Boys lacrosse: Loyola overcomes Wheaton Academy's fast start
Wheaton Academy never backed down.
The young Warriors put up quite a battle with perennial state power Loyola Academy, falling 11-7 in the boys lacrosse state semifinals Thursday at Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights.
Loyola (18-1) will meet Lake Forest in Saturday's championship game at 1 p.m.
Wheaton Academy was making its first trip to the IHSA state finals. The Warriors (14-4) had won four in a row coming into their game and six of their last seven. They will meet York in Saturday's third place game at 11 a.m.
"Our guys worked hard," Wheaton Academy coach Geof Weisenborn said. "I thought they gave really good effort. Unfortunately, we made too many mistakes throughout the game. When you don't do the little things well and consistently, good teams like Loyola take advantage of you."
Wheaton Academy came out with a strong effort as the Warriors surprised the Ramblers by jumping out to a 5-1 lead after the first quarter.
Both teams traded goals with Aiden Weisenborn scoring for Wheaton Academy and Will Maheras for Loyola.
Wheaton Academy then strung together four consecutive goals. Weisenborn tallied again followed by Liam White, Gavin Pedone and Davis Schneider, whose goal with seven seconds left in quarter gave the Warriors a four-goal lead.
Warriors goalie Johnny Carrington also gave his team a huge lift with the freshman stopping 5 shots in the first quarter and 10 for the half.
Loyola ran off five consecutive goals with Connor Ditomasso scoring four to take a 6-5 lead early in the third quarter.
Wheaton Academy tied the game for the final time at 6-6 on White's goal with 9:39 left in the third quarter. But the Warriors, who were bottled up by Loyola, had difficulty getting their offense in gear.
Loyola would score five of the final six goals of the game with only Weisenborn scoring for Wheaton Academy, giving him a hat trick.
Seamus Faulkner, one of the two seniors in the Warriors' starting lineup, said his team just couldn't hang on.
"We came out firing," Faulkner said. "Against a team like that you have to be able to hold your composure. I think we struggled with that a little bit. I am proud of the way we fought, especially with a young team."
Senior midfielder Tre Becks said the young Warriors, who start 8 freshmen and sophomores, worked hard to stay focused.
"In a big game like this with a young team it is hard to keep your composure straight," Becks said. "I am really proud of the way we came out. I don't think many people in the state expected us to do what we did today."