On the first Saturday in May at Naperville Central, Waubonsie Valley midfielder Mackenzie Fuller scored two goals minutes apart in the second half as the Warriors knocked out New Trier 2-1 to win the Naperville Invitational.
A month later the two teams are poised to meet again as No. 1 Waubonsie Valley collides with No. 2 New Trier in the marquee game of the Class 3A state semifinals Friday at 7 p.m.
The first semifinal is a mystery as two teams stunned the field to qualify for state semifinal play. Under the radar Lincoln-Way North shocked Lyons 2-1 on penalty kicks to advance to its first state appearance ever. The Phoenix confront St. Charles East, a team hot at the right time.
In Class 2A, the narrative is more regional as the two Chicago-area entrants confront downstate powers: Hinsdale South meets Normal West and Lake Forest faces defending state champion Chatham Glenwood.
Here is a closer look at the four semifinals:
Lincoln-Way North (22-3-1) vs. St. Charles East (18-4-5): The Phoenix have won 14 straight games, and features a versatile offensive attack keyed by sophomore forward Rachel Pappas (21 goals, five assists) and freshman Bianca Galassini (10 goals, 13 assists). Lexi Cesario is an elite defender and keeper Bethany Dombkowski has registered 15 shutouts. St. Charles East counters with speed and a very strong middle. Senior Amanda Hilton has scored a team-leading 16 goals and junior forward Darcy Cunningham has 15 goals. The two facilitators are freshman forward Claire Rasmussen (11 assists) and junior midfielder Kelli Santo Paulo (five goals, five assists).
New Trier (29-1) vs. Waubonsie Valley (22-1-3): Strength against strength as the Warriors enter the game riding an 18-game winning streak and 25-game unbeaten stretch. Kristen Dodson (24 goals) and Fuller (13 goals, 12 assists) are electrifying in space. Waubonsie Valley has demonstrated great chemistry and depth. New Trier has won nine consecutive games, all by shutout, since the Warriors’ last loss. The Trevians feature a dynamite two-pronged attack in forwards Maddie Mulford (25 goals, 11 assists) and Kelly Maday (18 goals, 22 assists).
Normal West (25-1) vs. Hinsdale South (18-6-1): The Hornets feature balanced scoring and a shutdown defense. Freshman forward Cali Vanderplow has been outstanding, and gotten support from Courtney Cavalli and Jessica Koziol. Senior Sarah Warren is one of the state’s elite defenders and must slow Wildcats’ explosive All-State forward Keely Theobald (55 goals, 17 assists) and Abby Thompson (24 goals, 24 assists). Hinsdale South sophomore keeper Jean Cote has allowed just two goals in the last 11 games. The Hornets are 10-0-1 in those games.
Chatham Glenwood (16-4-2) vs. Lake Forest (17-6-1): The Scouts are making their first state finals appearance and have played 15 Class 3A schools. Midfielder Lucy Edwards (11 goals) and sophomore Jenny McKendry (12 goals) make the attack go. Defender Sydney Johnston keys the backline. Lake Forest must slow Titans’ forward Kelly Graves (20 goals, 11 assists).