WINNETKA – New Trier lacrosse players boast an extra appendage in Andy Thompson’s experience.
The St. Charles club coach figures his players need to grow some of their own if they ever want to leapfrog the powerhouse.
New Trier defeated St. Charles, 10-4, on Thursday in an IHSLA state semifinal by finishing and hustling to every ground ball. It was the third straight season St. Charles fell to New Trier in this round.
“To beat these guys, our guys are going to have to keep the sticks in their hands in the summer, the fall, the winter,” Thompson said. “They just need to become extremely comfortable. They need that stick to become part of their body, which is what you see with New Trier.”
St. Charles (15-2) suffered its only two losses of the season against the four-time defending state champions, who will play for another title at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview.
Changing the tempo from its 14-9 regular season loss to New Trier at Norris Stadium in April, St. Charles opened the game in a man-to-man defense instead of zone. New Trier (15-1) quickly capitalized, surging to a 4-1 lead after one quarter.
“We felt pretty confident at the beginning that we could go toe-to-toe against them, but that didn’t work out too well for us,” Thompson said.
Paul DeBord (two goals), Nick Campana and Chad Ellis scored for St. Charles, which switched to zone for the remainder of the game. New Trier stayed ahead by staying patient on offense, moving the ball as it waited for mismatches and scoring chances to develop.
Ellis, who led the team with 10 postseason goals, earned IHSLA All-American honors as a junior, one of several awards St. Charles garnered before the playoffs began. Another loss to New Trier wasn’t in the plans.
“When it’s all said and done, our guys should be able to look back on a season of great accomplishment,” Thompson said. “But the first hour after this game ended, it was awfully tough to take.”