Crowds come out for Glenbrook lacrosse squads' rivalry night

 
 
Updated 6/16/2021 4:28 PM

When Glenbrook South's Doug Reynolds looked to the stands at his home John Davis Stadium, he was impressed by the turnout.

"Obviously it isn't super common for lacrosse games, especially ours, but when it comes to the playoffs it's nice to know everybody's got our backs," he said.

 

Back-to-back.

An estimated 500 people, according to gate receipts, rallied June 9 to the sectional semifinal playoff games between Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North boys and girls lacrosse teams.

In an equitable split, the Glenbrook North boys won 16-7 after the Glenbrook South girls took their game 10-9 on Meg Bireley's goal from Sarah John's pass behind the Spartans' net.

"This was our third time playing them and obviously GBN-GBS is a big rival, so it's always like the tension is even more up," Bireley said.

Rule of thumb says it's hard to defeat a team three times in the same season. The Trojans achieved that in a chippy contest that earned players from both squads a multitude of yellow cards.

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"Since we went to the IHSA format (in 2017-18) we typically see Glenbrook North at this stage in the playoffs just based on how we get seeded in our section. Every game, playoffs or regular season, is super-competitive, super-high intensity with Glenbrook North and obviously you could see today was no exception," said Glenbrook South coach Devin McCue.

Bireley scored 4 goals to lead all players, while senior Belle Tiesi scored 3 goals. On the other hand, junior Kiley Kozak added 3 goals and sophomore Molly Weasler stood tall in goal.

Glenbrook South literally ran out the clock, playing keep away from the Spartans for more than the final two minutes.

"There was a lot of excitement because you could hear everyone in the crowd really cheering for us," Tiesi said. "It was unreal to watch the clock count down and know that we were confident in our team and could pass it around."

Glenbrook North had that ability as well, but not the late lead.

Spartans senior Mia Fusco craftily ran offense behind the net or curled around it to score 3 goals herself. Fellow senior co-captain Arianna Gregory had the wheels to run 50 yards on one of her goals, and the mobility to wind through traffic on her other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"This is our third game against them this year, and each game we got more and more competitive and the game got a lot better in the level of play. It was real nice, and part of it was Arianna playing that way," said Glenbrook North coach Tom Rosenbaum.

Glenbrook South beat St. Viator in the sectional final to set up Tuesday's Hoffman Estates supersectional against Lake Forest.

The Glenbrook North boys trod that same path to Tuesday's supersectional against Lake Forest.

On June 9 at Glenbrook South, Spartans star attack Jack Hardesty scored 2 first-quarter goals out of his eventual 6 tallies. Big defender Daniel Wilcox had a long scoring run for a 7-0 lead before Glenbrook South's all-conference Chris Schreiber snapped the shutout with 4 minutes, 17 seconds left in the second quarter.

"The first time we played them we got a good lead on them and then they battled back, so we knew that this game, we had to play four quarters," said Glenbrook North coach Justin Georgacakis.

His Spartans were fueled by that prior 11-9 regular-season loss.

"We came back kind of like a revenge tour in a way and we kept that memory and we didn't forget it," said Bailey Smith, a Glenbrook North assistant coach. He's a 2013 Glenbrook North graduate who also coached at Glenbrook South.

"It's good to be on top," Smith said.

"We had a big lead," Hardesty said, "but I was a little nervous when they started putting up a couple goals, just like every other team would be nervous. But I think we all kept levelheaded and just kept playing our game and we came out victorious.

"My freshman year we lost to them, and it was a big loss. But then we came out sophomore year and just killed them. It was a great feeling."

Hardesty and Wilcox were among the hockey-playing Spartans who wielded their physicality, overall size and ball control as if on the ice.

"It's one of those games where you don't want to lose," Wilcox said, "especially because then you'll be hearing about it for the next couple years, that one playoff loss versus your rival. So it definitely was a big game, it was a team effort tonight and we all came out prepared and ready to go."

Glenbrook South junior Spencer Vandenberg lamented the fact it was his senior teammates' last game. "It's kind of tough on the emotions," he said. "We just kind of got it in our heads that this is a playoff game and we were facing our rival. It all comes down to nerves."

Glenbrook South coach Matt Larsen found many silver linings -- the crowd, his improved team culture, prevailing through a pandemic. And the split.

"It was definitely not the way you want to end the season, especially against a rival, but it's great for the sport to be able to do something like this -- to have two teams just fight, in two games. We took the first one and they took the second one."

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