Girls Lacrosse: Loyola captures fourth straight state championship
New Trier's Kelsy Murray gets fouled by the Loyola defense during Girls Lacrosse state championship game on Friday, June 1, 2012 in Evanston. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Meredith Abrahamson laughed and cried and hugged and high-fived Friday after she helped Loyola capture its fourth consecutive state championship at Northwestern’s Lakeside Field.
The senior’s mastery of the draw control played a big part in the team’s 11-7 win over New Trier. The Ramblers (22-3) possessed the ball for seemingly the entire second half to turn back the Trevians, who were seeking their first state title since 2008.
“In the second half, we played nearly a perfect 25 minutes,” said Abrahamson, a four-year varsity veteran.
Ahead 7-5 at the half, the Ramblers scored the first four goals of the second half to open up a commanding lead that allowed them to play keep-away.
Kelsey Murray, New Trier’s standout junior and the state’s leading scorer, was shut out in the final 25 minutes. She finished with three goals.
“That’s huge,” Loyola coach John Dwyer said. “You could tell she was getting frustrated. She’s a great player and a scoring machine. Our defense stepped up for us big time.”
This was the first meeting between the two rivals in the state final since 2010. Loyola also beat New Trier (23-3) in the regular season and extended its in-state perfection for third year in a row. The Ramblers’ last loss to a team from Illinois was to Lake Forest in 2009.
“At the beginning of the year, we started off not exactly where we intended,” Abrahamson said. “We knew we had to work really hard. We went out to D.C., and we didn’t do as well as we wanted. It was a wake-up call.
“That was a good turning point in our season.”
Junior Anna Schueler scored a game-high five goals for the Ramblers, and sophomore Maggie Nick added three. Kelsey Gallagher, another four-year player, capped her prep career with two goals.
Mary Kate Vanecko shined in the net, allowing only two second-half goals, the final one coming with less than three minutes to play.
Senior Meg Rosinski scored two in the loss.