Girls lacrosse: Schaumburg pulls out thriller over Conant
Schaumburg senior Sydney Centeno wanted to make a statement on Thursday night.
After the Saxons fell into an early 3-goal hole against rival Conant, Centeno made a point not to let Schaumburg girls lacrosse coach Jake Hughes' message during the first-half timeout go unanswered.
Centeno sparked a comeback by scoring 3 goals to lead the Saxons to a thrilling 7-6 win over the Cougars in Mid-Suburban League play at Gary Scholz Stadium in Schaumburg.
The Saxons (7-2, 2-0) extended their winning streak to four games since dropping back-to-back games to McHenry and Vernon Hills.
Not only did Centeno lead the way in the scoring column, she managed to keep her multicolored long nails in pristine condition despite the physical game.
"I think we just got mad," Centeno said of the turnaround. "Conant is always kind of our biggest rival. The first three goals we let up were mistakes. We kicked it in, and got our coaches to scream at us to wake us up and realize that we have to get back and pressure them and not allow them to get any easy goals."
Centeno, in her second full season playing varsity, helped the Saxons mount a furious comeback. She scored the final goal of the first half to give her team a 5-4 lead that it wouldn't relinquish. Emma Raupp tallied 2 goals for the Saxons.
"I'm really proud of my team," Centeno said. "We were down a player and kept them from scoring and it felt really good for all of us."
"Sydney's been so important on the draw for us," Hughes said. "When you win the draw in this game, you can control everything else. She's done a pretty good job. With our scorers and the way our defense is staring to gel, they can keep us in game with a lot of people. Her on the draw has been great for us.
"Our conference is very tight but winnable. This is a step in the right direction."
Conant nearly pulled off a big comeback. The Cougars (6-3, 1-1) played strong in the middle and end, but were hurt by an extended period without a goal.
Conant senior Danielle Smith and Mikayla Nelson each had 2 goals for the Cougars. The Cougars trailed 7-4 but Nelson and Mallory Mills both notched goals to cut the deficit to one, but the Cougars came up empty on two shots in the last minute.
"We came out strong at the beginning, a little lull in the middle and strong in the end," Conant coach Eric Jacobsen said. "We gave Schaumburg a ton of opportunities. They took advantage of them. But our seniors gave us an advantage. We have to be able to get that early lead, keep it and expand it."