Loyola's Strong Second Half Pulls Away From Trevians 15-9, to Capture 9th Straight IHSWLA Championship Title

This was a game of two halves, a game won by adjustments made at halftime as Loyola was unable to pull away from New Trier in the first half and led by a narrow 7-6 advantage. Although Loyola opened the game with two quick scores in the first four minutes to lead 2-0, New Trier refused to let them enlarge their lead, coming back to tie the game at 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 by the middle of the first half. The Ramblers pulled away 7-4 at 7:31, and were looking to make it 8-4, but received their second yellow card at 1:38 on hard charge to the goal, as well as having the goal waved off. The Trevians took advantage of this miscue and executed two perfect extra man offensive sets to score at 1:20 and 1:07, so instead of a four goal lead, the Ramblers led by only one. Loyola managed to stem the bleeding and maintain possession to run out the half.

Loyola used a very fast and able man defense close in and a trapping one in transition, using its team speed to double and triple the ball south of the midfield stripe, causing turnovers and killing drives. Brennan Dwyer ruled the draw circle, as well as the inner eight, garnering seven goals, one goal short of Caroline Tesar`s record eight goal performance in the Ramblers` 15-8 victory over Lake Forest. And so the Brennan Dwyer era ends, ironically with the end of the IHSWLA, but Dwyer will continue her lacrosse career locally when she suits up for the Northwestern Wildcats this fall.

The Ramblers owned the first seven minutes of the second half, starting with a free position score by Madison Kane, followed by a solo shot by Dwyer to go up 9-6. Six of her seven goals were solos attempts, while Kane fed her on the seventh. Grace Clarke, Caroline Witkowski and Dwyer each scored on the next three possessions to increase the lead to 12-6. New Trier recovered and held the Ramblers in check while scoring two of their own on scores by Courtney Kaskey and Sophia King, to narrow the lead to 12-8 with 8:29 left. Dwyer scored twice and Clarke once to take away hope from the Trevians, 15-8 at 2:23. Katherine Gjertsen, who opened the scoring for New Trier, closed it with a goal at 0:53. Game photos to follow in the gallery.

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