The Gibault Hawks will attempt to win that elusive fifth boys state soccer championship in school history beginning Friday at the Class 2A State Soccer Tournament at Hoffman Estates High School.
Third in the 2016 Class 1A state finals and second in Class 2A a year ago, the Hawks (17-4-5) will take on the Crystal Lake South Gators (20-2-3) at 1 p.m. in the first of two Class 2A semi-final games. Peoria Notre Dame (22-2) will play Chicago St. Ignatius College Prep (16-7) in the second game at 3 p.m.
The two semi-final winners will play for the state title on Saturday at 1 p.m. The third place game is at 11 a.m.
Following is a closer look at the teams whiich will compete for the Class 2A State title this weekend.
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Waterloo (Gibault Catholic) (17-4-5)
Coach: Darryn Haudrich (2nd season, 34-10-8)
Classification Enrollment: 351.45 (M)
Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Chicago (Solorio Academy), 6-0, in State Championship Game
State tournament history: This is the Hawks 12th trip to the state tournament. Gibault won the Class A state title in 2005, 2006, 2007 and the Class 1A crown in 2013
Players to watch: Sr. Forward Logan Doerr (22 goals, 14 assists, 58 points); Sr. Midfielder Karson Huels (15 goals,17 assists, 47 points); Sr. Forward Cameron Kincheloe (9 goals, 3 assists, 21 points); Soph. Midfielder Tate Schilling (8 goals, 6 assists, 22 points).
Crystal Lake (South) (20-2-3)
Coach: Brian Allen (12 years, 169-98-21)
Classification Enrollment: 1462
Conference: Fox Valley
Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Algonquin (Jacobs), 1-0, in 3A Sectional Semifinal
State Tournament history: This is the Gators first trip to the state soccer tournament
Players to watch: Jr. Forward Alex Canfield (30 goals, 6 assists, 66 points); Sr. Midfielder Ryan Coughlin (8 goals, 9 assists, 25 points); Sr. Defender Nick Langdon (6 goals, 11 assists, 23 points)
Chicago (St. Ignatius College Prep) (16-7)
Coach: Ryan Kearns (5th season, 71-30-14)
Classification Enrollment: 1454
Conference: Chicago Catholic
Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Downers Grove (North), 4-2, in 3A Regional Final
State tournament history: This is the Wolfpacks third trip to the state tournament
Players to watch: Sr. Midfielder Max Griffin (18 goals, 1 assist, 37 points); Sr, Defender Keith Bevans (10 goals, 5 assists, 25 points); Jr. Midifielder Daniel Fernandez (6 goals, 2 assiss, 14 points)
Peoria (Notre Dame) (22-2)
Coach: Mike Bare (12th year, 241-46-20)
Classification Enrollment: 1280.4 (M)
Colors: Navy/White/Kelly Green
Conference: Big Twelve
Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Quincy (Notre Dame), 4-2, in Sectional Final
State tournament history: This is the Irish 15th trip to the state tournament. They won Class 2A state title in 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012
Players to watch: Jr. Midfielder Myles Sophanavong (24 goals, 24 assists, 72 points); Jr. Forward Noah Madrigal (39 goals, 13 assists, 91 points); Jr. Forward Declan Dillon (9 goals, 22 assists, 40 points)