Illinois: New Trier Wins Seventh Straight Title

The New Trier boys' lacrosse team saved its best performance for last.

Sparked by a suffocating man-to-man defense and a well-rounded, efficient offense that kept the pressure on its opponent for four quarters, second seed New Trier defeated No. 1 Loyola Academy, 9-2, on Saturday to capture the 2011 Illinois High School Lacrosse Association A-Class championship. The victory marked New Trier's seventh consecutive state title and sixth in a row over rival Loyola.

Charlie Carothers, Chad Sawyer, and Patrick Callahan each scored two goals to pace the Trevians. Junior goaltender Jack Connelly also proved clutch and stopped 12 Loyola shots on the day.

Early on, it appeared the teams were in for a close battle as the score remained deadlocked at 0-0 by the end of the first quarter. However, fueled by a pair of goals from Callahan, the Trevians soon took command and outscored the Ramblers 4-1 in the second stanza. All-American midfielder Mitch Parks was a force at the face-off X for the Trevians and proved to be a key component in his team's second-quarter charge.

In the third, New Trier continued to exert its authority and tallied two early scores aided by a Loyola penalty. With a 6-1 advantage and a tough defense forcing Loyola into low-percentage chances and a number of turnovers, the Trevians would not relinquish their grip.

Headed by standout defenders Taylor McGinnis, Connor DeLoach and Peter Schroeder, New Trier's back line held the Ramblers without a goal for more than 30 minutes between the second and fourth periods. With New Trier's defense on lockdown mode and the squad's offense doing its part, Loyola's comeback chances quickly vanished in the fourth quarter.

Luke Cowan led the way for the Ramblers with two goals on the day. Loyola finishes the '11 campaign at 17-5 overall, which included a 14-game winning streak.

The championship victory for New Trier also avenges an earlier-season loss to Loyola, 6-5, back on May 12. The Trevians finish the season 18-6 overall, going 16-1 against in-state competition.

Girls' Lacrosse: Loyola Academy Downs Hinsdale Central for Third Consecutive Championship

Sparked by a dominant second-half performance, the Loyola Academy girls' lacrosse team defeated Hinsdale Central, 15-3, on Friday to win the '11 Illinois High School Women's Lacrosse Association championship. The victory marks the program's third consecutive state title.

Fully aware of Loyola's dynamic offense, Hinsdale Central purposely slowed down the pace in the first half via long, methodical possessions. The plan worked quite well in the early going as Loyola couldn't develop much chemistry. The Ramblers owned just a 4-2 edge at intermission.

But the second half was an entirely different story as Loyola found its game. Buoyed by two goals in opening 38 seconds, the Ramblers stretched its lead to 6-2. Thanks in part to the squad's stellar performance on draw controls and effective transition play, the Ramblers would go on to tally six goals in the first 10 minutes of the half to break open the contest.

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