Boys lacrosse: York edges Wheaton Academy to take third at state

  • York's Charlie Toreja (34) hoists the third-place trophy after his team defeated Wheaton Academy in the IHSA boys lacrosse game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19.

    York's Charlie Toreja (34) hoists the third-place trophy after his team defeated Wheaton Academy in the IHSA boys lacrosse game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Academy lifts the fourth-place trophy for family and friends to see following the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game against York at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19. York won third place.

    Wheaton Academy lifts the fourth-place trophy for family and friends to see following the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game against York at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19. York won third place. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • The ball pops loose as Wheaton Academy's Tyler Sommer, left, and Seamus Faulkner, right, put the squeeze on York's Charlie Toreja during the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19.

    The ball pops loose as Wheaton Academy's Tyler Sommer, left, and Seamus Faulkner, right, put the squeeze on York's Charlie Toreja during the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • York's Boyd Puckett, right, pressures Wheaton Academy's Gavin Pedone as he throws to the net during the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19. Pedone made a goal on the play.

    York's Boyd Puckett, right, pressures Wheaton Academy's Gavin Pedone as he throws to the net during the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19. Pedone made a goal on the play. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • York's Charlie Toreja, right, looks for running room during the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game against Wheaton Academy at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19.

    York's Charlie Toreja, right, looks for running room during the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game against Wheaton Academy at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Academy's A.J. Serna (11) scored against York and celebrates with teammates Aiden Weisenborn (8) and Gavin Pedone (13) during the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19.

    Wheaton Academy's A.J. Serna (11) scored against York and celebrates with teammates Aiden Weisenborn (8) and Gavin Pedone (13) during the IHSA third place boys lacrosse game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights on Saturday, June 19. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By Lou Nunez Jr.
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 6/19/2021 3:34 PM

After Wheaton Academy sophomore midfielder Aidan Weisenborn's goal had broken a 4-all tie with just under six minutes remaining in the boys lacrosse state tournament third-place match to give his team the lead, his York sophomore counterpart Lance McCann sought to provide his teammates an instant spark.

"When they scored I just told my boys, 'Hey keep your heads up. Keep grinding. It's only one goal. We're still in this game.'"

 

In less than 90 seconds, McCann would provide critical support to both the game-tying and the eventual game-winning scores that gave the Dukes (20-2) the third-place trophy as it held off a late Warriors rally to emerge victorious 7-6 Saturday at the Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights.

"Came back out on the field (and) just did what I did and got 2 goals on the board for my team." McCann said afterward of his back-to-back assists that turned the tables in York's favor.

His first successful feed found senior co-captain Chase McNeill with 5:18 left tying the contest at 5.

Less than a minute later at the 4:33 mark he found freshman middie Blake Rieger that gave the Dukes a lead that it wouldn't relinquish at 6-5.

McCann's fellow sophomore middie Thomas Kowalski rang up his second score with 2:14 to play off an assist from McNeill that gave them a 7-5 cushion.

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Wheaton Academy (16-5) began its last attempt at a comeback on sophomore middie Gavin Pedone's third goal with 79 seconds left to make it 7-6. The Warriors then gained a final possession of the ball in the game's waning seconds finding Pedone once again. His final attempt with four seconds left went high over the York goal.

Pedone, who had an assist on sophomore attacker A.J. Serna's third-period goal, added some perspective on the program's most successful season in its young history finishing fourth.

"I'm really grateful to have my team and all of my coaches. I love all these guys," Pedone said. "It feels great. Our hard work has led to this moment. We are very proud of the way we came out on the season, but we are always striving to get better."

York coach Don Canfield praised his team's resiliency after a tough semifinal loss to Lake Forest on Thursday.

"To come out today with the energy we had was just awesome," Canfield said. It was great to send these (13) seniors off to college and leave building blocks for all the guys that come next."

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