Patrick Z. McGavin’s boys soccer notes

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No. 1: In the Class 3A Hinsdale South Sectional, called a “death march” by one coach, No. 2 Lyons ended previously top-ranked Hinsdale Central’s season with a 2-1 victory that avenged its 3-0 loss in West Suburban Silver play. In ending the Red Devils’ 11-game winning streak, Lyons (17-2-3) posted its 10th consecutive victory and has outscored its opponents by a combined 39-3 in those matches. Seniors Matt Murphy and Frankie Kocimski scored for the Lions against the Red Devils. For the fourth time in five years, Lyons and No. 3 Morton (26-2) will meet in the state tournament in Friday’s sectional final.

No. 2: Every state tournament defies analysis or prediction. The story of Buffalo Grove is a true Cinderella tale. The Bison, the No. 15 seed in the Mundelein Sectional, have won as many games (four) since the start of the Class 3A state tournament Oct. 18th as they did during the regular season. Daniel Ramirez’s goal pushed the Bison (8-8-6) over Carmel 2-1 in the sectional semifinals Tuesday. Star senior keeper Ricardo Valencia has recorded two shutouts during the tournament and notched nine saves against the Corsairs. Buffalo Grove meets Mid-Suburban rival and fifth-ranked Barrington in the final. The Broncos beat Buffalo Grove 1-0 during the season.

No. 3: St. Ignatius dropped to Class 2A. Along with No. 7 Wheaton Academy and No. 18 Burlington Central, they form the top threats from the Chicago area for a state title. The No. 16 Wolfpack toppled city champion Lake View 5-0 in the Ridgewood Sectional semifinal Tuesday and are now 11-1-1 in their last 13 games. The stretch includes an impressive 2-1 victory over No. 6 Lake Park at Toyota Park. Senior Bryan Long credits the return of forward Marco Sanchez. “He was out with a dislocated shoulder, and once he came back, he brought a lot of energy to the team,” Long said. Junior Jonathan Viera is another top offensive playmaker for the Wolfpack, which faces host Ridgewood for the sectional championship.

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