Jacobs holds off Cary-Grove for NILAX title
Cary-Grove shut out Alex Crescenti and kept Jacobs scoreless for nearly 20 minutes during Saturday's NILAX championship at Aurora University.
Still, it wasn't enough to upend the Golden Eagles.
Jacobs senior Brenton Cosden broke a 7-7 tie, scoring his only goal of the game with just 3:20 remaining and the Golden Eagles would hold on for a 9-7 victory to win their second straight title and complete a perfect 18-0 season.
"It's a tribute to my friends, not just teammates, but these guys are my friends," Cosden said. "We didn't expect it but we stepped it up together and I'm just so glad to do it with the family."
The go-ahead goal might not have been the prettiest, but it counted just the same. Cosden also put the Golden Eagles ahead 1-0 early in the first quarter.
"I thought it was pretty ugly," Cosden said. "I told myself it's our game to win so that wasn't really my goal, it was for the team."
Jacobs jumped ahead to a 4-2 lead after one quarter but Cary-Grove (13-6) stormed back to knot things at 4-4 with goals from Trevor Dorn and Tyler Anderson late in the second quarter.
The Trojans took their only lead of the game with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter when Holden Taylor fired one past Jacobs keeper Thomas Wallace.
Suddenly the momentum had shifted and Jacobs couldn't find a goal.
"I think the nerves were getting to them and they didn't want to make mistakes," Jacobs coach John Bigler said. "Finally we got things moving and went back to our normal way of playing."
With Cary-Grove's Justin Johnson tattooed to him all game, Crescenti (105 goals this spring) didn't get many touches. It also made Shane Kathe an even bigger part of the offense.
"Justin did an even better job than he did last time," Cary-Grove coach Dylan Weber said. "It was his third look now at Crescenti and he did a bang up job, and this is his first year of playing lacrosse."
Kathe drew the Golden Eagles even with 6:06 left, and then gave the team a 6-5 lead by scoring again with just 25 seconds left in the third quarter. He led the winners with 5 goals.
"Alex is the best player in the league and by locking him up it gave us a lot more room," Kathe said. "We were able to use our depth guys more and find some space."
Taylor kept the Trojans alive by drawing the team even at 6-all and 7-all in the fourth quarter.
"He's been our go-to man," Weber said. "He's got two overtime winning goals this year so he's been a big go-to guy and he and Trevor Dorn both did a great job today."
Cosden's goal with 3:20 left put the Golden Eagles up for good. Sophomore Nick Fudala added an insurance goal with 2:02 remaining.
It was the third time the teams played each other this season. The Golden Eagles won the previous meetings, 16-12 and 14-11. It was also the third straight season they battled each other in the NILAX championship.
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