Wheaton Academy had waited all year for redemption from last year's loss on penalty kicks in the Class 2A semifinals.
St. Ignatius coach Jim Luzzi had been waiting more than 40 years to play for a state title.
Luzzi, who has coached St. Ignatius since 1970, only has to wait until Saturday afternoon after his Wolfpack broke the hearts of the Warriors 7-6 on penalty kicks after regulation and two overtime periods ended 1-1 in Hoffman Estates.
"I was talking to my assistant coaches on the sideline and it's a (heck) of a way to lose a game and it's also a (heck) of a way to win a game," Luzzi said. "I feel extremely bad for Wheaton. They played their hearts out and gave us one (heck) of a game."
Wheaton Academy (22-4-1) took a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute on a Marshall West goal, assisted by Lucas Hoepner's corner kick. It was the defender's 12th goal of the season.
"Lucas played a great ball in and we've been going to the near post and we swung it in a little deeper," Warriors coach Jeff Brooke said. "Marshall with just a clinical finish, my goodness, volley to the window and just a great job of playing the ball in."
The lead only lasted about 10 minutes until the combination of Marco Sanchez and Bryan Long finally collaborated, Long tallying his team-leading 13th goal.
The Warriors had a pair of good opportunities in the first overtime, one coming on a shot from Ty Seager in the first minute and the next on quick restart on a free kick that nearly caught the Wolfpack by surprise.
In the second overtime Seager had a bit of a breakaway with 6:21 remaining but couldn't get a good shot off, and Hoepner couldn't connect on a cross with 4:29 left.
"I thought we created a couple chances on any given day we would've put away," Brooke said. "Quick restart in overtime, thought we would finish, slotted ball at the end of regulation, thought we could finish. I thought their keeper (John Marks) had great presence in the box. He's a good keeper but obviously he played well today."
Marks came through during the shootout, stopping Seager's shot to make it 3-2 in the shootout, but Sanchez missed far left in the next round and the teams ended the shootout at 4-4 to force additional kicks.
St. Ignatius (19-5-3) made its first three attempts in sudden death, as did Zeb Lewis and Hoepner for the Warriors, but Marks saved the next attempt to end the match.
"I've always just had fun with PKs and I think everyone on the team knows it," Marks said. "It's a terrible way to end the game. Obviously we got the good way."
The déjà vu effect only makes it more difficult for the Warriors to accept.
"Peoria Notre Dame told us that this is your year and you guys are going to get it," Lewis said. "The fact that we have that in our heads and then go through the same situation, thinking this is our shootout -- and that's one of the best shootouts I've ever seen -- I'm just in shock right now."
The Warriors will face Rochester in the third-place game at 11 a.m. Saturday.