Loyola senior Patrick Cronin had the most productive game of his career in Wednesday’s 16-1 win over Fenwick on the road.
A midfielder, he led the Ramblers with seven points, including a team-high four assists to go with three goals. He followed up that effort with one goal and one assist in Saturday’s 12-4 win at home over St. Joseph, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Remarkably, it comes less than a month after surgery to remove his appendix.
Following a restless night of sleep with what he described as a “weird stomach ache,” Cronin made it to that day’s practice before realizing something was wrong. He told the coaches he needed to go to the hospital.
Cronin recovered in time to help Loyola to a 9-6 win over St. Rita on the road in the March 16 opener.
“Thankfully, it wasn’t too serious,” Cronin said of the medical procedure. “I didn’t want to miss a second of this season.”
In his third varsity season, Cronin has become a major contributor. Last year, he played a reserve role in the regular season and saw limited time on the field in the playoffs during the Ramblers’ run to the state championship.
Even though the team returned most of its offense — including seven of the nine top goal-scorers and all five leaders in assists — Cronin has worked his way into the rotation. One of his strengths is his ability to dodge defenders and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Cronin, who lives in Lake Forest and went to the School of St. Mary, agreed his performance against Fenwick was a personal highlight.
“It was fun, but I didn’t do it alone,” he said. “We all worked together. Everyone on the team has been grinding since winning it all last year. We are getting better every day.”
Senior Timothy Hackett and junior Kaden Keller each scored three goals apiece Saturday. Senior Najee Taylor added two goals, while senior Mick Burden, Mike Feuer and freshman Connor Ditomasso all scored once.
Loyola (4-3) plays at Saint Viator on Wednesday and at St. Ignatius on Friday. The Ramblers travel to play New Trier on April 16 in a rematch of last year’s state final before going to New York for three games April 23-25.