GIRLS LACROSSE: After beating New Trier 18-12 last week in Glenview, Loyola plays Hinsdale Central at home Wednesday in another matchup of the state’s perennial best teams. Over the last 10 seasons, the Ramblers (8), Red Devils (1) and Trevians (1) own all of the state titles. The Trevians have finished second five times and third three times, while the Red Devils have been runners-up twice and third six times. There have been only two seasons when Loyola, Hinsdale Central and New Trier didn’t finish 1-2-3 in some order. “Hinsdale is of the top three teams every single year, and this year is no exception,” Loyola head coach John Dwyer said. Hinsdale Central is led by senior Anna Santulli, who has signed to play at Stanford. “That alone is a reason for concern,” Dwyer said. “They also are tall and good on the draw.” The Ramblers (17-2) are 7-0 against Illinois clubs, while the Red Devils (8-3) lost to New Trier 13-9 on April 21. In advance of Wednesday’s big in-state game, Loyola beat two strong teams from Michigan on Saturday at University of Notre Dame. First, the Ramblers defeated Cranbrook Schools 14-6 before beating Rockford 15-7. Dwyer said the win over Rockford, which is from the Grand Rapids area, was one of Loyola’s best of the season. He credited senior goalie Delaney Oliveira with keeping the Ramblers off the scoreboard early. “Her point-blank saves really give us a lift,” Dwyer said. “She allowed us to weather some of their runs.” Additionally, Dwyer said the Ramblers received contributions from several sources, including junior Claire Caffery, who made her first start of the season against Cranbrook Schools. “She has very good stick skills, doesn’t turn the ball over and plays with confidence,” he said. Sophomore Maggie Gorman, sophomore Brynn Holohan, freshman Annabelle Burke, freshman Kelsey Koch and freshman Sophia Rucker also stood out Saturday, according to Dwyer. “Our girls did a nice job top to bottom,” said Dwyer, who played all 26 girls in the two games.
BOYS LACROSSE: The Ramblers (8-6) will look to win their first game against an out-of-state opponent this weekend when they travel to Crown Pointe, Indiana, for the Midwest Lacrosse Challenge. They are the second seed and open with Detroit Country Day on Friday. Culver Academy, of Indiana, is the top seed. New Trier is the only other club from Illinois in the eight-team field. Other teams in the field include Brother Rice (Mich.), Carmel (Ind.), Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School (Mo.) and DeSmet Jesuit (Mo.). Loyola earned its biggest win of the season Saturday with its 7-6 victory over New Trier in Northfield. The Ramblers are 8-0 against in-state teams.
GIRLS SOCCER: If the Ramblers beat Trinity on the road Tuesday, they will enter Thursday’s home game against St. Francis with designs on completing an undefeated run through the GCAC Red. Loyola (10-6) came into this week 3-0 in league, having beat Mother McAuley, St. Ignatius and Fenwick by a combined 15-3. But head coach Craig Snower said he expects the Spartans to test the Ramblers. St. Francis boasts junior forward Kendra Pasquale, who is a prolific goal-scorer and an Illinois recruit. “That was our toughest [league] game last year, and they will be a challenge for us again,” Snower said. “We are excited for the opportunity.” Loyola closes out the conference schedule against Providence Catholic at home May 8. The Ramblers won all three of their games last week, including a 3-2 win over Waubonsie Valley on Saturday at the Naperville Invitational. They also beat Fenwick 7-2 on Tuesday and beat Sandburg 3-2 on Thursday. “We are playing much better,” Snower said. “The wins against Sandburg and Waubonsie Valley legitimizes our improvement.”
WATER POLO: Both the boys and girls teams play at the MCAC tournament this week at Fenwick. The girls, who finished third in the league at 4-2, play St. Viator on Thursday in the first round. The Ramblers beat the Lions 12-9 on April 10. The boys, who tied for second at 6-2, open with St. Rita. Loyola beat the Mustangs 14-7 on March 15. Mother McAuley earned the top seed for the girls, while Fenwick is No. 1 on the boys side. The IHSA playoffs start next week for both the boys and girls. Both Loyola teams are at the Glenbrook North Sectional. The girls earned the second seed and play May 10, while the boys received the third seed and play Thursday. New Trier is the top seed for both the boys and girls.
Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola