Girls lacrosse: Trip to state just the start for St. Charles program
Things didn't exactly go the way the St. Charles co-op girls lacrosse team had hoped at the state tournament, but you know what?
Not only did they put their schools on the map when it comes to girls lacrosse, the experience is a great springboard for the future.
The Saints lost to Glenbrook South 21-12 in the third-place game Saturday at Hinsdale Central, but got great efforts from several seniors.
Four-year players Lexi Kiefer and Maddie Wiltrout each scored 4 goals, with Wiltrout scoring 4 of hers in the second half. Senior Mackayla Thomas added 3 assists and a goal.
Once again, just like the state semifinal game Friday, there was no end to St. Charles' fight. They scored 4 of the last 5 goals in the last five minutes -- 3 from Wiltrout and the other from Kiefer.
"You know, we always say leave it out on the field," said Wiltrout, who will play lacrosse at St. Ambrose next year. "Before we got on the field, I said, 'This is my last high school game, and I want to finish it as best as I can.' We may not have gotten the outcome we wanted, but I sure got the last 5 minutes I wanted."
Added Kiefer, who will play at Akron next year: "This is all we wanted since our freshman year, to get to this spot, and play in the state series, so I think being our last game, we just wanted to finish it out like we put everything out on the field."
Early in the first half, it looked a if the Saints would give Glenbrook South all that it could handle. Goals by Thomas, Wiltrout and Kiefer gave St. Charles a 3-2 lead with 18:23 to go.
But then, the Titans would reel off 6 goals in a row, to jump out to an 8-3 lead. That put the Saints behind the 8-ball the rest of the contest, though they were able to cut the deficit to 4 three times in the second half until the Titans added another 8 unanswered goals before Wiltrout and Kiefer would add their tallies late.
But big picture, St. Charles (16-4) finished as the fourth-best team in the entire state, which is something not unnoticed by its players.
"It's surreal," Wiltrout said. "To be able to know we beat all those teams, it's kind of like one of those things we'll always look up to."
Co-head coach Ronnie Kluener couldn't have been more pleased with her team's effort all weekend, especially in the last five minutes against Glenbrook South.
"At the end of the day, those last 5 minutes was what got us here, and I think it's the defining legacy for what's to come for this program," Kluener said.
Glenbrook South outshot St. Charles 28-20 and got 7 goals from Greer Bireley and 6 from Belle Tiesl.
Wiltrout and Kiefer each scored on 5 of their 7 shot attempts.