Crystal Lake South’s Alex Canfield scored a barrage of goals last season to become an all-state performer and the 2018 Northwest Herald Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
So far in 2019, the senior has more assists (four) than goals (three). He assisted on a goal in Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Prairie Ridge in Fox Valley Conference play. When Canfield has the ball, defenses converge on him. That has allowed his teammates to find open spaces.
Teammate Michal Dejworek was on the receiving end of Canfield’s assist Tuesday.
“Alex has a lot of speed and good technique,” Dejworek said. “He knows what he’s doing and when he’s up there you can really trust him.”
Dejworek, a sophomore, went on to say that Canfield knows how to "do his own thing" on the field.
"Not many people can do what he does with his agility and flicks and stuff," Dejworek said.
Gators coach Brian Allen said Canfield has improved his distributing abilities.
“Natural strikers have goal-scoring mentalities," Allen said. "We still want that from him, but I think he’s gotten more comfortable. He’s got an awareness about him. He’s doing the little things earlier that are allowing him to see things sooner. Even then, he’ll be the first one to tell you that there’s room for growth.”
Shot stopper: Hampshire is off to a hot start, and goalkeeper Kyle Schultz has recorded five shutouts for the Whips in eight games. The Whips have allowed only four goals through their first eight games.
NORTHWEST HERALD POWER RANKINGS
1. Crystal Lake South (4-1-2, 1-0 FVC): The only loss thus far came against Zion-Benton, a Class 3A opponent. The draws came against Rolling Meadows and Palatine.
2. Hampshire (5-2-1): Hampshire was runner-up at Rockford Auburn’s tournament Aug. 31. The Whips played to a 1-1 draw Tuesday against Grayslake North.
3. Dundee-Crown (4-1, 1-0 FVC): The Chargers have won four straight after a loss to Round Lake in the season opener.
4. Woodstock (7-0): The record is impressive so far, although five of those seven wins have come against Class 1A opponents. The Blue Streaks have beaten 3A programs Rockford East and Harlem.
5. Jacobs (3-2-2, 1-0 FVC): The Golden Eagles have had an up and down start, although their two losses came against quality opponents in Barrington and Chicago Mount Carmel. They beat Crystal Lake Central on Tuesday to open FVC play.
WHAT TO WATCH
Crystal Lake South, Dundee-Crown, Hampshire, Huntley, Woodstock at PepsiCo Showdown, Saturday: The Chicago area’s biggest tournament gets underway this weekend.