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News and Stories from across the District

Highlighting our Girls Soccer and Girls Lacrosse City Champions

26 May 2022

Congratulations to Lane Tech and Walter Payton!

Lane Soccer Champs

By Michael Wojtychiw

Mary Rau stepped up into the middle of the field looking to take what she would call her “greatest shot ever.”

With the game tied 1-1 midway through the second half, the Lane senior forward was looking for the shot to put her squad up in its quest for a seventh consecutive city title as it faced off against rival Young Thursday at Lane Stadium.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to place a single shot like that again, to be completely honest,” she said. “I manifested that at halftime, I really wanted a goal like that all season, and when I saw the goalie peeking a little bit out, I took my opportunity and placed it just under the crossbar.”

The senior’s strike from 36 yards out proved to be the game-winner as Lane continued its amazing run of city championships, taking down top-seeded and regular-season conference champion Young 2-1.

Lane Tech Girls Soccer City Championship Game

Scout Murray, a Lane midfielder, took a pass in the 16th minute from junior forward Avery Ellis and used her lightning speed to get past the Dolphins’ defense to put pressure on Young’s goalie Zoe Adelstein.

Murray snuck the ball inside the far post to give Lane the early 1-0 lead. 

The lead wouldn’t stand for long though. Young responded almost instantaneously.

Forcing their way upfield, the team drew a foul on the left wing, giving them a free-kick opportunity. Lauren Roche, who had two goals in the 3-0 regular-season win including a free kick, stepped up to the plate again and buried another free kick to tie the game. 

A couple minutes later, Rau’s heroics came to fruition.

For Lane, it was a game not only for themselves, but for everyone that had come before them as well. With multiple alumni in the crowd watching their former team play for yet another title, the current version of the Lane soccer team was happy to be able to play for them as well.

“This feel really great, especially seeing all the alumni in the crowd,” Lane’s Jocelyn Ramirez said. “Seeing all the alumni in the stands, like Carlye Makuch and Zehra Halilic, I just thought that was so crazy. They were literally here on the field with me when I was a freshman. We did it all for them, and everybody who played for Lane.”

*After the City Championship Lane Tech entered the IHSA state playoffs as the 5th seed in the one of the toughest brackets in the tournament. While Lane Tech defeated St. Ignatius 2-1 in their first playoff game, they fell in the regional Championship to Maine South 2-1.

Payton came into the city title game looking to make not only school, but Public League girls lacrosse, history.

Lane has long had a stronghold on the sport of girls lacrosse in the Chicago Public League. Since the sport was incorporated into CPL play in 2015, Lane has not only won every city title, but also not dropped a game to a conference squad.

That streak, however, ended Friday when the squad faced the Grizzlies for the city title at Lane Stadium and the visitors walked away with a dramatic, come-from-behind 7-6 win.

The Grizzlies, a team made up of mostly players who had just started the sport once they started their high school careers, avenged last season’s city title game loss thanks to the play of its senior class.

Caitlin Froning, who led the team with three goals, including two of its final three, played savior Friday night. 

After Payton’s Ellie Fulkerson scored on a free-position shot with 31 seconds to go, both teams were looking to grab the draw for the one final chance to go home champions.

Walter Payton Girls Lacrosse

It was the Grizzlies, however, that gained control of the draw, allowing Froning to set up her dramatics. The senior came around the back of the goal, going from left to right, jumped and put the ball past the Lane goalie with a mere six seconds remaining to secure the win, her team jumping on her in celebration.

When the sport started in the CPL in 2015, there were only three teams and more teams have joined every year, this year with a total of eight teams.

“As a coach, it’s wonderful to see the growth of the sport. It’s a sport we all love, so it’s wonderful to see that,” said Lane coach Amanda Malstrom. “I do hope I can be a good ambassador for the other teams and help them be successful, because in the long run, that’s what’s best for all of us.”

*Walter Payton Girls Lacrosse advanced to the IHSA Girls Lacrosse Sectional Quarterfinals where they ultimately fell 7-5 to Chicago Latin.

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