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Collinsville back at state soccer tournament after 11-year absence

Collinsville’s Logan Whitehead and O’Fallon’s Blake Stroh go for a header during their game at Collinsville in 2016.
Collinsville’s Logan Whitehead and O’Fallon’s Blake Stroh go for a header during their game at Collinsville in 2016.

The Collinsville Kahoks will make their first trip to the state soccer tournament in 11 years Friday when they take on the Libertyville Wildcats in a C;lass 3A semi-final game at Hoffman Estates High School.

Making its ninth state tournament appearance and first since 2007, the Kahoks (19-5-2) will attempt to win their fifth state championship and first since 1992. That quest begins at 7 p.m. Friday when they take on LIbertyville (21-0) in the second of two semi-final contests.

Naperville North (24-0) will take on Roselle Lake Park (21-3-3) in the first semi-final beginning a 5 p.m. The state title game is set for 7 p.m. Saturday and will follow the third place game at 5 p.m.

Following is a closer look at the four teams who will compete for the Clas 3A state championship.

Naperville (North) (24-0)

Coach: Jim Konrad (15 years, 274-58-27)

Classification Enrollment: 2674

Nickname: Huskies

Colors: Orange/Blue

Conference: DuPage Valley

Last Year’s Advancement: Defeated Libertyville, 1-0, in State Championship Game

State tournament history: This is the Huskies 11th trip to the state tournament. They won state titles in 1998, 2016 and 2017.

Players to watch: Sr. Defender Collin Iverson (17 goals, 8 assists, 42 points); Jr. Midfielder (14 goals, 18 assists, 46 points); Jr. Midfielder Zach Smith (13 goals, 3 assists, 29 points)

Roselle (Lake Park) (21-3-3)

Coach: Sean Crosby (3rd season 41-23-9)

Classification Enrollment: 2586

Nickname: Lancers

Colors: Navy Blue/White

Conference: DuKane

Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to West Chicago (H.S.), 2-1, in Regional Final

State tournament history: This is the Lancers second state tournament appearance

Players to watch: Sr. Midfielder Matteo Costa (12 goals, 7 assists, 31 points); Sr. Midfielder Jesus Juarez (5 goals, 9 assists, 19 points); Sr. Midfielder Franco Presta (17 goals, 8 assists, 42 points)

Collinsville (19-5-2)

Coach: Rob Lugge (2nd season, 36-13-2)

Classification Enrollment: 1885

Nickname: Kahoks

Colors: Purple/White

Conference: Southwestern

Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Normal (Community), 4-2, in Sectional Final

State Tournament history: The Kahoks are making their ninth trip to the state finals. They won state titles in 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1992

Players to watch: Sr. Midfielder Zane Baker (9 goals, 10 assists, 28 points); Sr. Midfielder Luke Liljegren (15 goals 7 assists 37 points); Sr. Forward Logan Whitehead (14 goals 5 assists 33 points)

Libertyville (21-0)

Coach: Kevin Thunholm (2nd season 41-1-2)

Classification Enrollment: 1917

Nickname: Wildcats

Colors: Black/Orange

Conference: North Suburban

Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Naperville (North), 1-0, in State Championship Game

State tournament history: The Wildcats are making their sixth state tournament appearance. They won a state title in 2015.

Players to watch: Sr. Midfielder Tanner Kelly (11 goals, 10 assists, 32 points); Sr. Forward Evan Rasmussen (33 goals, 13 assists, 79 points); Jr. Midfielder Mickey Riley (13 goals, 11 assists, 37 points)

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