Midwest Region Games of the Week, June 1-7

By Eric S. Smith

This is the final week for high school lacrosse in the Midwest and eight champions will be crowned in four different states. In the Buckeye State, the champion is back to defend its title in all three divisions, while in Illinois, the semifinals feature some action-packed matchups that all lead up to the finals on Sunday.

June 4

New Trier Trevians, IL (State Power Rating: 97.20 Rank: 1) vs. St. Charles Saints, IL (State PR: 94.18 Rank: 3)

The Trevians have won the last four Illinois Class A state championships and if they want to make it five, they will need to get by the Saints in this semifinal contest. New Trier has wins over every team left in the playoffs and only Loyola Academy has beaten them as the two split the regular season. They also come in red hot, winning 11 straight games. New Trier possesses the best defense statistically left in the field as it only gives up 5.1 goals per game. The defense is led by All-America defender Jake Wynn. On offense, the Trevians feature All-State attacker Chad Sawyer and All-State middie Will Harris.

The Saints' offense will be challenged, but Wynn will have his hands full with All-American attackman Chad Ellis for St. Charles. Ellis and Wynn should make for a great one-on-one matchup. But in the regular season it was the defense that hurt the Saints as they gave up 14 goals to the Trevians. The defense will rely upon two second-team All-State performers to stop New Trier in LSM Pat Killeen and goalie Sean McGushin. The Saints are also on fire as they have won 10 games in a row entering this contest. The winner will earn a spot in the state finals on Sunday, a place St. Charles has never been.

Lake Forest Scouts, IL (State PR: 96.78 Rank: 2) vs. Loyola Academy Ramblers, IL (State PR: 93.24 Rank: 5)

The final regular season game of the year for the Ramblers was a loss to the Scouts that still stings. They will seek revenge in this semifinal of the Illinois Class A playoffs. Lake Forest comes into this contest winners of their last 15 games. They have the best statistical offense left in the Class A playoffs averaging 13.2 goals per game. They are led by two-time All-American attackman Stew Kerr and All-State middie Joe Hrusovsky. The defense is also very solid for the Scouts and is led by All-American goalie Pete Moore and All-State defender Alex Svigos.

Stopping Kerr will likely be the job of All-American defender Michael Kavanaugh in what should be a fantastic head-to-head showdown. The Ramblers' defense can be stifling, giving up just 5.6 goals per outing. On the offensive end they play more tactical whereas the Scouts would love to run up and down the field. The tempo may ultimately determine the outcome. The last meeting was a 9-7 Lake Forest win, but holding the Scouts under 10 again may prove very difficult. The Ramblers have lost the last three state titles to New Trier and would like to get over that hump. The winner will play in the state championship on Sunday.

St. Ignatius Prep Wolfpack, IL (State PR: 90.84 Rank: 10) vs. Waubonsie Valley Warriors, IL (State PR: 88.32 Rank: 15)

The Wolfpack have already proven they can defeat the other two teams left in the Illinois Class B semifinals, but they have yet to meet the Warriors this season. This game will feature strength on strength with the Waubonsie Valley offense going up against the St. Ignatius Prep defense. The Wolfpack has surrendered just 4.5 goals per game and are led by All-Conference performers, defender Robert Dekold, LSM David Gates and goalie Colin Cortes. On offense, St. Ignatius Prep is not necessarily explosive, but it can put the ball in the back of the net. The offense is paced by two All-Conference selections, attacker Michael Klein and midfielder Joseph Kent.

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