As expected, the Stevenson Patriots came out on fire Thursday — intent on avenging their Senior Night loss to the Wildkits on May 8.
Stevenson built a commanding 4-0 first quarter lead.
Led by seniors Cunningham, Casati and Crowe, the Heart and Soul of this 2014 Wildkit team dug deep to storm back in the second to a 5-5 halftime tie.
Goals by Crowe and Cunningham led the Kits to a 7-6 third quarter lead. The Patriots took the fourth, to tie the game at 8-8 with 1:12 remaining in regulation.
Both defenses stood fast to yield no good chances in that final minute to force overtime.
Then in a dramatic turn prior to the OT faceoff, Stevenson Coach Brian Larson, hoping to steal an unearned possession, called for a “Stick Check” on Kit Face-off specialist Nick Lydon (sometimes Face-off sticks become illegally narrow). Lydon’s stick passed the test.
In a brilliant coach’s retaliation, Evanston Head Coach Adam Hughes employed an “educated guess” to check Coach Larson’s stick (any/all sticks available for use on the sideline are eligible for legality check), and sure enough, Coach Larson’s stick was illegal.
The result was a one minute Patriot penalty — and the Kits began OT with a No-Faceoff one-minute Extra-Man possession.
The Patriots managed to kill that penalty, but the Wildkits continued possession led to Aidan Crowe’s sudden-victory game winner at 1:30 into the OT.
This Victory elevates the Wildkits to the State’s Elite 8 and defines this year’s squad as the most successful in over two decades.
(The 1990 squad, in a era of only 10 Varsity teams in IL, lost to Loyola in the championship game. Today there are over 80 Illinois Boys Lacrosse teams.)
The Wildkits contiunue on to the State A-Level Boys Lacrosse Quarter-Finals with a match at third seeded Benet Academy in Lisle, on Tuesday, May 27, at 5:30 p.m.
Source: ETHS Sports Information