The 2014 IHSA Class 1A Girls Soccer State Finals are slated to unfold at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium on the campus of North Central College in Naperville on Friday and Saturday, May 30-31.The 2014 tournament marks the 27th annual season of the Girls Soccer State Finals, North Central’s 13th consecutive year hosting and the sixth year of the three-class system. Three of the four state qualifiers lost in the Super-Sectionals last season, leading to a complete turnover from last year’s state final field. Rochester and Manteno have each won state titles previously, while St. Edward makes its third state final trip, making Rockford Christian the lone first-time qualifier.
Rochester and Rockford Christian will meet in Friday’s first semifinal at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, with Manteno and St. Ed following at 7:00 p.m. Saturday’s action begins at 3:00 p.m. with the third-place match and the state championship is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m.
Every match will be broadcast live on the NFHS Network via www.IHSA.tv
ROCHESTER ROCKETS (18-7-0)
Rochester was the last Class A state champion of the two-class era, winning the 2008 title in head coach Chad Kutscher’s first season. The Rockets, who have won 15 matches or more every season under Kutscher, are making their first state final trip since 2008’s championship run. Rochester’s balanced offense features four double-digit goal scorers, including sophomore forward Beccca Jostes (18 goals, 15 assists) and senior forward Lyndi Saccaro (12 goals, 9 assists). Sophomore Maddie Gleeson has improved between the pipes throughout the season, allowing just four goals in the last 10 matches. Sophomore midfielder Baylee Smith (11 goals, 10 assists) was the hero in the Super-Sectional, heading in a goal in the waning seconds of double-overtime to win the match.
ROCKFORD CHRISTIAN ROYAL LIONS (16-2-1)
Rockford Christian reaches the state finals for the first time in school history in head coach Kevin Obee’s 10th season at the helm. Rockford Christian features senior Haley Kittle (40 goals, 19 assists), one of two 40-goal scorers who will be taking the field this weekend. Kittle’s incredible numbers grab the headlines, but sophomore Adali Johnson is a budding star, already having tallied 19 goals and 18 helpers this season. Freshman goalie Meaghan Heimbach is allowing less than a goal per game (.76 gaa) and has made 75 saves this season. Despite its youth in some spots, Rockford Christian is battle-tested, as they enter having won three straight one-goal matches, including a 2-1 win over previously unbeaten Stillman Valley in the Sectional final.
MANTENO PANTHERS (23-2-0)
Manteno appeared in three state championship matches, winning one, under head coach Jake Emerson from 2009 to 2012. Second-year head coach Kevin Mikuce has quickly made his mark on the program as well, getting the Panthers back to state after falling to eventual state champ Quincy Notre Dame in last year’s Super-Sectional. Manteno is led by the senior sister act of Emily and Sarah Gaither. Emily owns a team-high 40 goals this season, many of which have been setup by Sarah (21 assists). Senior forward Sophia Schnitzler (23 goals, 19 assists) adds to a prolific offense that has outscored its five postseason opponents 21-1. Senior goalkeeper Emma Shores has made 84 saves this season and combined to be a part of 15 shutouts.
ST. EDWARD LADY WAVE (25-2-0)
Tim Breiger has built St. Edward into one of the state’s most consistent programs in his 19-year tenure, with 2014 marking a new season-record for victories. He hopes to get his first state final victory in his team’s third appearance in 2014. The Lady Wave have played suffocating defense in 2014, anchored by junior goalie Paige Dykstra (8 goals allowed in 27 matches), en route to shutting out 22 of their 27 opponents this season, including 17 in a row entering the weekend. On the offensive end, the team features a pair of 30-goal scorers in junior forward Chelsea Gnan (33 goals, 13 assists) and senior forward Allison Kruk (30 goals), while senior Alex Zeller (22 goals, 20 assists) adds another potent scoring threat.
North Central College (Naperville)
Friday, May 30
Semifinal #1 - 5:00 p.m.
Semifinal #2 - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 31
Third-Place - 3:00 p.m.
Championship - 5:00 p.m.
All matches available live on www.IHSA.tv
RESULTS & BOX SCORES
IHSA Girls Soccer Page
$6 per day
HISTORY & RECORDS
2014 1A State Series
Record Book & Past Champions