Girls Soccer: Naperville North, Glenbrook South highlight state quarterfinal matchupsZoe Swift (21) of Naperville North races with the ball as Ava Porlier of Downers Grove South pursues. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 1, 2012 10:23AM
Naperville North dodged every bullet. Now the question is whether the Huskies are going to be the last team standing.
The top-ranked and defending Class 3A state runner-up Huskies avoided the win-or-go-home state tournament format that clipped previously top-ranked Loyola, New Trier and Conant.
“We have a very deep team, and we’ve had different players step up,” first-year Naperville North coach Steve Goletz said.
Here’s a closer look at Friday’s Class 3A and Class 2A state semifinals at North Central College in Naperville.
Naperville North (22-1-2) vs. Glenbrook South (21-4-4), 5 p.m.: The marquee game features No. 1 North against the state’s hottest team, No. 5 Glenbrook South, who stunned New Trier 1-0 in the super sectional to win its 15th consecutive game. The Titans are 18-1 since a 3-3-4 start.
Naperville North features star junior forward Zoe Swift (23 goals, five assists) and impressive freshman Abbie Boswell (12 goals, 12 assists). The match up to watch is Northwestern-bound star defender Jen Korn, whose primary target is shutting down Titans’ junior star forward April Cronin (26 goals, nine assists).
St. Charles North (18-5-2) vs. Downers South (19-5-3), 7 p.m.: The North Stars have been perfect in the state tournament, posting five shutouts in making its second state tournament appearance the last three years. Senior forward Lauren Koehl (22 goals, 11 assists) is the team’s offensive catalyst, and is backed by junior midfielder Natalie Winkates (11 goals, eight assists) and junior midfielder Kelli Manski (10 goals, 12 assists).
Carly Dietrich has been the North Stars’ primary keeper, with strong support from Shelby Stitz.
The No. 6 North Stars beat the No. 7 Mustangs 1-0 in Downers South’s tournament in March. In the swan song of legendary coach Barry Jacobson (488-143-58 in 29 years), Downers South has been on a mission. Senior forward Sarrah Ludwig (29 goals, six assists) and senior defender Jessica Pikul are two of the state’s best players.
St. Francis (22-3) vs. St. Viator (15-8-4), 11 a.m.: The No. 15 Spartans survived Benet on penalty kicks to qualify for their first semifinal appearance. St. Francis boasts depth, speed and balance, and has received critical contributions from its senior leaders: midfielders Sydney Fox, Amanda Gaggioli and Katie Ramsey. Junior forward Kaity Bucaro and defender Taylor Bucaro are also dangerous.
The unheralded Lions have blistered the opposition 12-0 in the state tournament. Star senior forward Katelyn Hammarlund (12 goals, 16 assists) is the crucial playmaker and has gotten strong support from junior forward Chloe Luthringshausen (nine goals, four assists). Senior Morgan Hess has been stellar in the net.
Downstate powers Chatham Glenwood and Normal meet in the second semifinal.