THREE THINGS WE KNOW
No. 1: Benet makes its debut in the top 10 after defeating Wheaton Academy 3-0 on Monday for its ninth consecutive shutout. Senior keeper Christina Stopka has been superb and elite playmakers Katie Baumann and Michelle Morefield have powered the 4-3-3 offensive attack. The seeds of success are traced to a European tour coach Bob Gros organized last summer, where a team composed of largely Benet players performed admirably against much older competition.
No. 2: After injuries and lack of access to its field contributed to a slow start, No. 9 Waubonsie Valley is unbeaten in its last nine games after a season-opening 2-1 loss to No. 4 Lyons. Forward Kristen Dodson (Auburn), one of nine Division I recruits, scored her seventh goal of the season to lead the Warriors to a 2-0 victory over Naperville North last Friday. “We’re starting to come together and possess,” Dodson said. “Possession is such a huge part of soccer, and you’re not going to score unless you possess.”
No. 3: New Trier, Loyola, Lyons, Plainfield North and two-time defending Class 3A state champion Naperville North are among 10 ranked teams in the loaded Naperville Invitational that begins pool play Thursday. The winners of the eight respective team pools comprise the quarterfinal bracket that begins on May 1. Since the tournament’s debut in 1988, 22 of the 26 state champions are linked by their tournament participation. The championship match is scheduled at Naperville Central on Saturday, May 3, at noon.