Fremd's girls lacrosse team is enjoying a real turnaround season.
The Vikings closed out the regular season with an 11-6 mark, which included a 15-0 win over Highland Park.
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Junior attack-middie Katie Mullen was leading the team with 50 goals. Junior attack-middie Patty Miller had 44 goals and 9 assists, while junior center Maclaine Purdy had 41 goals and 9 assists.
The Vikings also have been bolstered by a rotating quartet of defensive midfielders in Lexi Schnurr, Emily Nemec, Sara Lawler and Colleen Francis.
"They have all been doing a great job for us all year," said Fremd coach Jake Hughes. "We ask a lot of them in playing both ends of the field and marking up with the other teams' best players, and they have risen to all of the challenges."
Fremd went from 2-14 last year to 11-6 this year.
"I am very happy with how far this team has come this year," said Hughes. "Coming from 2-14 last season, it was great to see the team turn it around and put in a lot of hard work to improve. We have a lot of positive energy coming off our school's most successful season to date and the team is anxious to take that energy straight into the playoffs."
Schaumburg update: The Saxons, 3-12 through late last week, scored an 11-10 triple overtime win over Naperville North. Schaumburg had lost by a goal in overtime at Naperville North last year.
Lynn O'Boyle scored with seconds left to put the game into overtime and Megan Huber scored in sudden death to seal the win. Huber set a Schaumburg single-game record with 7 goals in the game.
Huber was the team's leader in goals scored through late last week with 37. Senior middie-attack Stephanie Montiel had 24 goals. Senior goalie Sam Kossack continues to have a fine season. She was leading the state in saves and ranked second with a 64 save percentage.
"We're playing with a fire that wasn't present early in the year," said Schaumburg coach Drew Lazzara. "Although our win total doesn't reflect it, we're playing in a lot of close games."
O'Boyle had a stretch of 3 goals in 2 games recently, one of which was the game-tying one against Naperville North. Those were her first goals of the season.
"Although the stat sheet doesn't show it, she's one of the most valuable pieces of our team," said Lazzara. "She does all of the little things right."
Vernon Hills update: Vernon Hills was 8-9 through late last week. The Cougars scored a 15-14 win over Deerfield. Vernon Hills was down 3-0, but came back take a 12-6 lead at halftime.
"As you can see from the final score, that lead just barely saved us," said Vernon Hills coach Bob Thompson.
Goals from Christie Currie and Erika Peepo in the waning minutes provided to be the game-winners for the Cougars.
Vernon Hills also faced Fenwick and came away with a 10-8 lead.
"With two minutes to go, a Fenwick player scored to put them down by one, but after a stick check on the girl who scored the goal, the tally was disallowed," said Thompson.
Late saves by Meagan Hayes helped Vernon Hills secure the win.
Currie had 40 goals and 9 assists through late last week, while Jihee Choi had a team-high 60 goals. Lauren Hernandez had 30 goals and 30 assists. Hayes had 111 saves, 134 goals allowed and 455 minutes.
Thompson noted the team's passing has improved and it is transitioning the ball to offense to allow more ease with scoring. The defense, he added, has reduced the number of shots on goal against it.
Hayes is in her first season in goal for the Cougars.
"Megan has steadily improved her game and is working hard to become a top goalie for us," said Thompson. "Her saves late in the Fenwick and Deerfield games helped us get the wins."
Hernandez is in her fourth varsity year.
"Lauren's play as a playmaker has always been consistent," said Thompson. "She has proven to be a leader on the field. Christie Currie and Jihee Choi have been tenacious at attacking the goal, looking for those passes from Lauren and have scored often to keep us in games."
Lehman was lauded for working her way through recent injury.
"Sarah will not sit a game," said Thompson. "She is a key playmaker, and although she may not have the most goals, she does have the most important ones."
Palatine update: The Pirates were 10-3 overall after recent wins over Warren (12-6) and Deerfield (12-4).
Senior attack Marcy Karabin was leading the team through late last week in goals with 47. Senior midfielder Rose Silveira had 34 goals and 13 assists, while junior goalie Veronkia Metonova had 158 saves and had let in only 90 goals.
"We are running our offense and transition game really well," said Palatine coach Leslie Schock.
Schock was especially impressed with the team's defensive play against Deerfield.
"Our defense against Deerfield was stifling," she said.
Metonova had 14 saves against Deerfield and 19 against Warren.
Silveira had 6 goals in the win over Warren.
"We have been inconsistent, but have shown that we have the ability to play very competitive lacrosse," said Schock, whose team played Barrington for the Mid-Suburban League championship Saturday.
Carmel update: Carmel was 14-7-1 overall through late last week.
"The biggest win for us is going out and playing," said Carmel coach Jim Lasky. "We battled with snow storms, knowledge of the game and lack of skills. Only one girl here has ever played lacrosse before. That's 99 percent new players. Our biggest win is when we all learned a new sport. Now we need to build for the future. The Carmel tradition has a great history. We must carry that torch now."
Sophomore middie Tara Grandolfo leads the team in all stat categories. The offensive unit around Grandolfo has been key as well. That group is led by Maddie Groeniger and Jenelle DeWald, who Lasky rates as the two top feeders on the team.
Nicolette Pavlis helps the offense with her speed.
"She can change a game very quickly," said Lasky of Pavlis.
The defensive unit is paced by Francesca Amato, Katie Aretos, Elizabeth Green, Ann Marie Stopka and Catlin Berry.
"The defense is like a fist with five fingers that work together," said Lasky.
Amy Parrish, Molly Rogers and Rene Meyer were also cited for their key contributions.
"Amy is the glue that holds the team together," said Lasky. "She is our junior captain with talent and leadership. Molly and Rene are two girls who continue to improve every week. They show others that if you are an athlete, you can learn lacrosse."
Lasky added the team's chemistry has also played a big role in the success this spring.
"We are so close," he said. "We are a force on and off the field. As a group, we have done and will continue to do things for the community. We are planning a LAX-A-Thon to give lacrosse equipment to all grammar schools around the area. We want to promote the sport."
Lasky also mentioned the team has enjoyed success in the classroom as well as on the lacrosse pitch.
"I think the most amazing stat for our girls is their grades," he said. "One-hundred percent of our girls are going to college and as a team we have more than 85 percent in honors. That's a smart group of girls."
Lasky also tipped his cap to the Carmel administration for its support of the new program.
"I can't believe the overwhelming support from Carmel," he said. "These students come out and support the girls every home game. Andy Bitto (Carmel athletic director) and the athletic department treat us like we have been at the school forever. All of our games are in the stadium and that really gets the girls motivated."
Stevenson update: Stevenson was 12-5 through late last week and recently clinched second place in the North Suburban Conference. The Patriots have defeated Lake Zurich twice (18-15 and 12-11) and Vernon Hills (14-13) in conference play.
Senior middie Rachael Banas had 48 goals and 13 assists and was among the state's leaders in goals per game average. Junior attack Jennifer Schultz had 39 goals and 12 assists. Senior middie Kelsey Patten had 37 goals and 27 assists and was among the state's leaders in assists per game. Senior middie Erin Rice had 23 goals and 13 assists.
Junior defender Lily Walker and Patten were tied for fourth in the state in interceptions.
Senior goalie Alyssa Gorenberg was sixth in the state in saves (146) and fourth in save percentage (62 percent).
"We are playing with great intensity and motivating everyone to be the best they can be," said Stevenson coach Janette Eichfeld. "Nonstarters have been able to fill the gaps when the starters are not playing."
Eichfeld said defense has played a key role in the team's improvement this year. That group includes the likes of senior Emily Loretto, junior Sabrina Khalil, Gorenberg, senior goalie Morgan Hall and junior Lily Walker.
"Defense has really improved our ability to defend the goal on a consistent basis," said Eichfeld. "These are the players who have truly made a difference in how successful the team has been this season."
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