1. SouthWest Suburban Red play is going to be fun. League play starts this week in the Red, which features four teams ranked in the SouthtownStar’s Top 10. There’s no prohibitive favorite and each week should feature multiple games with title implications. Lincoln-Way West and Andrew square off in a key contest Thursday. Andrew, like defending conference champion Lincoln-Way North, has been strong defensively but is in search of more offense. Lincoln-Way East and West, meanwhile, have had little trouble scoring.
2. Monica Munoz will fill up the stat sheets. The T.F. United junior had 20 goals and 18 assists last season, but despite being arguably the better all-around player, was overshadowed by teammate Nicole Vega, who scored 55 goals. With Vega having transferred to Lane Tech, Munoz is unquestionably the team’s go-to player. Last week, she scored six goals in a win over Oak Lawn, had a hat trick in a victory over Bremen and scored five times in a win over Rich East.
3. Joliet Catholic is improved. The Angels have a solid 4-3 mark, with a 2-0 win over Lincoln-Way Central in the Downers Grove South Invitational the highlight. Joliet Catholic also has wins over Minooka, Plainfield South and IMSA. Andrianna Acosta, Mandy Gruber and Kelsey Builta are leading the way. The East Suburban Catholic slate will be a major challenge, but the Angels should be more competitive this season.