The 2011 IHSA Boys Soccer State Finals begin on Friday and Saturday, October 28-29 when the Class 1A tournament unfolds at The Corn Crib in Normal. The 2011 tourney marks the 40th annual season of the Boys Soccer State Finals and the fourth year of the three-class system. The Corn Crib is the home of the Normal CornBelters, a minor league baseball franchise, and is hosting the event for the first time. The 2011 state final qualifiers are a seasoned group that have all appeared in the state tournament previously, including defending Class 1A state champ Lisle. The Lions continue their quest for a repeat against Warrensburg-Latham in Friday’s first semifinal (5:00 p.m.), while Chicago’s F.W. Parker and Quincy Notre Dame meet at 7:00 p.m. in the second semifinal. All four state final tournament matches on Friday and Saturday will be webcast live with full video and audio free of charge on IHSA.tv.
WARRENSBURG-LATHAM CARDINALS (21-3-1)
The Cardinals have become an elite program in the state under head coach Kevin Emery and will bring home their first trophy in the sport in 2011. Warrensburg-Latham went 1-16 in Emery’s debut season in 2003, but have recorded double-digit wins and a winning record every season since, including a state final appearance in 2006. A trio of high-scoring seniors lead the 2011 squad, as midfielder Bryce Hawthorne (35 goals, 11 assists), forward Cody Drew (24 goals, 18 assists) and midfielder Austin Cearlock (20 goals, 20 assists) have combined for 79 goals this season, two shy of equaling the entire season goal total from their semifinal foe. Keith Owens has started every match in goal this season for the Cardinals, making 69 saves en route to 15 shutouts, including four of five postseason matches.
LISLE LIONS (19-5-0)
Defending Class 1A state champ Lisle hasn’t missed a beat under first-year Lisle head coach Kevin Perez. Junior midfielder Erika Ozika (17 goals), who scored the lone goal in last year’s state championship victory, has emerged as the team’s top scorer in 2011, while senior forward Pat Webb (14 goals, 17 assists) can score or setup his teammates. Senior goalkeeper Kazim made 18 saves in last year’s two contests at state and has made 65 saves to go along with a .73 goals against average in 2011. Behind Kazim Khan, the Lions posted an 8-2 mark in one-goal games this season, which includes four straight State Series matches decided by a single tally. A year ago, both of Lisle’s state final victories came in one-goal games, as they downed Stillman Valley 3-2 in the semis and Peoria Christian 1-0 in the state championship.
F.W. PARKER COLONELS (16-8-1)
The Colonels and head coach Neil Curran started the year off slow, posting a 2-6-1 record through nine matches, but have turned things around to make their second state final trip in school history and first since 2007’s fourth-place finish. Curran’s crew enters its semifinal match against Quincy Notre Dame, a rematch of a 1-0 Colonel loss at Quincy on September 2, having won nine straight matches and 14 of 16 overall. F.W. Parker employs a balanced offense with six players who have six goals or more on the year, including senior forwards Ian Forrest (15 goals, 10 assists) and Johnny McConnell (14 goals, 12 assists). Max Bermont has split time between the pipes this season, but was the Colonels goalkeeper in the Super-Sectional match, where he limited Stillman Valley to one goal in a 4-1 victory.
QUINCY NOTRE DAME RAIDERS (18-6-2)
The 2011 Quincy Notre Dame squad is carrying on the school’s rich soccer tradition, as the Raiders are making their ninth state final appearance and third under head coach Greg Reis. Reis guided the school to a runner-up finish in 2005 and hopes to defeat F.W. Parker for the second time this season to make a return to the title match. With senior Mark Anderson (.84 GAA) handling the goalie duties, the defensive-oriented Raiders have notched 11 shutouts this season and allowed one goal or less in 18 matches. Senior Luke Mayfield (14 goals, 4 assists) is the leading goal-scorer on a team that has had 12 players tally netters this season and seven players score at least six times. Included in that group is senior Blake Rupp, whose sixth goal of the year came 83 seconds into overtime in the Raiders 4-3 Super-Sectional win over Columbia.
The Corn Crib (Normal)
Friday, October 28
Semifinal #1 - 5:00 p.m.
Warrensburg-Latham vs. Lisle
Semifinal #2 - 7:00 p.m.
F.W. Parker vs. Quincy Notre Dame
Saturday, October 29
Third-Place - 5:00 p.m.
Championship - 7:00 p.m.
All matches available live on www.IHSA.tv
WTAD 930AM (Quincy)
Quincy Notre Dame only
RESULTS & BOX SCORES
IHSA Boys Soccer Page
$6 per day
HISTORY & RECORDS
2011 1A State Series