Photo: Jordan Escobedo looks to see his share of scoring chances in 2011. File Photo
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—While an 11-11-2 record from a year ago might not seem super impressive, the way Kaneland boys soccer went about arriving to that final mark was noteworthy.
Nine overtimes in the playoffs were a byproduct of a regional title—the first for boys soccer since 2004, and the first for a head-to-head sport in Maple Park since 2005.
It was Sterling that ousted the Knights last October in the sectional semifinal, but KHS coach Scott Parillo saw the end of the last season as a possible indicator of what could be in 2011.
“We finally started clicking at the end of the season, which is how you want to do it,” he said. “It was a very young squad last year. Once the playoffs began, I had 22 players on the roster and 11 couldn’t drive.”
Those that know what it’s like to go far return in high numbers for the Knights.
“Hopefully, we won’t start as slow and we’ll be very competitive,” Parillo said.
The depth chart was still in a state of flux with athletes still vying for starting slots, but the returnees who have minutes under their belts will need to provide leadership.
Names like Jordan Escobedo, who brought a dose of athleticism at midfield, as well as a knack for finding the net, return for Kaneland for a senior season.
Escobedo is accompanied by sophomore Anthony Parillo and junior Alex Gil at forward.
Tyler Siebert also provides a spark at midfield and forward for his sophomore season.
The goalkeeper derby has yet to be settled, with three possible entries ready for the opener.
At last count, Kaneland was employing six sophomores on the varsity level, seven juniors and seven seniors.
The road to postseason begins on Tuesday, Aug. 23, against familiar rival Marengo, while conference action begins on Tuesday, Sept. 13, in DeKalb.
“Everything has to go right. Our passing has to be right there. Our defensive intensity has to be right there. I’ve stressed as soon as we lose the ball, we’re on defense. We’re all on offense once we have the ball, and we’ve picked up the intensity in practice,” Parillo said.