High School Sports

Defensive-minded Triad ready for challengers at Class 2A State Soccer Tournament

The Triad Knights will put their air-tight defense on display when they take on the defending state champion Crystal Lake South Gators in a Class 2A state semifinal game Friday at suburban Hoffman Estates High School.

Making its second trip to the state soccer tournament, Triad (22-2-3) has recorded 18 shutouts and has allowed just 15 goals all season. The Knights, who placed third at the 2009 Class 2A state finals,w ill battle the Gators (19-4-4) beginning at 1 p.m.

Burbank St. Laurence (19-4-1) will play Lisle Benet Academy (18-1-2) in the other semifinal at 3 p.m. The semifinal winners will meet for the state title on Saturday at 1 p.m. The third place game is set for 11 a.m.

Following is a closer look at the four teams which will compete for the Class 2A state title.

Crystal Lake (South) (19-4-4)

Coach: Brian Allen (13th season 190-102-25)

Classification Enrollment: 1493

Nickname: Gators

Colors: Green/Gold/White

Conference: Fox Valley

Last year’s advancement: The Gators defeated Peoria Notre Dame 4-3 in the state title game

State Tournament History: This is Crystal Lake South’s second trip to the state tournament

Players to watch: Sr. Forward: Alex Canfield (32 goals, 18 assists, 84 points); Jr. Midfielder Tyler Geltzinger (9 goals, 4 assists, 22 points); Sr. Forward Garrett Schneider (7 goals, 4 assists, 18 points); Sr. Goalie Carson Hill (goals allowed 27, saves 115)

Triad (22-2-3)

Coach: Jim Jackson (7th season, 103-56-15)

Classification Enrollment: 1114.5

Nickname: Knights

Colors: Black /White/Red

Conference: Mississippi Valley

Last year’s advancement: Lost to Gibault in regional final

State tournament history: This is Triad’s second trip to the state tournament

Players to watch: Sr. Midfielder Colton Clark (13 goals, 15 assists, 41 points); Soph. Midfielder Jake Ellis (12 goals, 8 assists, 30 points); Sr. Forward Travis Speer (18 goals, 13 assists,m 49 points); Sr. Back: Michael Tentis (15 goals, 14 assists, 44 points); Soph. Goalie David DuPont (15 goals allowed, 103 saves)

Burbank St. Laurence (19-4-1)

Coach: Kyle Boekeloo (2nd season, 37-9-2)

Classification Enrollment: 853

Nickname: Vikings

Colors: Black/Gold

Conference: Chicago Catholic

Last year’s advancement: Lost to Chicago Washington 3-2 in sectional semifinal

State tournament history: This is the Vikings first trip to the state finals

Players to watch: Sr. Forward: Luke Arthurs (8 goals, 12 assists, 28 points); Sr. Midfielder Saul Camacho (16 goals, 20 assists, 52 points); Soph. Forward Andres Leums (22 goals, 7 assists, 51 points); Sr. Goalie: Fernando Certantz (13 goals allowed, 56 saves)

Lisle Benet Academy (18-1-2)

Coach: Shawn Wesley (10th season, 154-45-15)

Classification Enrollment: 1329

Nickname: Redwings

Colors: Red/White

Conference: East Suburban Catholic

Last season’s advancement: Lost to Lake Park 2-1 in sectional final

State tournament history: This is the Redwings fourth trip to the state finals

Players to watch: Soph. forward TJ McVey (18 goals, 3 assists, 39 points); Sr. Foward Nck Renfro (9 goals, 7 assists, 25 point s); Sr. Goalie Vladimir Stanskiris (3 goals, 77 saves)

Dean Criddle has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat for 32 years as a sports writer. Dean graduated from SIUE with a double major in journalism and English, is married and lives in Belleville.