St. Edward girls soccer program to remain in Class 1A

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A decision by the Illinois High School Association Monday to delay implementing its “success factor” rule until the 2015-16 school year means St. Edward’s girls soccer team can remain in Class 1A for another year or longer.

The rule change would have forced St. Edward into Class 2A for girls soccer because the Green Wave won a third-place trophy in 2014 and a fourth-place trophy in 2011. The success factor formula requires teams win two trophies in four years to make automatic advancement to a higher class, and a change was also tacked on at Monday’s IHSA board meeting requiring one of those trophies to have been won in the past two years.

“It feels good not having to get an enrollment multiplier applied to us and then also to get punished for being good,” Green Wave coach Tim Brieger said. “Really, I completely understand the rationale behind the IHSA’s decisions regardless of whether I agree or disagree.

“But what I like is this idea they’ve had of ‘let’s hammer this out first and avoid any knee-jerk decisions.’ “

The rule is an attempt to restore competitive balance in postseason play. The board decided more study and input was necessary before the plan should be implemented.

It’s possible that if the rule takes effect in 2015-16, St. Edward will completely avoid the promotion penalty. If St. Edward fails to win a state trophy next year, it would have been just one trophy won in four years, so the rule would no longer apply to the Elgin school.

“Well, we can’t say that for certain yet,” Brieger said. “There’s been a lot of discussion about grandfathering some teams in and doing other things. So we’ll have to see how all this shakes out.”

IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman said the success factor rule would affect about three percent of the members.

Brieger said he thought the Green Wave could be competitive in Class 2A even if bumped.

“All of our conference opponents except three or four were 2A,” Brieger said. “We only lost to the Class 1A champion (Manteno) in a shootout, a 2A sweet 16 team (Geneseo) and the runner-up in 3A (St. Charles East). So it’s not like we wouldn’t be able to compete.

“But it’s like if the girls do well, girls who come after them are penalized. So it’s good they wait until they have a full understanding of this.”

St. Edward finished 26-3 and loses a handful of key players, including Corey Lepoudre, Monica Ramirez, Alex Zeller, Allison Kruk and Emily Witt.

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