July 21, 2024
Illinois High School Sports

Boys lacrosse: Huntley can’t keep up with Lake Forest in supersectional loss

Scouts took early 4-0 lead on way to 3rd straight state trip

Huntley's Andrew Baumley looks to advance against Lake Forest's Austin Rice at the Super Sectional Final on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 in Huntley.

HUNTLEY – Huntley quickly learned Tuesday the level it needs to reach if it wants to compete for a state championship.

The Red Raiders knew they were in for a challenge when they played Lake Forest in the Huntley Supersectional for the second straight season. Still, the Scouts once again ended Huntley’s season with a 12-2 win.

“We put it all out there,” Huntley senior Justin Jacobsen said. “We knew what we were going against after playing against them last season in the supersectional. I think the whole team left our hearts out there.”

Lake Forest (20-4) quickly showed why it will play in its third straight state finals after finishing runner-up the past two postseasons. The Red Raiders (17-5) committed early penalties because of miscommunication and the Scouts made the most of them, taking a 1-0 lead when Austin Rice scored with 10:43 left in the first quarter before making it 2-0 on a Graham Garrigan goal with 8:44 left in the first quarter.

Garrigan scored again on a penalty with 6:20 remaining and Harry Kotlar made it 4-0 about 2 minutes later before Huntley got on the scoreboard with a goal from Justin Jacobsen with 58.8 seconds left in the first quarter.

Lake Forest continued to put the pressure on in the first half, taking a 7-1 lead at halftime and 10-1 lead after three quarters.

The Scouts’ depth showed up after the Red Raiders tried to take away Lake Forest’s perimeter. Lake Forest applied pressure near the net, and Huntley couldn’t overcome the deficit.

“We were mostly focused on their perimeter shooters, they have some great ones. We wanted to keep those shots out,” Huntley coach Dom Saccomanno said. “What ended up happening is we missed assignments on the crease, and they were finding that crease look.”

Rice led the scoring with five goals for the Scouts while Garrigan scored three. Lucas Kroner added two goals and Kotlarz and Collin Pfeifle each scored once.

“We put it all out there. We knew what we were going against after playing against them last season in the supersectional. I think the whole team left our hearts out there.”

—  Justin Jacobsen, Huntley senior

Cole Copersmet scored for the Red Raiders in the fourth quarter.

Saccomanno thought the Red Raiders did a good job of settling down after giving up the opening four goals, but the offense couldn’t keep up after exerting so much effort on defense and failing to make the most of easy chances.

“We dropped three balls on the crease that were open, we hit a couple guys with some shots where they made a bunch of saves,” Saccomanno said. “We had a bunch of opportunities, we just didn’t bury them.”

Despite the season not ending the way Huntley wanted, Saccomanno was proud of what his team accomplished. The Red Raiders won their third straight Fox Valley Conference title and second straight sectional.

Saccomanno told his team about how Lake Forest had five 8U teams when he started coaching 20 years ago. He wanted to bring that sort of youth movement when he came to Huntley, and he’s seen the benefits in classes like this senior group.

“Our program is heading in the right direction,” Jacobsen said. “Our senior group really turned it around and really led a good example for future classes coming up, the standard that our program has now.”

Michal Dwojak

Michal Dwojak

Michal is a sports enterprise reporter for Shaw Local, covering the CCL/ESCC for Friday Night Drive and other prep sports for the Northwest Herald. He also is a Chicago Bears contributing writer. He previously was the sports editor for the Glenview Lantern, Northbook Tower and Malibu Surfside News.