Boys lacrosse: Ancona, Naperville North settle in against Naperville Central

 
By Gregg Voss
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/15/2019 10:01 PM
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As a sophomore and a transfer from Wheaton Academy, Mikey Ancona is just getting himself acquainted with Naperville North's lacrosse rivalry with Naperville Central.

But he's a fast learner.

Ancona, an attackman, scored 5 goals Monday to lead the host Huskies to a 16-5 victory over Naperville Central, allowing him and his teammates to hoist the Naperville Lacrosse Cup traveling trophy.

"It's awesome," Ancona said. "It's just a great accomplishment, just showing us how hard we worked and it's paying off. This is just a whole family -- everyone supports each other. We might get competitive and all, but we're one big family. It's a bunch of love."

It took until the start of the second quarter for Ancona to tally against the winless Redhawks (0-8, 0-3 DuPage Valley Conference). His first goal, with 8:45 left in the second quarter, was a shot from the left side about 10 yards out. That gave Naperville North a 4-1 lead, and the Huskies didn't look back -- they added 6 unanswered goals in the period to take a 10-1 lead into halftime. That included Ancona's second goal of the game, at 2:44.

Ancona added two more goals in the third quarter and one more to with 2:47 left in the game.

He's fitting right in, much to the pleasure of his new coach, Kevin Benages.

"Mikey has been a huge pickup for us," Benages said. "He's gotten along with the guys, settled in, the guys have taken him in, and he's been part of the family, and it's awesome to have him. He can shoot, he can pass, he's got good IQ, but most of all he's bought into the system and the program."

Ancona was one of eight players that scored for Naperville North (7-0, 2-0) in a physical, sometimes chippy game. Senior midfielder Grant Pass scored 3, while sophomore attackman Jacob Lubrant and junior midfielder Matt Maschmeier added a pair.

"Our coach gave us a really good game plan, setting up matchups and dodging on shorties, and we just took advantage of all those matchups," Pass said.

Naperville Central got a terrific night from senior attackman Jake Stegman, who scored four times, including perhaps the prettiest goal of the night to start the game, curling around the left side of the net and scoring on a one-handed shot. He added another in the third quarter and two more in the fourth, including a carbon copy of his first goal with 10:36 left in the game.

Not bad for a guy who had to deal with constant double-teams, not to mention the physicality that Naperville North brought.

"Coming into most games, I'm expecting to get a couple of guys on me, so I'm trying to keep my head up, looking for the open guy right away," Stegman said. "I thought they were going to send a couple more people, to be honest, so I was able to score a couple of goals where I was looking for the pass more so. It was a tough challenge going against those guys."

Naperville Central coach Jay Havenaar said transitions were the bugaboo for his charges.

"It's been one of the things we've been working on," he said. "We just couldn't transition like we wanted to get in the offensive zone. Once they start picking up Jake, a lot of things will open up for us. We got caught on transitions and we were on defense for like 80 percent of the game."

Naperville North outshot its rival 31-20 and won 57 percent of faceoffs.

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