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Poll: Chicagoland Soccer Top 25 (Week 8 --10-15-23)

By Patrick Z. McGavin , 10/16/23, 12:10AM CDT


Now everything matters, and it is one and done.

The regular-season ended with the two significant championship matches — the Chicago Public League Tournament and the Soccer Bowl of the Mid-Suburban League.

Taft knocked out insurgent Goode 4-0 for its first city championship. Palatine topped Buffalo Grove 2-1 to end up one of just two Chicago-area teams to go undefeated, along with top-ranked Oak Park and River Forest.

The top-ranked team of the Illinois 10, Triad, suffered its first loss of the season to an out-of-state team on October 7. Quad Cities power Moline (13-0-3) is the only other state team to finish the regular-season without a loss.

For the first time in the history of the three-class format in the boys state tournament, the three state championship games are being played on the same weekend, November 2-4, at Hoffman Estates High School.

The Class A state semifinals are going to be played on Thursday, November 2. The Class AA and Class 3A state semifinals will take place on Friday, November 3.

The state championship games are scheduled to unfold consecutively on Saturday, November 4, beginning with the Class A match at 2:30 p.m.

An interesting and compelling regular-season now gives way to the crucial stage with the full involvement of the state tournament series.

The end of the eighth-week of the regular-season also signifies the final Top 25 poll. The poll goes on hiatus during the state tournament.  A Final 50 poll of the state’s top teams, regardless of geography or classification, will be publish after the last ball has been booted.

Like past seasons, this final poll is a summation of the regular-season with the comments looking forward to the state tournament and measuring the strength of the sectionals.

Some years have been hard to gauge the toughest sectional. There is no such ambiguity this year. The Class 3A Evanston Sectional stands apart, both in the elite quality of its top end and the depth of quality programs.

Evanston features two of the top three teams in the Top 25 and a staggering five of the top eight.

Leyden, which just concluded a perfect run in the West Suburban Gold to break Morton's long hold, has a higher ranking (no. 7) now than its seed (no. 9). Evanston showcases the no. 1 (Oak Park and River Forest), no. 3 (New Trier), no. 6 (Niles North), no. 7 (Leyden) and no. 8 (Evanston) teams.

Twenty-three of the Top 25 teams are Class 3A programs.

Eight of those 23 Class 3A ranked teams are playing at Evanston, which also features no. 18 Taft, no. 21 Lane and no. 24 Notre Dame.

The Plainfield North Sectional has four Top 25 teams: no. 2 Naperville North; no. 16 Marmion; no. 17 West Aurora and no. 23 Naperville Central.

Proviso East has three ranked teams: no. 15 Morton; no. 20 Young; and no. 22 Lyons.

Fremd has two teams: no. 4 Palatine and no. 9 Glenbrook North. The timing of the seeding meeting contributed to Palatine being positioned behind Glenbrook North.

Second-seeded Streamwood defeated top-seeded and defending sectiona champion Elgin on October 2. The defending sectional champion Maroons have the higher seed there. The pair are the only ranked teams in the Round Lake Sectional.

York has made two-consecutive state finals trips, capturing the 3A title in 2021 and finishing fourth last year. The Dukes are the only ranked team in the West Chicago Sectional.

The only Class AA teams to make the final Top 25 poll are Brother Rice, the top-seed at Lemont, and Benet, a subsectional top seed in the St. Francis Sectional.

Please consult the Illinois 10 for the top contenders outside of Chicago for the Class A and Class AA state tournament. The Class A and Class AA Super 7 polls also offer a sharp primer of who to keep an eye on.

Now the fun really starts.


Rank LW Team Record Comment
1 1 Oak Park and River Forest 20-0-2 Top-seed at Evanston
2 2 Naperville North 17-1-3 Top-seed at Plainfield North
3 3 New Trier 16-1-2 No. 2 at Evanston
4 5 Palatine 17-0-3 No. 2 at Fremd
5 4 Bloom 22-1-0 Top-seed at Joliet West
6 7 Niles North 20-2-0 No. 4 at Evanston
7 9 Leyden 15-4-1 No. 9 at Evanston
8 6 Evanston 15-2-3 No. 3 at Evanston
9 8 Glenbrook North 16-3-2 Top-seed at Fremd
10 11 Stevenson 14-2-1 No. 3 at Stevenson
11 12 Brother Rice 15-3-2 Top-seed at AA Lemont
12 15 Stagg 14-3-1 No. 3 at Joliet West
13 10 York 13-4-0 Top-seed at West Chicago
14 14 Elgin 12-3-3 Top-seed at Round Lake
15 18 Morton 13-5-2 Top-seed Proviso East
16 13 Marmion 12-3-3 No. 6 at Plainfield North
17 17 West Aurora 18-3-0 No. 2 at Plainfield North
18 19 Taft 13-6-1 No. 8 at Evanston
19 20 Streamwood 13-4-4 No. 2 at Round Lake
20 21 Young 13-6-3 No. 3 at Proviso East
21 25 Lane 12-3-1 No. 5 at Evanston
22 HM Lyons 13-6-2 No. 2 at Proviso East
23 HM Naperville Central 9-5-7 No. 5 at Plainfield North
24 23 Notre Dame 13-3-2 No. 7 at Evanston
25 24 Benet 11-3-3 Subsectional top-seed at AA St. Francis

Look out for:  Lincoln-Way Central, Lockport, Huntley, Maine South, Hinsdale Central, Reavis, Oswego, Lake Zurich, Geneva, Plainfield East, Romeoville, Round Lake, Larkin, Glenbard West, T.F. United.