It’s the time of year when teams start gearing up for the playoffs. And to get anywhere in either the state playoffs or the Kennedy Cup, a hot goalie can help a team go a long way.
Over the past two seasons, St. Rita’s Marty Napleton has been that guy, leading his team to two Kennedy Cup championships and a state championship. Napleton returns with Chris Foley as the leaders of a very young Mustangs squad.
‘‘I’ve definitely found myself in a leadership role this year,’’ Napleton said. ‘‘[Coach Craig Ferguson] Fergie put it on us to lead the team because he knew that this year it wasn’t even close to last year and we feel like we have to win games the hard way. We have to be good senior leaders for that’’
The two seniors will be looking to upset Fenwick this Saturday at Soldier Field.
‘‘We get to play another rivalry game with Fenwick,’’ Napleton said. ‘‘To end my final regular season game playing at Soldier Field — I really lucked out.’’
Napleton has shown a propensity for standing tall in big games. He took over the No. 1 goalie duties his sophomore year and led his team to the semifinals, where they lost 2-1 to eventual state champion New Trier Green.
Later that year, Napleton was named the most valuable player in the Kennedy Cup when the Mustangs
upset the top team in the area, Fenwick, in a three-game series to win their fourth consecutive Kennedy Cup. The Mustangs will be seeking their sixth consecutive Kennedy Cup this year.
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