HOFFMAN ESTATES – Huntley knew it faced a tough challenge when it took on Lake Forest on Tuesday with a trip to the state semifinals on the line.
The Red Raiders were playing in their first supersectional as a program, while the Scouts played in the state championship a season ago.
Lake Forest’s full capabilities on both ends of the field were on display during an 11-1 win over Huntley at the Hoffman Estates Supersectional.
“We played hard,” Huntley senior Andrew Toman said. “Lake Forest is just one heck of a team. We knew we had a challenge today, and we got punched in the mouth.”
The Scouts (20-2) wasted little time to show off their talent when Brock Uihlein scored with a move coming from behind the net to score with 10:34 left in the first quarter. Nicholas Winebrenner made it 2-0 when he drove down the field to get the open shot less than two minutes later.
Toman scored the Red Raiders’ only goal to make it 2-1 with 6:10 left in the first quarter, but Lake Forest took control of the game by pressing and getting Huntley out of its rotations.
“We were shell-shocked right off the bat with them and then had to make an adjustment that kind of never really came,” Huntley coach Dominic Saccomanno said.
Lake Forest scored 10 goals in three quarters. Winebrenner led the team with four goals. Uihlien, Graham Garrigan and Michael Cassisy each finished with two goals.
Lake Forest goalkeeper August Silver made three saves.
“They tired us out, their sticks were dialed, and they didn’t make many mistakes,” Toman said. “We didn’t capitalize on mistakes, and they capitalized on ours. ... We can’t compete when we’re turning it over and they’re burying it and punishing us.”
Huntley entered the season with the goal of winning a sectional title and did so thanks to an overtime goal by Toman against Hampshire. Saccomanno was proud of the time and effort his team put into achieving that goal and also winning a Fox Valley Conference title.
Although the team loses 10 seniors, Saccomanno is excited for what playing in Tuesday’s supersectional can do for the trajectory of the program.
“We needed to be here to experience that,” Saccomanno said, “so that next year this can be the goal to win the supersectional and make it to the Final Four.”