Athlete of the Week
Damian Smiech, Dundee-Crown, sr., GK
Smiech has been fantastic in goal for the Chargers all season. This week he helped D-C to a shutout against Crystal Lake Central and kept the Chargers in a 1-1 draw against Jacobs with timely saves.
D-C has allowed only three goals in seven conference games, second only to Crystal Lake South (which has allowed two goals, though has played one fewer FVC game). Overall, the Chargers have allowed 17 goals in 22 matches. Smiech is a big reason why.
Editor's note: Shaw Media will host its 2019 Most Valuable Athlete Awards Night on June 12 at Northern Illinois University's Convocation Center. All Athletes of the Week are invited to sign up here.
Records through Monday
1. Crystal Lake South (13-2-3, 5-0-1 FVC): By virtue of playing one fewer Fox Valley Conference match so far, South holds a slim lead in the conference standings. South and D-C proved evenly matched with a scoreless draw two weeks ago.
2. Dundee-Crown (15-3-4, 5-0-2 FVC): D-C played Jacobs to a draw and beat Crystal Lake Central in FVC action. The Chargers also beat Lake Park in nonconference play.
3. Harvard (12-2-2, 8-0-2 KRC): Harvard finishes the KRC schedule with Woodstock North and Burlington Central, but the Hornets have already locked up a first-place finish in the standings.
4. Woodstock (17-5-1, 9-3 KRC): Woodstock ends the regular season with a nonconference matchup against St. Viator.
5. Jacobs (8-6-4, 5-0-2 FVC): Jacobs has steadily improved throughout the year. With draws against D-C and Hampshire, the Golden Eagles are still in the hunt for the FVC title entering the home stretch.
Crowded at the top: Entering play Tuesday, the Fox Valley Conference title race is a logjam at the top. The conference awards three points in the standings for a win, and one point for a tie.
Currently, South (5-0-1, 16 points) has played one fewer FVC match than D-C (5-0-2, 17 points) and Jacobs (5-0-2, 17 points). So the Gators control their own destiny. If they win their last two conference games, they’ll win the FVC. Those last two games come against Jacobs and Hampshire (3-1-2, 11 points), no easy tasks.
A three-way tie at the top is still possible. If South, D-C and Jacobs play all of their final FVC games to a draw, they would all finish at 5-0-3, with 18 points in the standings.
Do or die: The postseason is already underway for Johnsburg and Marian Central in Class 1A. Class 2A and 3A playoffs begin as early as Friday, with Huntley opening Class 3A postseason play in a regional quarterfinal game against South Elgin.
Most regional semifinal games are Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Crystal Lake South and Harvard earned No. 1 seeds in their Class 2A sub-sectionals. D-C is a No. 3 seed in the Class 3A Hampshire Sectional.
WHAT TO WATCH
Hampshire at Crystal Lake South, 4:30 p.m., Thursday: The Gators hope they might be clinching a Fox Valley Conference title with a win.