Boys Lacrosse: Harris, Loyola keep eyes on the prize
Glenview, 03/24/12 Loyola's Dylan Harris brings the ball upfield during their game against St. Rita at the Loyola Academy campus in Glenview March 24. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:00PM
Dylan Harris watched Loyola come up short in the boys lacrosse state final in his first three seasons, and he doesn’t want to experience that feeling as a senior.
Harris, a defender, helped the top-ranked Ramblers take the first step toward earning that elusive state championship with a 12-4 win over Glenbard West on Friday.
“It’s always on my mind,” Harris said of capturing a state championship, Loyola’s first since 2004. “We’re always talking about it in practice and texting each other about it. It’s hard to forget about because it means so much to me. It’s a big thing on my mind right now.”
Tim O’Connor scored five goals, and Kevin Gleason added three to lead Loyola’s offense in the playoff opener.
But Brendan Dowdle said Friday’s match was another example of the Ramblers not taking control early enough.
“Not our best start,” said the senior, who scored a goal. “We came out flat again. We have to work better in practice and come out with that spark we need.”
The Ramblers (14-5) were never really in danger of losing, after leading 7-2 at halftime. Loyola remained undefeated against in-state opponents.
“We grinded it out,” said Loyola coach Rob Snyder. “That’s all it’s about in the playoffs. I will take all of our wins like this.”
Dowdle is another senior who hopes to end his prep career on top. He was on the sideline as a sophomore when the Ramblers lost to the Trevians in the championship game.
Dowdle nearly never picked up a lacrosse stick. As a freshman, he was all set to try out for the baseball team before changing his mind the night before. His older sister, Cara, was a big influence on Dowdle’s decision to play lacrosse.
Loyola was scheduled to play Lyons Township in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. The state semis are today (Thursday) and the championship game will be held Saturday at Palatine.
“June 2 has been our main focus since Day 1,” Dowdle said.