The second week of the season hardly constitutes an inflection point.
We are no closer to having definitive answers and statements.
At the same time, the week was revealing and exceptional in many ways, with particular and crucial details in the high number of elite tournaments played out in most geographical fixed points, from the central Illinois hamlet of Morton, to Reavis, New Trier, Glenbrook South, Lake Park. St. Charles, Barrington, Wauconda and Naperville.
"This was a great tournament, because of how it gave us a sense of where we are, and what our strengths are," Round Lake coach Hugo Tellez said after his team's 3-0 defeat against New Trier in the championship game of the Northside College Showcase.
The tournaments are high points of reference and cross currents, being witness to the different and contrasting styles of play, individual rivalries, and also how teams match up.
The tournament format means the games come hard and fast, with little break in between, and teams have to adjust on the fly and move on quickly.
With any sport, as the games accumulate and more data becomes available to interpret and study, each week takes on greater meaning.
Part of the subtext within the poll week to week is to project teams' strength of schedules and the quality of play in their conference. Using the current poll as a prism on the larger quality of play, the West Suburban Silver, Central Suburban South, DuKane, DuPage Valley and the Southwest Prairie are loaded.
As those conferences move into their league slates, the importance of the games magnify. The tournaments offer a window, and the conference races vivid snapshots.
On Thursday, third-ranked Oak Park and River Forest travels to no. 4 York, in a battle of unbeatens. On the same night, top-ranked Elgin hooks up with arguably the hottest team, no. 7 Naperville North, which just captured its ninth-consecutive Best of the West Tournament title.
The details are in the telling. A season that just started is beginning to move into the higher gears, making for some great theater and terrific soccer.
Come back this time next week and let's see how it plays out.
|1||1||Elgin||5-0-0||Aaron Saldana is a great facilitator|
|2||2||Morton||3-0-0||Yahir Aguilar is part of a dominant middle|
|3||5||Oak Park and River Forest||5-0-0||Diego Zarate a shutdown defender|
|4||4||York||3-0-0||Jayden Waski is fantastic up-top threat|
|5||7||New Trier||5-0-0||Aidan O'Neill keys Northside tournament title|
|6||9||Bloom||5-0-0||Omar Ortiz leads Windy City Ram Classic title|
|7||12||Naperville North||4-1-0||Noah Radeke leads Best of West title win|
|8||13||Stevenson||6-0-0||Will Rokosh earns MVP of Titan Invitational|
|9||16||Glenbrook North||5-0-1||Ian Lee powers Barrington title run|
|10||19||Evanston||6-0-0||Allowed just 1 goal thus far|
|11||21||St. Charles North||4-1-0||Walter DeLaPaz wins hometown title|
|12||8||St. Charles East||4-1-0||Aiden Maloney steps up in clash with North|
|13||11||Naperville Central||3-2-1||Patrick Bohan is talented 2-way performer|
|14||3||Romeoville||6-1-1||Rival Bolingbrook deals 1st loss|
|15||17||Solorio||5-1-0||Gave Bloom battle in Ram Classic|
|16||24||Reavis||5-1-0||Diego Corona a talent at forward|
|17||20||Stagg||2-1-0||Chargers played Morton tough in 1-goal loss|
|18||22||Marmion||2-0-2||Alvaro Alanis tough on the attack|
|19||15||Palatine||5-0-1||Keeper Alex Ganji secures Wauconda tournament|
|20||HM||Mt. Carmel||2-1-1||Lost to Stevenson on PK|
|21||23||West Aurora||6-0-0||Took Morton (Ill.) tourney|
|22||HM||Oswego East||3-1-1||Saturday showdown with Bolingbrook|
|23||NR||Bolingbrook||1-0-1||Took down Romeoville 2-0|
|24||NR||Maine South||3-2-0||Zach Malinsky wins Golden Boot at St. Charles|
|25||NR||Hinsdale Central||2-1-1||Luca Davies is scoring|
Look out for: Lane, West Chicago, Glenbrook South; Round Lake; Prairie Ridge; Dundee-Crown; Rolling Meadows; Niles North; Libertyville; Streamwood; Lincoln-Way West; Lincoln-Way Central; Plainfield East; Leyden; Young.