It was appropriate that seniors Mary Dooley and Katie Enrietto were in full uniform for Loyola’s final game of the year.
Even though neither of them played in the Ramblers’ 15-9 win over New Trier after suffering season-ending knee injuries in April, Dooley and Enrietto never stopped being valuable members of the team.
On Friday at Northwestern’s Lakeside Field, Dooley was in her No. 12 jersey, while Enrietto wore No. 31. They participated in the pre-game announcements and were on the field to celebrate the state championship, Loyola’s ninth one in a row. When the Ramblers ended their final post-game huddle of the season, the players and coaches yelled “Twelve Thirty One” to honor the two.
“They would have done anything to be out there playing with us,” said senior Brennan Dwyer, who, like the rest of her teammates, wrote Dooley and Enrietto’s numbers on her wrist. “After they got hurt, everything we did was for them.”
In a span of less than 24 hours, Dooley and Enrietto both tore their left ACLs on the team’s trip to Colorado. In fact, both did it on plays that they scored goals.
Before Dooley and Enrietto, only three players had ACL injuries in Loyola head coach John Dwyer’s 16 seasons, and none of them happened during the regular season. He said the injuries to Dooley and Enrietto energized the Ramblers to raise their level of play.
“Somehow, it was innate,” he said. “When they came to practice, you could see we got a noticeable lift. You could see it in the players’ eyes and in the intense way we practiced and played.
“The girls had an overriding sense of relief to know Mary and Katie were there with them.”
Senior Madison Kane and Brennan Dwyer both said Dooley and Enrietto acted like coaches while sidelined, each offering advice from an all-state player’s perspective.
“They saw stuff we didn’t see, but it was a different point of view than the coaches’,” Kane said. “We even called them our new coaches. They did a great job for us.”
Dooley and Enrietto both will play lacrosse in college, with Dooley attending Marquette and Enrietto off to Notre Dame. Although they weren’t able to finish their senior seasons on the field, they were thankful to be along for the ride and grateful to have each other.
“We lived vicariously through our teammates,” Enrietto said. “It was also great to have Mary by my side.”
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola