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The Evanston Township High School boys lacrosse team snapped a three-game losing streak April 18 when they defeated Lake Zurich 11-7. Junior midfielder Chris David led the Kits with three goals, while senior attacker Thomas Julcher and junior midfielder Nick Lydon added two goals apiece. With the victory, the Kits improved to 5-4 overall.
Following the Lake Zurich game, the Kits hosted Naperville North and squeaked by the Huskies 7-6 for their second straight victory. In that game, the Kits outscored the Huskies 3-1 in the third quarter to take a 7-5 lead. Then in the fourth, the visitors scored on a breakaway to get back within one, but the Kits were able to hang on thanks to a nice save by senior goalkeeper Marcello Porter with three seconds left.
From there, the Kits looked to make it three wins in a row when they took on St. Ignatius on April 28, but unfortunately they came up short, falling 7-6. The Kits were led by senior midfielder Tommy Haughey, who scored two goals, with Nick, senior defenseman Jack Lydon, junior midfielder Charlie Prangl, junior attacker Ben Neumann, and senior midfielder Sam Knepper each adding one goal in the loss.
Then on April 30, the Kits lost to archrival New Trier by a score of 14-5 on a chilly night at Lazier Field in Evanston. In that game, after the Trevians scored just over two minutes in, the Kits bounced back to tie it at 1-1 when Sam scored with 8:27 left in the quarter. But the Trevians scored the next four goals to close out the quarter with a 5-1 lead.
In the second quarter, after Sam found the back of the net for the second time with 5:58 left, the Trevians answered once again to make it a 6-2 contest. But from there, the Kits got back to within 6-3 when Chris scored with 44 seconds left in the half.
After the intermission, the Trevians scored the first two goals of the quarter to take an 8-3 lead. But the Kits kept battling as Sam scored his third goal of the game to make it 8-4 with 5:10 left. From there, the Trevians scored 12 seconds later to make it a 9-4 game with 4:58 left.
Then the Trevians took complete control of the game, scoring the next five goals to take a 14-4 lead with 6:26 left in the fourth quarter. Wiith eight seconds remaining, Sam scored his fourth goal of the game, making the final score 14-5. With the loss, the Kits fell to 6-6 overall and lost for the first time this season at Lazier Field after winning the previous three at home.
“It is disappointing, it is frustrating. We seem to just dig ourselves a hole in the first half and it is tough to claw out of there,” said head coach Adam Hughes regarding the loss to New Trier. “The kids fought all the way through, and I know for the seniors, it was definitely a tough loss. Our offense clicked a little bit tonight, but we’ve got to click all four quarters and take care of the ball.”
When asked what positives they can take away from the New Trier game, Coach Hughes said, “I think the guys can see that they have fight and that they can hang in the games. There was one point where we were only down three and I know that is never a win, but I think something should trigger that, hey, we can hang with these teams, we’ve just got to do the small things.” The Coach added, “I think the biggest take-away for us was, if you play sloppy, you lose the game, and that is all it was. Our shots, we were getting them off, we were dodging, we were moving, but if you do not take care of that ball, and you give it back to the other team [it is tough to win].”
Regarding Sam’s four-goal performance, Hughes said, “Sam played great. He has actually been playing better as the year has gone on and each game he continues to get better.” The Coach added, “We had some issues with dodging early on, but we worked on them, and you can tell, he is doing a great job shooting, and he found the net [against New Trier]. He has been a consistent guy on the offensive [side of the] ball for us. He played a great game.”
From there, the Kits took on Glenbrook North on May 2 and won 6-5, snapping a-two game losing streak. In that game, after taking a 6-3 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Kit allowed two goals, making it a 6-5 contest. But the defense denied any more scoring chances, allowing the Kits to hold on for the victory. Senior attacker Sam Mayne and Chris led the Kits with two goals apiece.
With the victory over GBN, the Kits’ record improved to 7-6 overall. “The record does not really show [the type of team we are]. I am frustrated, the kids are frustrated, [as] it seems like one of those domino-type years, where one game happens, I think it was the Maine South game [the Kits lost that game 6-5 on April 1], where we have not been able to look in the mirror and pull ourselves out just yet,” Coach Hughes explained. “But there is plenty of season left, and I know the guys can turn it around, and we are getting some personnel back from injury and I really think, come playoff time, we will shock a couple of teams that did not see this coming.”
Next up, the Kits take on Stevenson on May 7. Regarding Stevenson, Hughes said, “I am sure they want us after last year. We [beat] them twice last year [including a 9-8 victory in the first round of the postseason].” The Coach added, “The way we ended [that game] was an overtime thriller, and I am sure we are on the top of their list of who they want to take down. But I know they are a good team, and I really feel in this league, anybody can come to the top right now. I know they are going to be gunning for us, like I said, after last year, but I think it will be a good battle.”
After the Stevenson game, the Kits play Wheaton-Warrenville South on May 9, visit Lake Forest on May 12 and then close out the regular season on May 15 against Lake Zurich as part of Senior Night in Evanston.