Being the second best team in the state is an achievement for the Lake Forest High School field hockey team.
However, the distinction does not feel that good when it was attained by a 2-0 loss to New Trier Saturday in the Illinois High School Field Hockey State title game in Glenview.
The Scouts reached the State championship game for the 12th straight time since 2000. Eight times they have been crowned champions in that span, but the last three consecutive years have belonged to the Trevians.
“Second place is a thing to be celebrated,” Lake Forest coach Melanie Walsh said. “We have to remember that. By Monday they will feel better about it.”
“Ten years from now what they will remember are the friendships,” assistant coach Julie Chantler added.
Immediately after the game, Scout junior all-state midfielder Morgan Dever recalled the difference in the style of play of the two teams, and is already thinking about how to alter the Scouts' in 2012.
“We have to kill the ball when we get into the circle instead of trying to perfectly make the goal, which is what we usually do,” Dever said. “They had a lot of sticks in there (near the goal). They are good at the nitty gritty.”
Dever is one of five Scouts to make the all-state team and the only junior. The rest include Kelsey Adams, Katie Skinner, Lina Trucco and Lauren Yarkony.
Another Lake Forest junior who is already counting on another chance to win the State championship is Jessica Staton. She injured her finger in Friday’s 2-0 semifinal win over Oak Park-River Forest and played most of the title game with bloody knees Saturday.
“She was hurt yesterday and played through the pain today,” Walsh said.
Staton may have claimed the pain did not matter, but she continued to move all over the field, according to Walsh.
“I took some Advil,” Staton said of trying to quell the pain. “I just kept trying to go as hard as I could for five minutes, and then another five minutes.”
Staton was not thinking about the pain even after the game. She was contemplating what the Scouts must do to earn the first-place trophy next season.
“We need to play with more fire,” Staton said. “New Trier came out with fire today.”
Emotions work both ways, and Walsh noted they may have played a role in the loss.
“My kids get really emotional,” Walsh said. “They need to keep their emotions in check. It’s really hard on them. They are a well skilled team.”
New Trier's Erin Petry scored the first goal two minutes into the game to put Lake Forest on the defensive from the start. When the Scouts approached the opposing net, a Trevian stick often was in the way.
“That was our game plan,” Walsh said, referring to the Scouts’ strategy to score first and put the Trevians on their heels. “We had a lot of chances but couldn’t get the ball in the net.”
When the Scouts had trouble penetrating the territory around the Trevians goal, they added a midfielder and took away a defender to make their attack more aggressive.
“It could have been different if we stepped in front of the ball more often,” Scout co-captain Abby Sirus said. “That’s why we added a fourth midfielder.”
However, the Trevians countered with an extra defender and eventually scored again with under four minutes left to play on a shot by Katy Weeks.