Boys lacrosse: Vernon Hills downs Barrington
Vernon Hills boys lacrosse coach Mike Curtin calls senior midfielder Jimmy McDonald a team leader.
McDonald showed team leadership Saturday afternoon at Barrington in a nonconference game.
McDonald scored 3 goals and had 4 assists in the Cougars' 13-9 win over the host Broncos.
"Jimmy leads by example, " said Curtin. "He goes after the loose balls and plays solid defense for us. His intention is to go into the military next year. He shows a lot of discipline."
One of the bigger plays McDonald had was a steal with 10:15 left in the second quarter. McDonald passed the ball to Joe Zimmerman who fed the ball back to McDonald to score with 10:08 remaining for a 5-2 lead.
The goal was part of a 5-0 run that covered 3:52. McDonald scored 2 goals and had 2 assists during that stretch.
"It's that type of play that makes our team look good," said McDonald. "The whole team played well like the family we are."
Barrington (1-1) led 2-1 after goals from Kevin Twohig and Leo Tarpey.
"During that run we were able to isolate on our plays," said McDonald. "When we had the ball we worked to get some quality shots. We lost to them last year. We wanted to go out and play hard today. We're a team that would like to end up in the state's top ten."
Junior Nate Elli, who scored 4 goals, had two in the second quarter for Vernon Hills (2-1) for a 7-2 lead. The Cougars led 8-2 at halftime.
"We were able to convert goals through our transition, " said Curtin. "McDonald was able to create some plays which really helped the team."
Barrington trailed 9-4 going into the fourth quarter but began to rally.
Matthew Rizzo scored his second goal as did Thomas Feeney to cut the deficit to 9-6. Zimmerman then scored on an assist from McDonald making the score 10-6.
The Broncos then closed to within 10-8 on goals from Nathan Nguyen and Keanu Goetze during a man advantage penalty on the Cougars.
McDonald scored with 6:12 for an 11-8 lead. Leo Tarpey (2 goals) closed the gap to two for the Broncos before Elli and Jake Olive finished the scoring for Vernon Hills.
"Our offense was able to create some space for us," said Elli. "In basketball terms we were able to use picks to get players open for shots. I give our seniors a lot of credit for getting our program going. We feel we can build for the future."
"Nate is such a smart player, a player who plays year-round," said Curtin. "His field IQ is superb. He tends to make the right play at the right time even if it means passing up the shot. He's the type of player who puts the team into a position to win."
The win was similar to the Cougars' win over Maine South.
"This game resembled our other win against a very good Maine South team," said Curtin. "It was close all the way and we were able to make plays late in the fourth quarter in that game and this game when we needed to."