Give it up for the keepers.
In a beautiful week of soccer, the defenders of the line came to the forefront, pushing their teams to heightened recognition.
At a time when scoring has never seemed so prevalent or efficient, the defensive side reigned supreme in a couple of significant tournaments.
Not surprisingly, those teams are the week’s high-risers.
Wheaton North junior Zoey Bohmer showed off her chops, utilizing breathtaking speed, quickness, presence and reaction time to shut down three ranked teams.
After knocking out host Lockport in the semifinals of the Porter Cup, the Falcons captured the championship with the 1-0 victory over Lincoln-Way East.
Bohmer finished with 12 saves, including a penalty kick stop, against the team previously ranked no. 15.
On Saturday, Geneva went up against a top five Plainfield North team that averaged more than five goals per game, Vikings keeper Jordan Forbes made nine saves, including two in the penalty shootout, in the Vikings victory over their hosts in the championship game of the Plainfield Classic.
As highlighted a few weeks ago, the DuKane Conference is a most interesting, deep and compelling league.
It stands with the DuPage Valley and Central Suburban League South Division as one of the best around.
Geneva rockets into the Top 5 and the Falcons zip up to no. 18 from the list of the honorable mention to give the league four members of the poll.
At the championship game of the Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Classic in Northfield, Lyons finally surrendered a goal.
Except the Lions put up four of their own against previously seventh-ranked Evanston.
Now the Lions earn outright a prize they shared with Loyola after last year’s championship game wasn't played due to weather and then logistics.
St. Charles East, like Lyons, unbeaten and untied, is one of the teams to watch with the start of group play Thursday in the Naperville Invitational.
Geneva, Lyons and St. Charles East are all part of the field. The Vikings only loss is against the Lions.
Eleven members of the 24-team field are ranked in this week’s poll. The Naperville Invitational is the high-water mark of regular-season tournaments.
We are roughly at the halfway point of the season. Things are getting truly interesting.
In this generation of data-driven journalism like 538 or The Ringer, I have been interested in applying Bill James’ “Pythagorean theorem,” of baseball, that uses scoring differential, rather than winning percentage, as the most important gauge of measuring success.
I’m not mathematically skilled enough to parse all the numbers, but the basics are that James looked at the number of runs scored versus runs given up, and applied a Pythagorean number to how many victories a team should have based on that scoring differential.
One of the interesting things about the newly redesigned site is, if you click the “Girls ‘23” menu item, it shows a table of the all Chicagoland Soccer teams with records, goals scored and goals allowed.
Lyons, for instance, has scored 31 goals and allowed just the one score. St. Charles East has a 52-5 differential. Top ranked and defending state champion Metea Valley has a 42-9 breakdown. Oswego East is notable for a 47-3 contrast; Geneva stands at 47-5.
Schedules, of course, veer rapidly from program to program. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.
It is something to think about as one of many interesting and dovetailing ways to think about the larger hierarchy.
|1||1||Metea Valley||10-0-2||Keeper Alyssa Gluting has been superb|
|2||2||Barrington||6-0-1||Ellie Sanchez is a rock in the back|
|3||3||Lyons||10-0-0||Peyton Israel is a gifted attacking talent|
|4||6||St. Charles E||11-0-0||Tia Bernstein is a creative middle attacker|
|5||16||Geneva||9-1-0||Keeper Jordan Forbes is the star of Plainfield Classic|
|6||8||LW Central||9-0-2||Impressive win over WW South|
|7||4||Plainfield N||10-1-2||Geneva ends unbeaten streak in Classic shootout|
|8||7||Evanston||8-1-1||Maddy Ball is an excellent two-way threat|
|9||5||New Trier||10-1-1||Nora Westol has emerged as new scoring threat|
|10||9||Naperville C||5-0-1||Malia Shen is a gifted player at the top|
|11||13||Oswego E||7-1-1||Lana Bomstad is versatile talent in the middle|
|12||12||Benet||8-1-0||Reese MacDonald is a force in the middle attack|
|13||17||Fremd||7-1-1||Lily Mayer is a dyamic talent at the top|
|14||10||St. Charles N||6-2-1||Bartlett transfer Laney Stark is a nice addition|
|15||22||Naperville N||5-3-1||Reagan O'Malley is a skilled free kick specialist|
|16||11||Libertyville||4-2-1||Tough, close losses vs. Naperville N., Evanston|
|17||HM||Lake Zurich||8-1-0||Bears' only loss was early against Fremd|
|18||18||Hinsdale Central||7-0-2||Cate McDonnell is a fantastic up top talent|
|19||HM||Wheaton N||7-3-1||Zoey Bohmer is a star keeper|
|20||15||LW East||10-2-0||Griffiths come up short against in Porter Cup|
|21||14||Lockport||9-2-1||Porters another south side power stymied by Zoey Bohmer|
|22||HM||Batavia||5-2-1||Avery Solomon has a flair for the dramatic|
|23||NR||Minooka||7-1-2||Only loss came against Plainfield North|
|24||HM||Glenbrook N||7-3-1||Showdown with surprising Niles West Tuesday|
|25||19||Carmel||5-3-1||Peyton Carney is a fantastic and skilled stopper|
Look out for: Deerfield, York, Loyola, Lane, Lake Forest, Stevenson, Neuqua Valley, Warren, Hersey, Burlington Central, Plainfield South, Downers Grove South, Riverside-Brookfield, Morton, Mundelein.