Boys Soccer: Inaugural Upstate Eight title match set
Updated: October 9, 2012 8:22PM
Wednesday marks the debut of the Upstate Eight Conference’s crossover championship for boys soccer with East Aurora visiting St. Charles East for a 6 p.m. showdown.
While the Saints (15-2-1) earned their spot in the inaugural clash by claiming the UEC River Division with a 5-1-0 record, it took until Saturday’s last match was completed to determine that the Tomcats would be the Valley Division representative.
East Aurora’s 3-0 victory at South Elgin created at a three-way tie atop the Valley between the Tomcats, Lake Park and Neuqua Valley. While each posted a 4-0-2 record in the division, goal differential was used as the tiebreaker. East Aurora (7-6-2) got the top spot at +8, followed by the Wildcats at +6 and the Lancers at +5.
“We’re thrilled to have won our division and happy to host this first meeting of division winners,” St. Charles East coach Paul Jennison said. “I’m sure both teams will want to win this contest in order to have more momentum going into the playoffs.”
“A lot of the credit has to go to (former Neuqua coach) Tony Kees,” Metea Valley’s Josh Robinson said. “While we’ve had crossover games, this makes one a little more special and provides a little bit of bragging rights. I think it’s another way to keep us united as a conference despite having two divisions.”
“We look at it as another way to promote high school soccer by making it a showcase event,” St. Charles North coach Eric Willson said. “We’ll look for ways to add to it in the future, perhaps tie in announcing the all-conference players from the two divisions.”
For the 2013 season, the top team from the Valley Division serves as host with future contests then continuing to alternate between the victors of the two divisions.
“It’s not so much about crowning a champion, but celebrating the sport as a conference,” said Kees, who admitted borrowing the idea from his days coaching in the Mid-Suburban League. “It’s a little more publicity for our sport and a little extra pride in being able to face the other division leader. I’m elated to hear it’s going to take place and I hope it continues to evolve into more of a showcase for the athletes.”