Lane's Tiago Franco (sr., MF, left) and Simon Gilson(jr, GK) sit in despair after their loss to #1 Glenbrook North in the Sectional Semifinals.
Glenbrook North 3 Lane Tech 2
The game pitted the CPS champions Lane vs the Central Suburban League champions and #1 seed Glenbrook North.
I've seen lots of Lane Tech soccer teams over the last 12 years. This team was one of the better ones. But at the end, Lane could not hold onto a 2 goal lead and was beaten by Glenbrook North.
Lane jumped out to a 2-0 early lead when #17 (Seth Hultgren? (sr, F)) struck twice. The first 10 minutes into the game and the 2nd 3 minutes later. But GBN did not give up. They cut to deficit by one after they scored on a nice cross with 23 minutes left in the first half.
GBN tied the game early in the 2nd half on a #7 goal. He scored again on a similar goal after a pass towards the middle with just 4 minutes left.
Lane had two final chances to score but in the last minutes of the game but the GBN goal keeper had two great saves The first came on set piece and the second came moments later in the jumble after the rebound.
Lane players clap to their fans after the game. Lane will return a couple nice players next year. I liked the fire of goal keeper Simon Gilson(jr, GK) and the overall play of midfielder/forward Brandon Rivera(jr, M/F) and Maricn Kieta(jr, MF).
Payton led by Alejandra Vargas(sr-above) has a chance to advance to state. Payton won the Latin Regionals with 34 points. Vargas took the individual title. Vargas finished 23rd at the CPS meet. He ran a PR 15:56 at Pat Savage. Payton ran 1 senior, 1 junior, 4 sophomores, and 1 freshman at regionals. Other CPS teams to look out for at this Saturday's Fenton Sectionals: Northside Prep, Mather, Lake View, and Kenwood.
Despite all the drama from Regionals, Bukuru Anaclet(sr) and Von Steuben got the job done and advanced to sectionals.
At the beginning of the season I said "Von Steuben has the makings of a special team". That statement came to reality as Von Steuben finished third at the St. Ignatius Class 3A Cross Country Regional. That is the highest finish I remember Von Steuben finishing at a regionals (they also finished 3rd last year). It wasn't just a 3rd place finish that made it noteworthy. But who they beat. They beat Fenwick, Lane, Illiana Christian, and Jones. This was a very difficult sectional this year and every team after the top 2 (WY and Iggy) really had to fight to get in. The addition of Illiana Christian in this regional made it especially tough.
I am not going to go into the drama and controversy of what happened at Regionals, because I was not there nor do I have any official word of what happened. But the bottom line is that Jones (and #1 runner Jeremy Adams(sr)) did not advance after finishing in the tough luck spot - 7th place finish (only top 6 advance). Lane and Illiana Christian were tied for 5th with 119 points to Jones 122 points.
Meanwhile Von Steuben finished 3rd with 101 points. They advanced despite a DQ of one of their runners Henry Wen(sr).
Von Steuben, Lane, and regional champion Whitney Young now have to look forwards towards sectionals. They advance to the Niles West Sectional this Saturday where York, New Trier, Maine South, Wheaton Warrenville South, and others await them. This is not going to be an easy sectional at all for any team. Even York, New Trier, and Whitney Young are not 100% shoo ins to finish high or advance to state. All three of those teams have shown some vulnerabilities this year. York is led by 3 strong juniors but has to get help from their 4 and 5 spots. New Trier was beaten by Maine South in their conference championship. Whitney Young has to be concerned about their performance of Clayton Mendez(jr)- an all state runner last year, does not seem to be quite the same this year.
This year's sectionals teams won't care about what happened in the past. I could not help but notice how some of the out of radar teams performed well at regionals. I saw Glenbrook South finish a surprise 2nd at the Loyola Regionals. Running a team with only one senior their 1-5 split was only 17 seconds. Glenbard West had two sophomores finish in the top 5 at Regionals to lead their 2nd place Lake Park Regional finish. 3rd place Wheaton Warrenville South and 4th place Wheaton North cannot be overlooked as they had all 5 runners run in the 15's.
Class 1A Sectional Finals (#1) Francis Parker 1 (#5) Sullivan 0
Class 2A Regional Finals (#1) Mt. Carmel 1 (#7) Solorio 0 (#6) Back of the Yards 1 (#4) Hancock 0 (#8) Bulls 2 (#2) Nazareth Academy 0 (#5) Farragut 2 (#3) St. Laurence 0 (#2) Washington 4 (#3) Oak Forest 1 (#15) Amundsen 2 (#12) Foreman 1 (#2) Fenwick 1 (#1) Pritzker 0 (#3) St. Patrick 3 (#11) Prosser 0 Class 3A Regional Finals (#4) Lane Tech 3 (#5) Leyden
After the regional finals there are 6 CPS teams still alive. CPS champion Lane got by Leyden 3-2 playing on Leyden's home field. They play #1 seed Glenbrook North this Wednesday at Maine East.
Class 2A is where most of the CPS action is. Back of the Yards beat Hancock 1-0 in a mild upset. I say mild because Back of Yards is a really good team having beat Hinsdale South in the Pepsi Showdown in the regular season. The Bulls pulled of the biggest shcoker of the day in a 2-0 win over #2 ranked Nazareth Academy. Then again, the Bulls is typically the best Noble school team and they have beaten West Aurora and Streamwood this year.
Sullivan, led by head coach Migert Baburi, an Albania immigrant, almost led his mosh posh of recent immigrants and refugees at Sullivan to the Final 8, but could not get past #1 Francis Parker in the Class 1A Sectional Finals at North Shore Country Day. In the last 4 years under Baburi, Sullivan has been the top Class 1A boys soccer program in the CPS.
Recent history shows that whoever emerges as the top from the CPS after this stage of the playoffs will be a tough nut to crack. The CPS is particularly tough in 2A. Mather won state in 2011. Washington won state in 2013 and took 4th last year.
Yesterday Cics Longwood Junior #1 Collin Evans had 13 tackles to get him on the board to a 100+ tackles on the season. He become the only one in school history to make 100+ Tackles . As a coach I just didn't want this to go unnoticed because he is very underrated .