PHOTO GALLERY: We Won! Grayslake North Lacrosse Captures The Cup
Knights Lacrosse Coach Brad Fish recaps how they defeated York 12-5 to win the first state title in GNHS history.
The Knights from Grayslake North secured the first state title in school history with a 12-5 victory over the Dukes from York High School. The run to the Championship for the IHSLA title was littered with victories, said Head Coach Brad Fish.
"Grayslake North finished with a 20-win season for the first time in their history against only 3 defeats," Fish said of this year's lacrosse team.
The last loss came at the hands of Libertyville back on April 23. Since then the Knights have reeled off 10 straight victories.
Fish said the lacrosse team was comprised of seven seniors who led from start to finish. He said Matt Schlagetter and Josh Kortenkamp were the unquestioned leaders of the offensive and defensive sides of the field.
Captains Joey Amsler, Bryce Hermsen and Josh Cokefair, along Steven Fletcher, were the “glue” that held the team together, Fish said. Nick Stanfel proved to be the missing link for the Knights this season as he continued to gain key possessions throughout every contest as the season wore on.
Winning the Cup
The Championship Game played at Palatine High School June 2 was in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 spectators, including many from Grayslake.
"The Knights jumped out early behind a goal by David Collins," Fish said. "However, York proved to be a worthy opponent throughout as North took a slight 4-3 advantage to the locker room at half-time."
Joey Amsler, Matt Schlagetter and Josh Cokefair scored goals in the first half to give the Knights the edge.
"As has been the case all year, Grayslake came out of the halftime break looking to separate themselves and that is exactly what they did," Fish stated. "They scored 4 of the next 5 goals to slowly pull away. York never quit and continued to fight, but in the end North just had too much firepower."
Knights Scoring Breakdown
- AJ Fish, recently named High School All American, had 3 goals and 2 assists on the day
- Joey Amsler had 3 goals
- Farhan Khan had 2 goals and an assist
- Matt Schlagetter was 1 and 1 on the day
- Josh Cokefair had 1 goal and 1 assist
- David Collins had 1 goal
- Brendan Walker had 1 goal
"The real story, however, was the Knights stingy defense led by Goalie Eric York who proudly accepted the game ball based on a 15 SAVE performance," Fish said. "Bryce Hermsen, recently named 1 of 5 High School Academic All – Americans in Illinois, continued his stellar play helping allow only 2 goals for the Dukes in the final 24 minutes."
Fish said additional players contributed to the solid team effort.
"Shane Pech, Josh Kortenkamp, Ian Pearce, Kevin Carter and Long Stick Midfielder Ben Smith were all HUGE throughout the contest," he said. "And that proved to be the difference in NOT allowing York back in the game."
The end result was a perfect blend of great individual players who came together to make an even stronger team.
"This team will go down in the record books for not only the first State Championship (at North), but also for the number of wins by a team and number of goals," Fish said. "This special group will be remembered by the coaches for some time to come."
This coach couldn't be more proud.
"The rallying cry from the start of the program has been “Win The Cup” as in the State Championship trophy," Fish said, "and on Saturday afternoon, the goal was finally accomplished. WELL DONE!"
- Special thanks to Karen Christian Smith for the terrific lacrosse photos.