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Sports

Girls Lacrosse: St. Charles co-op finishes groundbreaking season with fourth in state

Makayla Thomas, Maddie Wiltrout named all-state, Lexi Kiefer and Morgan Curzon honorable mention

Maddie Wiltrout
Maddie Wiltrout

HINSDALE – St. Charles North seniors Morgan Curzon and Maddie Wiltrout look forward to continuing as lacrosse teammates at St. Ambrose University along with Curzon’s sister McKenna.

Their final chapter for the St. Charles co-op girls lacrosse team Saturday was groundbreaking.

St. Charles finished a program-best fourth after losing to Glenbrook South 21-12 in just the second IHSA-sanctioned state tournament for girls lacrosse at Hinsdale Central.

“It’s amazing. We truly are making history. This is something our lacrosse program hasn’t been able to do before so we’re definitely leaving our mark,” Curzon said.

“This is something we’ve been preparing for. Our goal this year was to make it to the final four and when we pushed and pushed and played our hearts out, we got here.”

St. Charles North senior Makayla Thomas and Wiltrout were named all-state, with Thomas earning the honor for the third time. St. Charles East senior Lexi Kiefer and Curzon were honorable mention all-state. St. Charles North’s Tahlia Townsend and St. Charles East’s Jennie Hubbard were the only other seniors.

St. Charles (17-4) was fueled by last season’s overtime loss in the supersectional.

“Probably one of the most heartbreaking games we’ve ever played,” Wiltrout said. “Having our motto be one goal, it was really sad. Definitely tears were shed. It was redemption that we wanted, and to make it past that supersectional was just so rewarding. I feel the chemistry has definitely grown the most this year.”

Thomas, Wiltrout and Curzon were four-year varsity players. As they have most of the season, Wiltrout and Curzon played Saturday wearing light blue St. Ambrose bandanas.

In 2016, St. Charles reached the IHSWLA state tournament quarterfinals before losing to perennial power New Trier.

“[Because of] that game, I really felt like this was possible with this group and they’ve worked so hard these four years,” co-coach Ronnie Kluener said. “They’re a special group of girls, those seniors.”

Kiefer (five goals, assist), Wiltrout (five goals), Thomas (goal, three assists), Townsend (goal) and St. Charles East junior Annika Anderson and freshman Katelyn Olson (assist each) comprised Saturday’s scoring.

Also a basketball and golf player, Kiefer joined lacrosse as a sophomore and then stopped golf as a junior for lacrosse recruiting. She’s now going to play at Akron.

“[Lacrosse] ended up being the thing that I loved the most. I’m just so excited to do everything that lacrosse has given me,” Kiefer said. “I’m just so grateful for [our state] experience and everything. It’s just so bittersweet but much sweeter than bitter.”

St. Charles closed to within four goals three times in the second half. Glenbrook South (20-5) scored eight straight to lead 20-8 with 6:19 left before Wiltrout scored three goals in a 2:27 span and Kiefer scored with five seconds left.

In Friday’s 16-8 semifinal loss, St. Charles outscored Hinsdale Central 5-2 for the final 15 minutes.

“They were fighting through that last four minutes [Saturday] and that’s huge,” co-coach Jordyn McFarlane said. “This isn’t a loss. This is a stepping stone in the right direction.”

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