Today was a lacrosse triple header in Toyota Park with the Chicago Machine again demonstrating their commitment to the sport of lacrosse in Chicago as they hosted the A and B division IHSLA Illinois championships prior to the Bayhawks game. In the morning matchup, Benet Academy had run out to a 6-1 lead in the first half over St. Ignatius, but the Wolfpack stormed back in the third quarter to take a 7-6 lead utilizing a stingy defense and taking away Benet’s transition game. Things seemed to be all in favor of Ignatius until one of their players was ejected and received a 3 minute penalty, which gave the Benet Redhawks the opportunity to slow down the tempo of the game and focus on their offense which patiently probed for weaknesses. Ignatius never recovered from this prolonged man down period and they fell 14-7.
The second game was rematch of last year’s Division A championship between long time neighboring rivals New Trier and Loyola Academy. Loyola moved the ball well in the first quarter and forced the Trevians into turnovers on offense to take a 1-0 lead. That was all of the offensive output for Loyola, as New Trier slowly nibbled at Loyola’s transitition and the Trevian close defense forced Loyola into taking shots from too far out, relying on low percentage shots rather than close sure ones. New Trier prevailed 7-1 and won the state title for the fourth year in row. The New Trier boys join their counterpart girls team, whcih also won the Illinois girls lacrosse title over Loyola Academy.
The Machine game started out with the brothers Leveille act when Kevin nailed the first of his five goals of the game with a neat right hander that beat Bayhawk goalie Chris Garrity. Conor Gill responded a minute later to tie the game at 1-1 and then Pat Heim and Brad Heritage scored solo goals to ut Chicago up 3-1. Then Mike Leveille took the ball from 15 yards out and came in on the left side at an angle and nailed the lower opposite pipe as he was pushed to the ground for his first professional goal. On the prior possession Kevin had tried to feed him for an assist but his stick was pinned as he came across the crease and turned back. Brendan Healy then put in a 2-pointer for Washington to cut the lead to 4-3 and Kevin Leveille took two assists from his brother and newcomer Steve Brooks to put Chicago up 6-3. The half ended with Chicago up 8-6.
Chicago controlled the game in the third quarter getting 5 goals to the Bayhawks 3, and each of those coming off extra man opportunities. It appeared Chicago would have an easy second win, but the Bayhawks tied the game 13-13, by outhustling the Machine in the first 4 minutes getting straight to the net goals by Billy Glading, Bill McGlone, Gill and Healy. Kevin Leveille countered on a feed by Brooks to put Chicago up again 14-13, but the Chicago defense crumbled in the last 6 minutes, giving up 5 goals, the last one being the second 2-pointer of the game.
|Kevin Leveille||(5, 1)|
|Colin Achenbach||(2, 3)|
|Mike Leveille||(2, 2)|
|Brad Heritage||(2, 0)|
|Pat Heim||(1, 0)|
|Dan Deckelbaum||(1, 0)|
|Doug Shanahan||(1, 0)|
|Mike Gabel||17 (0.515)|