Three Quincy Notre Dame girls soccer players -- junior midfielder Anna Stokes, freshman midfielder Ellie Peters and junior goalkeeper Delaney Walker -- are offering a behind-the-scenes look at the Raiders' trip to the state tournament. Here's some of what they have experienced:
The Raiders left Quincy at 12:30 p.m. for the trip to Naperville. The tournament is being played at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium on the North Central College campus. Last year, the Raiders traveled on game day, but a 2 1/2 hour delay because of an accident on the interstate made QND coach Mark Longo leery of heading north Friday and risking any anxiety.
"We finished our five-hour drive up to Naperville and had fun playing heads up along the way! Then we arrived at the hotel and got dressed up to eat at Olive Garden before the big game tomorrow," Stokes wrote.
The Raiders finished up a relaxing morning with a light workout at the Nike Sports Complex in Naperville. It's an impressive facility with turf fields for soccer, lacrosse and baseball. It allowed the Raiders to get loose before picking up a 4-0 victory against Belleville Althoff in the state semifinals Friday night.
"Today, we woke up at 7:30 and ate breakfast, then rested for a couple of hours in our hotel rooms until 10. We hopped on a bus to the Nike Sports Complex to have a calm practice and get a stretch in before the big game tonight," Peters wrote.