GIRLS LACROSSE — Loyola wasn’t going to be denied this time.
In 2007, Hinsdale Central stopped the Ramblers’ run of state titles, but Loyola got its third in a row Friday at Northwestern’s Lakeside Field with a 15-3 victory against the Red Devils. Up 4-2 at the half, the Ramblers scored the first three of the second half on their way to the rout. Loyola played all 27 girls in uniform.
“For some of us, this was our last game,” said Loyola’s Stephanie Scherer, one of four seniors. “We were really fired up.”
Along with Scherer, Meg Perkaus, Molly Hulseman and Nicole Gleason all won their third state championship as Loyola captured three titles in a row for the first time in program history. It was the team’s fifth in seven seasons and seventh overall. The Ramblers also have six runner-up finishes since 2000.
Loyola’s seniors scored the team’s first six goals and 10 in all. Scherer contributed a team-best four goals, while Hulseman added three. The Ramblers took 30 shots on goal to Hinsdale Central’s 11.
After Loyola (21-2) scored in 49 seconds, Hinsdale Central (15-7) held the ball for nearly five minutes before turning it over. Red Devils coach Lindsay Finocchiaro wanted to deny the Ramblers possession for as long as possible.
“They have such a great attack, and I thought that gave us a better shot,” she said. “We tried to tire their defense out.”
But the Ramblers expect every team to run different looks at them.
“It didn’t surprise us,” said Loyola coach John Dwyer, whose team went undefeated against in-state opponents, including 21-9 over Hinsdale Central during the regular season.
Hinsdale Central was led on offense by standout Dylan Voneiff, who sat out the semifinal game against St. Ignatius after getting two yellow cards in the quarterfinals. The senior scored the team’s first goal that tied the game at 1-all and added the Red Devils’ only goal in the second half.
Hinsdale Central goalie Alyson Bean highlighted the defense by making 13 saves, including nine in the first half to keep the Red Devils within reach.
“Bean did an awesome job,” Finocchiaro said. “She’s been huge for us all year.”
Other than its 16-14 semifinal win over 2008 state champion New Trier, Loyola rolled through the playoffs. The Ramblers won by an average of more than 10 goals.
The win over the Red Devils avenged the Ramblers’ 13-12 loss in the 2007 title match.
While the Ramblers won’t be able to replace their four seniors, they won’t exactly be rebuilding. Scherer is excited for the future of the program.
“The young girls definitely improved a lot this season,” she said. “They will definitely go on and win more championships. They will keep making their mark.”