ST CHARLES – Somehow, some way, a trophy was going to be hoisted Friday night at the Eastside Sports Complex.
A few weeks after rain postponed the second annual Crosstown Classic between the St. Charles East and St. Charles North boys lacrosse teams, the radar was once again working against both teams in a bid to play the annual bragging rights game.
A few raindrops didn’t get in the way, however, as the North Stars turned a close game into a rout, outscoring the Saints 9-0 in the second half on their way to a triumphant 15-5 victory.
North picked apart the younger Saints in the second half, scoring three goals in a one-minute span at the start of the fourth quarter. Nick McCullough scored four goals for the North Stars, including three in the second half, to propel North to the emotional win.
McCullough said his team was able to overcome a rough early start in which East scored the first two goals of the game, putting North on its heels.
“We were going back and forth with the key being the faceoffs,” McCullough said. “We weren’t winning many of those in the first half and then in the second half, we started winning them and that’s when we started getting momentum. We came out with a good win and played well all game.”
East (10-6) dominated possession in the first six minutes, getting goals from Brett Hickey and Tim Canning that gave the Saints an early 2-0 lead.
Hickey added another goal early in the second quarter before North (11-4) began to chip away. McCullough’s first score of the game came on a pass into the crease from Riley Martin that made it 3-2 East before Martin tied the game with a low screamer that found the net with 9:58 to go in the first half.
“We just knew we had to pick up the momentum after the first half,” McCullough said. “We knew that if we did that and moved the ball around, things would fall into place.”
Things more than fell into place for North after entering halftime with a 6-5 lead. McCullough scored his second goal of the contest with 5:58 to go in the third that made it 7-5, and the North Stars were in command from there.
North coach Sean McCaffrey credited goalie Alec Datoli for helping spearhead the defensive effort in the second half for the North Stars.
“Alec had a shutout in a half earlier in the season so that doesn’t surprise me, but we rallied around our goalie tonight,” McCaffrey said. “We calmed down and rallied in the second half around face-off-man Mike Jasica.”
Jasica was having trouble with faceoffs early in the game as East dominated play early in the first half. That changed midway through the first quarter as North was able to eventually tie the game.
“The intensity was there, and I think we caught them off guard at the start of the game,” East coach Chris Connor said. “We just kind of lost our edge. It kind of got out of hand there a little bit. That’s what happens when you have a young team and you don’t know how to bounce back. We have a lot of younger guys who are trying to learn the ropes.”
Hickey led East with two goals while Canning, Nate Campana and Justin Kranicki each had one.