Girls Lacrosse: Libertyville’s Pacholski is heavily counted on
Libertyville's Lauren Pacholski (No. 3) switches directions while being pursued by Lake Zurich's Maddie Carrigan during action last week. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 28, 2012 8:27AM
People call lacrosse the fastest game on two feet.
But despite the speed of the game, it’s imperative to slow things down in order to make good decisions. And that’s what Libertyville High School senior Lauren Pacholski does for the Wildcats.
“We really look to her to stay calm, and she’s definitely a settling (influence) on the team,” said Wildcats coach Katie Lettinga. “She encourages people to think, and the girls respect her — on and off the field. She’s a strong leader.”
Like many players, Pacholski directs traffic on defense. But she also is a communicator when the Wildcats are on offense.
“A lot of players forget that you can talk on offense,” Lettinga said.
Opposing teams know not to forget where Pacholski is on the field. She has 20 goals and three assists this spring.
Pacholski has good foot speed and a strong shot, clocked at close to 60 mph.
“She’s good at turning the corner and taking it on offense, and she also has an awesome outside shot,” Lettinga said.
Pacholski’s playing time has been limited of late because of a leg injury.
“It kills her not to be playing,” Lettinga said. “She always wants to do her part for the team.”
Recap: The Wildcats (6-4) split two matches at the New Trier Invite on Saturday.
Libertyville defeated St. Ignatius 9-5 and fell to Benet Academy 15-10.
“St. Ignatius came out strong, and we weren’t running our motion offense at our speed,” Lettinga said. “We stayed strong throughout the entire game and worked hard for our goals.”
The match against Benet Academy was close until the second half. Libertyville’s Olivia Mayer saw limited time with a twisted ankle. Still, she was selected to the all-tournament team.
“Olivia had been one of our top scorers the past couple of games,” Lettinga said. “She’s a kid that goes 150 percent.”
Mayer leads the team with 29 goals and three assists. Teammate Madison Piranian has 21 goals and five assists.
In other action, Libertyville dropped a 17-6 decision to York on Monday.
“We were missing some key players with injuries, but it was a good learning experience — that we need (reserves) to step up,” Lettinga said.
Libertyville turned back Grayslake North 11-7 in a key league match on Monday.
The Wildcats enjoyed a 6-2 halftime lead, and maintained a four-goal margin for most of the second half. Connor Loucks scored all three of his goals in the first half.
“Connor is a really smart player, and he knows how to find the right matchup and the right opening,” said Wildcats coach Brady Sullivan.
The victory followed Saturday’s 6-3 loss to New Trier.
“We weren’t as crisp against New Trier as we would have liked,” Sullivan said. “We talked about getting the winning attitude back. It was important to come right back and get a win.”
Sophomore goalkeeper recorded 13 saves in the loss, while NT keeper Jack Connelly denied 15 shots on goal.
Defenseman Kevin Verkler of the Cats broke free and tallied the game’s first score.
Zach Friedman and Luke Stelzner also scored for Libertyville.