Girls Lacrosse: Abrahamson, seniors finish 4-for-4 at state championships
Loyola's Meredith Abrahamson drives past New Trier's Meg Rosinski during Girls Lacrosse state championship game on Friday, June 1, 2012 in Evanston. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2012 6:20PM
Meredith Abrahamson and Kelsey Gallagher singled themselves out in Loyola lacrosse lore Friday.
The two seniors became part of the first class to capture four consecutive state championships with the team’s 11-7 win over New Trier at Northwestern’s Lakeside Field. The championship was Loyola’s sixth in eight years.
“The special thing about this team was no team I was on was closer,” said Abrahamson, who will play at Marquette and was the only Midwestern player selected to the Under Armour All-American team. “The chemistry on this team was unreal.”
Ramblers coach John Dwyer saw how much the team grew throughout the season after losing its four best players last year.
“They focused on this year and this year only,” he said. “We didn’t put any undue expectations on ourselves, and we didn’t talk much about winning four in a row. It was all about this year’s seniors and this year’s group of kids.
“Meredith and Kelsey and the rest of the seniors kept a laser-like focus on getting better.”
Ahead 7-5 at the half in Friday’s state final, the Ramblers (22-3) scored the first four goals of the second half to open up a commanding lead that allowed them to play keep-away.
Loyola was able to neutralize New Trier’s Kelsey Murray, the state’s leading scorer, in the second half. The junior scored all three of her goals in the first half.
“That’s huge,” Dwyer said. “You could tell she was getting frustrated. She’s a great player and a scoring machine. Our defense stepped up for us big time.”
This was the first meeting between the two rivals in the state final since 2010. Loyola also beat the Trevians in the regular season and extended its in-state perfection for a third year in a row.
“At the beginning of the year, we started off not exactly where we intended,” said Abrahamson, who dominated the draw circle Friday. “We knew we had to work really hard. We went out to (Washington) D.C., and we didn’t do as well as we wanted. It was a wake-up call.
“That was a good turning point in our season.”
“Nobody panicked after D.C.,” said Dwyer, whose club lost all three of its games over three days. “But we weren’t satisfied. We knew we could have played better, so we came back and worked on a lot of things and changed some other things.
“We got better and better, the ideal of any season. We then played our best game Friday night.”
Junior Anna Schueler led all scorers with five goals, and sophomore Maggie Nick added three. Ohio State-bound Gallagher capped her prep career with two goals.
Junior Mary Kate Vanecko shined in the net, surrendering only two second-half goals.