a toss-up. Burlington Central Rockets hope it’s the fuse for many of the upperclassmen to relive or exceed a 2010 campaign that produced a fourth-place finish.

Burlington Central’s (15-3-2) final preparation for the playoffs was a regular-season home finale in which a conference title was at stake. Then comes the emotional tussle with Hampshire, then the possible regional final with Kaneland.

“Based on our experiences two years ago and not advancing last season, we really do know that we have to take it one game at a time,” Burlington Central coach Mike Gecan said. “Our first focus is on that last conference match, then and only then comes Hampshire.”

The Burlington Central regional champion moves on to a Sterling Sectional which could easily include another area team in Yorkville. The Foxes are having one of their best soccer seasons in Mike Jacobs’ tenure and the No. 2 seed starts play Oct. 17 with a fellow conference member in No. 3 Dixon within the Rochelle Regional. No. 5 seed Sandwich meets the host Hubs for the right to face that group’s favorite in Sterling.

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