Wilmette, Sports

Loyola holds on to capture sectional and end New Trier’s resurgent season

Loyola Academy and New Trier forged another classic on the lacrosse field Friday night in Wilmette.

After a couple quiet years, the Trevians returned to elite status in the state this season, and Friday’s sectional championship between the Ramblers and Trevs was a rematch of an intense regular-season matchup, which Loyola won 6-5 in overtime.

Loyola’s early fourth-quarter goal countered an impressive New Trier comeback and gave it an 8-7 lead that the Ramblers clung to in front of home crowd May 24 in Wilmette.

“I think that was one of the biggest comebacks we had, coming back from down three to make it 7-7,” Trevians coach Adam Dickson said. “We had a good run but couldn’t get that one extra one.”

Facing a three-goal deficit in the third quarter, New Trier got a goal apiece from Shea Kreisa, Samuel Kazmier Kaiser and Walker Chessen in a span of about 4 minutes to tie things up headed to the final quarter.

A couple minutes into the fourth, Ramblers senior David Pezza scored, and the tally held up as both defenses stood tall the rest of the way.

In the final minutes, New Trier created a turnover and began to move the ball upfield — just before the Ramblers took it back. In between the turnovers, Dickson said he has a regret.

“We forced the turnover and are clearing it, trying to advance. If we got one more step, I was going to call timeout,” he said. “We just turned it over and gave the ball back and that kind of sealed it.

“That’s going to be one I think about,” he added.

Loyola dominated play early, taking a 3-1 lead after one quarter and extending it to 5-1 midway through the second.

But New Trier woke up, scoring three of the next four goals — two from junior Nico Nassar — to close the gap to 6-4 by halftime.

“We came out a little flat. (We) played with hesitancy. I think we were a little bit reserved in the first half,” Dickson said. “We had to turn it around. … Our defense in the second half had to make a ton of stands, just again and again. We were right there. .. Hats off to our guys.”

Loyola scored to open the second half, before the Trevians three-goal burst tied things up.

Following the dramatic finish, the Ramblers, who won state championships in 2022 and 2021, again move on to the supersectional, where they lost to St. Viator one year ago.

This time around, Loyola will take on Lake Forest at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at Conant High School.

The Trevians’ resurgent season comes to an end.

“We improved tremendously on last year,” Dickson said. “We won some games that last year that we lost. We’ve beaten a lot of ranked teams. … We definitely had a lot of confidence coming into the playoffs and thinking we could make a run. And the way the things are, you have a couple of the best teams in this sectional, and for us, we know to go on the run we have to beat Loyola. And Loyola has set the standard in our sectional for the past couple of years. We always know what that challenge is.”

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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