A lacrosse season that was filled with so much excitement for so many players and teams culminated on Thursday night with a back-and-forth A-Class All-Star Game.
The White team, coached by Loyola Academy's Rob Snyder, beat the Dark team, coached by New Trier's Tom Herrala, 9-8, at Benedictine University in Lisle.
Notable local talent on the White team included Neuqua Valley's Mike Beatty, Naperville North's Phil Benjamin, Hoffman Estates' Evan Chikeles, St. Charles' Trace Evans, Brian Sullivan and Pat McGushin, Fremd's Chan Hong Kim, Hinsdale Central's Matt Lord, and Conant's Emmet O'Malley.
Players of interest on the Dark team, included Wheaton Warrenville South's Seth Fuller and Jacob Kazar, St Viator's Brian Goss, Chad Holsworth, Mike Krzoska and Conner Murphy, Benet's Patrick Henderson, Wheaton North's Luke Stankus, Stevenson's Max Huber, Libertville's John Luehrsen, Barrington's Quinn Regan, Glenbard West's Owen Meyer and Palatine's Drew Stoffer.
Goss' goal, which was sandwiched between scores from Loyola Academy teammates' Dan Conway and Luke Cowan, highlighted a 3-0 run that saw the White team rally from an 8-6 deficit to win.
"We started to win a few face-offs and the defense stepped it up," Goss said. "We made a little comeback there at the end and Pat McGushin played really well for us."
Goss had scored early in the third quarter to make it a 4-4 game and then the two teams went back and forth.
The Dark team pulled ahead, thanks to a pair of goals by New Trier's Mick Parks, who dominated face-offs in the second half, while Fuller added a goal for the White team. Still, the Dark team led by 2 scores with just over three minutes remaining.
"It was a nail-biter," McGushin said. "It's what we love about lacrosse. You get a chance tonight to play with guys from club from the past four years and get to play with them one last time. It was just a lot of fun with the guys."
Waubonsie Valley's Mike Julius not only led a team to a Lacrosse Cup title, he's now coached a B-Class all-star team to victory as his White team beat the Dark team coached by Grayslake North's Brad Fish, 8-2.
Both teams had five players from their regular season teams on their respective rosters.
Grayslake Central's Lee Brown and Kyle Engdahl, Nick Hermes and Peter Ota were members of the White team, along with Geneva's Joe Cella and Ryan Solon, Marmion's Colin Smith, Vernon Hills' Mike Glover, Naperville Central's Max Rubin and Mundelein's Jake Pawlicki.
Notable players of interest on the B-Class Dark team included, Warren's Jake Cymbal and Garrett Van Schaick, Lake Zurich's Ryan Faetz, Sean Learas and Tom Logan,
York's Connor McDonnell and West Chicago's Tyler DeFellipo.
The NILAX All-Star Game was held on Tuesday in Huntley.
Similar to the A-Class game, it took a late rally to decide a winner. The Red team, coached by Cary-Grove's Tim Moony and Downers Grove's Bill Harris, scored the final 3 goals to win 6-5. After Jacobs' Alex Crescenti scored with seven minutes left to make it a 5-3 contest, Cary-Grove's Cody Neckvatal scored to make it a 1-goal game before Aurora Christian/Batavia's John Livingston and Crystal Lake South's Eric Purcell scored the tying and go-ahead goals for the Red team.
"The NILAX game was great," Moony said. "Everyone enjoyed the experience."