Cold, wet and windy conditions forced the cancellation of most of the outdoor high school softball and baseball games on Friday. Thankfully, Mother Nature didn't postpone any of the local lacrosse games on Friday.
While the conditions may have made it uncomfortable for the fans in the stands, the intense action of the field kept them warm with excitement while it had coaches and players squeamish thanks to the two nail-biting overtime contests highlighting the evening as well as a pair of close, 2-goal games.
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Highland Park edged Lake Zurich 4-3 in overtime to drop the Bears to 4-2. Thomas Logan scored twice and Ryan Faetz added a goal, while Ross Williams had an assist in the tough loss.
• Hoffman Estates nipped Fremd 8-7, in overtime as well. Most interestingly, the teams will battle again this week as the rematch is scheduled for Thursday night. Fremd fell to 4-3, with two of their losses coming in overtime. Hoffman Estates, which received 3 goals from Josh Pearson against Fremd, improved to 2-4 and has won two of its last three.
• St. Viator beat Libertyville 8-6. Libertyville came out strongly, scoring in the first ten seconds, which seemingly woke up the Lions.
"This group of seniors is very competitive so they don't sulk when we fall behind early," St. Viator coach Bill Sanford said. "They just play harder."
Sanford was displeased with some of his team's shot selection, which allowed the Wildcats to keep within striking distance, but liked how the defense responded later to hold on for the victory.
Kyle Martin had 4 takeaways and 6 groundballs while long stick midfielder Conner Murphy, Sami Mesi and Mac Haug "have been doing a tremendous job," Sanford said.
Chad Holsworth scored 3 goals and Danny O'Malley had 2 goals to lead the offensive attack. Mike Krzoska also scored.
The Lions are looking forward to Tuesday, when they will face old rival Fremd.
"We have kids on our team that are good friends with some of their kids so it should be a fun day for those guys," Sanford said. "I am very pleased with the quality of effort during practice and I think it is one reason we have gotten out to a good start."
• When the two big schools from Wheaton met in a North/South Shootout semifinal game back in March, it took a goal from Ryan McNeill with 26 seconds left to push the Tigers into the championship and leave the Falcons with a difficult loss to stomach.
The two teams were back at it again on Friday night, on the same site at Red Grange Field, and once again the Tigers prevailed, this time, 7-5.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more difficult beginning to the season than the one encountered by York.
A young team to be begin with, the Dukes led St. Rita for most of the game before the Mustangs rallied and scored the game-winning goal with two seconds left.
"Then we dropped games to Oak Park and Fenwick, and those weren't even close games," York coach Don Canfield said.
The team has bounced back and won its last two games, handling Northside Prep 11-5 and then clipping Homewood-Flossmoor on Thursday 3-2.
"We're progressing in some ways but we still have a way to go," Canfield said. "We've had some injuries, which haven't helped, but are moving in the right direction."
Colin Grubbs suffered a knee injury and midfielder Brewer Callaghan has been out with an injury, but should be back on the field soon.
"Nick Bacidori has been playing really well in goal as has the defense," Canfield said. "You don't expect to win games when you only score 3 goals, but we've had some great play by our defense."
The Dukes have their first home contest of the season scheduled for Wednesday against Glenbard West and will also travel to Grayslake North this week.
Tough loss, big win:
Graylake North (5-2) couldn't overcome Deerfield on Saturday in the rain, falling to the Warriors 9-8. Colin Chatten (4 goals) and AJ Fish (2 goals, 4 assists) led the offense against Deerfield while Patrick Walker and Matt Schlagetter also scored. Rich Downes, David Collins and Farhan Khan controlled the midfield while long stick midfielder Josh Kortenkamp was all over the field.
On Monday, the Knights breezed past Vernon Hills 16-2. Goalie Dylan Cotter had 12 saves with strong play from Bryce Hermsen, Shane Pech, Kevin Carter, Ben Smith, Michael DiVita and Kortenkamp. Chatten had 6 goals and 3 assists, Walker added 5 goals and 2 assists and Fish tallied 3 goals and 3 assists.
Dishonoring the Scouts:
St. Charles had one of its biggest challenges of the season on Saturday afternoon and it wasn't the wind and snow, but rather Lake Forest, one of the top ranked teams in the state.
St. Charles scored early and often, and won 13-8.
Riley Martin scored twice early on to get St. Charles going and then Dan Morawki and Jesse Nagelberg added goals later in the opening quarter to give the hosts a 4-1 lead. The Scouts got their offense going a bit in the second quarter, but St. Charles matched them to take an 8-3 lead at the half.
Defensively, Trace Evans, Colin Haley, Pat McGushin, Will DeBord, Andrew Jurewicz and Grant Ferowich made things difficult for Lake Forest all afternoon with McGushin collecting 14 saves while Evans picked up 9 ground balls and Haley had 8 ground balls.
St. Charles hosts Wheaton North on Tuesday before it has another major challenge as Culver Academy (Ind.) comes to St. Charles on Good Friday for a 7 p.m. face off. Both contests will be held at St. Charles East Stadium, so if you're interested in finding out why lacrosse is such an exciting and fast growing sport, come out and catch the action for yourself this week.
Three in a row:
Hinsdale Central doesn't have any games scheduled until April 23, but the Red Devils have plenty to be excited about as they gear up for the rest of the season with a three-game winning streak. After edging Stevenson, 6-5, the Red Devils beat Oak Park, 14-6, and Naperville Central, 12-4.