Join Chris Cavalaris and Bobby Winebrenner as they discuss girls lacrosse’s Kara Antonucci and her commitment to Arizona State University.
The Lake Forest High School Varsity unfortunately fell to a very talented Hinsdale Central team 17-9 in the west suburbs Wednesday night. Despite battling valiantly and putting nine goals on the board, the Scouts were unable to keep the pace set at the onset of the game by the Red Devils, who are ranked 3rd overall in the state of Illinois by maxpreps.com. Hinsdale Central jumped to an early lead the Scouts could not climb back from, ultimately resulting in a season-ending loss at the hands of a great team.
The Supersectional advancement in the 2017 season was one of the furthest in school history and Coach Catanzaro has to proud of the effort put forth throughout the season. This year’s senior class, who played in their last Varsity lacrosse contest a night ago includes Grace Payne, Tara St. Amand, Kat Ragusa, Tori Salanty, Libby Thompson, Erica Jones, and Sarah Steindl.
Congratulations to the girls on a record-setting season.
Girls lacrosse finishes off a successful season with their final home game against Saint Ignatius on Varsity Field at West Campus tonight. For the seven seniors, their regular season journey comes to an end. Seniors Grace Payne, Tara St. Amand, Kat Ragusa, Tori Salanty, Libby Thompson, Erica Jones, and Sarah Steindl will all be honored before tonights game.
The Scouts have been very productive this season with a (13-4) record. Saint Ignatius hopes to make things difficult for the Scouts as The Wolfpack hold a (7-8) record this season. Lake Forest looks to finish off the season with a win before playoffs begin next week. The seniors hope to make a strong push to the state finals. Senior festivities begin at 6:30 on the varsity field of west campus.
“My knee may never be the same, but neither will my determination.”
Lindsey Vonn, an Olympic medalist in skiing, gives everyone hope when it comes to knee injuries. Sports are all fun and games until you get hurt. Then, unfortunately, you question whether or not you can come back from something like two ACL tears. If you have the determination like Lindsey Vonn, or Lake Forest High School junior Grace Geraghty, you can find the courage get yourself back to playing at the level that you were at before. It’s easier said than done, but Geraghty has become an athlete defined by not only determination, but her extremely hard work.
In June of 2014, a rising freshman, Grace Geraghty, caught the ball in a summer league girls lacrosse game for the Scouts. As she ran down the field in search of a goal, she collided between two girls from the opposing team. As her body fell one way, her right knee twisted the other. Immediately, Grace heard nothing but a pop as she fell to the grass, but managed to get back up and jog it off.
It was evident from the very beginning that something was wrong with her knee. Though the doctor she went to told her to practice at a low-intensity because the MRI didn’t show any significant damage, her knee kept giving out during a two-week, post-injury period. From there, Grace felt it was necessary to go get another look, but this time from a different doctor.
Dr. Chams of Illinois Bone and Joint knew right when he saw the MRI that Grace had torn her ACL, the news that female athletes often fear more than anything. A week later, Grace underwent surgery and eventually got back to full strength, and, in turn, started to get very serious about lacrosse. On January 2nd, 2016 Grace was out in California at a recruiting showcase, ready to show her skills to all the college coaches in the 7 on 7 games. When the first game started, the ultra-competitive Geraghty got the first draw control of the game. She ran down the field with the ball–always looking to score–and made a move pivoting around a would-be defender. Yet again, when Grace put on her move, she not only felt, but heard a loud pop in her left knee as it gave out on her. Her heart sunk into her stomach immediately knowing what the result was having experienced it already once before.
Grace’s story, of course, is very unique, but also extraordinarily hard to listen to as you never want this to happen to any athlete, much less an amateur working to improve her game. I had a chance to sit down with Lake Forest Girls Lacrosse’s most resilient star after I heard her story and asked her a few questions about where she was both mentally and physically after tearing both of her ACLs.
So you sat on the sidelines a lot with both knee injuries. Did you ever think while you were out that you would be able to get back to your old self health-wise?
“I never had doubts that I could get back to the athlete I was prior to my injuries. Sitting on the sidelines was tough because I couldn’t play, of course, but I was constantly working on my knees.”
Explain to me your mindset when you knew you had a chance to get back to playing lacrosse? How hard did you rehab your knees?
“When I was cleared for full-contact lacrosse it was the best day ever. I didn’t think twice about jumping in at practice and going full speed. My physical therapist told me to ‘ease my way into playing and take breaks in between intense plays.’ I didn’t listen and played full games and full practices. It was the best feeling to be in the game again and my knees felt fine so I just kept going.
My rehab, however, was constant. I started rehabbing 2 days after surgery and went to physical therapy 2-3 times a week for 6 months. When I wasn’t working on my knees, I was working on my upper body or my core. There were a lot of times when I just wanted to give up, but my end goal was always pushing me forward.”
In regards to these injuries, did it ever take a toll not only physically, but mentally?
“My first injury effected me mentally, but not nearly as much as my second injury did. I was in the middle of a critical recruiting season and had visited a lot colleges and was invited to more. I missed all the summer tournaments and was terrified to tell coaches what happened. My confidence was pretty low, but Wofford’s head coach (Ceri Miller) told me I came back once and she had no doubt I would do it again. To hear that from a D1 coach picked me up.”
Clearly evidenced in her answers, Grace Geraghty is a fighter who worked supremely hard to get where she is today, playing on one of the top teams in the state of Illinois while being one of the best players on the field at all times. But there’s something that separates her even more from other players–her lacrosse IQ.
Grace feels that from all the games that she had to sit on the sideline and watch she became a better player mentally. Understanding the game at a higher level made her see things on the field that most players don’t recognize. Even though she learned a lot, it killed her to be sitting and watching the game she loved. It’s not every day that you see the determination in an athlete that Geraghty represents.
In the end, it was her burning desire to get back on that field that motivated her and she knew it all started with her intense rehab. She was consistently strengthening both of her knees anytime that she could. A lot of players improve in practice, but it was the extra work that she put in outside of the scheduled rehab sessions that helped assist Geraghty back onto the road of a college-bound student-athlete.
It’s certainly hard coming back from any injury, but ACL tears in both knees within a two year time frame takes a special kind of athlete to get through.
Grace Geraghty will attend Wofford University next year to continue her academic and athletic career where she believes she can get very valuable minutes for the team. Though she is aware that Division 1 athletics is a whole new level for her, she feels that her knees will only continue to get stronger.
So I know you’re going to play college lacrosse at Wofford College. Do you still feel like you need to get your knees stronger to be able to play at the next level?
“There is always something I can work at and strengthen, but I’m dedicated to do what it takes. Playing at the Division 1 level will be a challenge, but I’m confident if I just keep working hard I can succeed. I have really prepared hard to play at the next level. Wofford also has a great coaching and training staff with incredible facilities to help keep me at the top of my game.”
Just one question about this season. How far do you think you guys can go this year? What do you think you need to do to beat a team like Loyola for the state championship?
“Our season is going great! Currently our record is 12-3. We have done amazing things this year. Our team works so well together. I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls to share this success with. If we continue to work as a unit and stay calm during our games I don’t think there will be any problems facing top teams. The only thing I can say about Loyola is that they are amazing. It is incredible to watch to them, they are a well-oiled machine. We will get them eventually.”
Check out Grace Geraghty and the Scouts this Thursday at West Campus on Varsity Field as they take on Saint Ignatius in a non-conference battle.
Kara Antonucci, a strong and athletic junior at Lake Forest High School has been involved with sports for the majority of her life. Throughout her years, she has dabbled in basketball, cross country, field hockey and assorted other sports. As she grew up, however, she began to focus in one one sport in particular–lacrosse. Playing for what is now 9 years, lacrosse has consumed over half of Kara’s life and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
It all started on the driveway of her neighbor’s house at the tender age of 9 years old when she was first introduced to the sport that would pave her future. After tossing the ball back and forth a few times, she knew this sport was something she wanted pursue further. What she initially did out of boredom ultimately led to changing her life entirely.
That same year, Kara began playing club lacrosse for a team called Northwestern Elite that is run through Northwestern University in nearby Evanston, Illinois. After a few years of being involved in the highly-competitive club, she switched to Cool Sticks and now currently plays for the True National Team. True Lacrosse is seen as the best training for some of the top athletes in the area based on their experience, knowledge, skilled coaches, and high intensity of play. Throughout their time at this club, the coaches help guide their players through the whole recruitment process to help them find a school that they will not only excel at athletically, but academically as well.
Lacrosse has had a huge affect on Kara’s life. Since the day she began to play until now, she has constantly resided in an abiding love for the sport and that passion continues to grow. It’s up tempo rate of play, competitiveness, and intensity has been irresistible for Kara and she simply can’t get enough of it. Not only has it been a constant positive aspect in her life, but it’s also created tremendous opportunities that she never would have received if she wasn’t involved in the sport. Lacrosse has taught her how to be a part of a team and work together to reach a common goal. On top of that she has met some of her closest friends through both club and school lacrosse. Still, though, the best thing that lacrosse has brought to Kara is the opportunity to continue her compassion for the game at a college level. During the spring of Kara’s sophomore year in high school, she committed to play lacrosse at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
As for high school, being involved in high intensity lacrosse since the age of 9, Kara easily transitioned from club lacrosse to Varsity as a young, 14-year old freshman. With this season being her third year on Varsity, Kara has gotten the opportunity to not only compete at a high level for club, but for the high school as well. She has earned the chance to form strong relationships with her teammates that only make them better and stronger each and every year. During their 2017 season, Kara has led the Varsity lacrosse team to an extremely successful season. Currently, the Scouts are (10-3) and (3-0) in their conference–including a win over rival Stevenson, effectively ranking them as the 5th best team in the state of Illinois.
Grace Payne, a close teammate of Kara’s shared with me, “Playing with Kara for what is now two varsity seasons has really given me the chance to get to know her both as a player and as a person. She is one of the most competitive and driven people I know when it comes to being on the lacrosse field. Her stamina, aggressiveness, and overall intellect as a player is truly what sets her apart among the crowd.”
The girls lacrosse team has less than 2 weeks left of their normal regular season before they enter the state playoffs in search of a state title.
Be sure to go out and support Kara, as well as the Varsity lacrosse seniors on their Senior Night on May 11th at 6:30 on the West Campus Varsity Field.
Tonight under the lights of Varsity Field, 5th ranked Lake Forest Girls Varsity Lacrosse will take on 3rd ranked Hinsdale Central at 6:30pm.
The Scouts (8-2) are currently riding on a 7 game winning streak, the latest win coming when they humiliated Lake Zurich 17-6 on Varsity Field just two nights ago. The Red Devils (7-3) are also coming off a victory, this one against Glenbrook South–a common opponent that the Scouts also defeated–in which they won 13-10. Both teams are also leading their conferences and are showing no signs of slowing down.
Although Lake Forest is the 4 goal underdog statistically, the Red Devils will still have to stay sharp in order to contain the thriving Scouts offense and their leading scorer, Arizona State-commit Kara Antonucci. Lake Forest is averaging just over 15 goals a game on their streak and outscoring their opponents 106-43. The matchup will be extremely close and will definitely be a back and forth battle, potentially previewing an IHSA State tournament showdown for later on in the year.
The game will take place right after the Boys Lacrosse vs. Deerfield which starts at 5:00pm.
In what was billed as a sure-to-be classic fell nothing short of expectation Monday night in west Lake Forest. The #5 Scouts, who improved to (7-2, 3-0) with the win, held off the visiting #6 Glenbrook South Titans 14-13 in regulation.
After trailing for most of the first half, the Scouts responded with two straight goals before the halftime break to tie the score. From there, the Scouts scored the opening goal of the 2nd half and never relinquished the lead again. The Titans, who cut the Scouts’ lead to one in the waning moments of the game, put forth a valiant effort in what was a chippy game from both sides.
Kara Antonucci, Audrey Kaus, Caroline Skinner, Catherine Nicholson and many others all turned in excellent efforts in the huge victory for the home team.
This Saturday, the Scouts Varsity girls lacrosse team defeated the Barrington Broncos 15-5 on the road. Junior Audrey Kaus played perhaps her best game of the young season for the Scouts, with multiple assists on several key offensive possessions. With the victory, the Scouts moved #5 in the state, passing their opponent for today’s game, the Glenbrook South Titans, who were bumped to 6th in the state of Illinois.
Come out and support the Scouts tonight at West Campus at 6:00 PM.
The Lake Forest girls lacrosse team has been scoring tons of goals lately and that offensive firepower was on full display last night when the Scouts faced off against conference rival Libertyville. The Scouts offense went on a scoring spree to boost the team to a 17-2 win against the Wildcats. Junior Kara Antonucci played a key role in the Scouts offensive success as she scored a staggering 8 goals, marking her fourth straight game where she has recorded a hat trick. Sarah Steindl also had an excellent offensive showing with 4 goals.
Even more impressive in regards to this offensive explosion for the Scouts, however, is that 11 of the 17 goals were assisted. This shows how the team is really moving the ball around well and not just relying on 1-on-1 moves to score goals.
The offense is not the only unit that has been clicking lately for the Scouts. The defense has been shutting down opponents and the centerpiece of their success has been goalie Mary Doheny. Doheny stopped 4 of the 6 shots that came her way Wednesday night and recorded her fourth straight game where she has more saves than goals against.
This win is the fourth in a row for the red hot Scouts. The team will try to continue their winning ways when they head to Barrington for a game at 5:00 this Saturday.
The Lake Forest Varsity Lacrosse team is on quite the roll. On the heels of wins over Fenwick and NSC foe Stevenson, the team made quick work of North Shore rival Glenbrook North Tuesday night by a score of 15-5 on a beautiful night in west Lake Forest.
The Scouts scoring attack was led by junior Kara Antonucci, who was the recipient of some great passes from junior Grace Geraghty. Audrey Kaus, Olivia Douglass, Erica Jones, and Sarah Steindl all turned in great games for the Scouts as well as it was truly a dominant team effort.
The Scouts look to keep their winning ways continuing today when they host the Wildcats of Libertyville this evening at Varsity Field. The Scouts have scored 14 goals, their season high, in each of the last two contests and it is looking as if their difficult early season schedule–which featured the likes perennial state powers Montini, Lyons Township, and Fenwick–has catalyzed the Scouts’ early season success.
On Monday morning February 27th Coach Catanzaro, commonly knows as “Coach Cat,” will search for the best twenty girls to lead the Lake Forest Girls Lacrosse team to their first IHSA State Title.
A week of tryouts will give Coach Cat enough time to make her decisions of which girls are committed, skilled, and have the right lacrosse IQ to compete with powerhouse teams like Loyola, Maine South, New Trier, and Hinsdale Central. After last years (12-9)overall record, including a 4-1 mark in the NSC, Coach Catanzaro is looking to raise the expectations for this year’s group.
She thinks, since she took over the head coaching job in 2014, that this year’s team will have the best chance of finding their way into a state title game at the end of May. Lake Forest only graduated 2 seniors last year and returns their 5 top players from last year’s team.
Kara Antonucci, an Arizona St. University signee, led the team in goals, ground ball controls, draw controls, and caused turnovers last season. She finished the year with 75 goals and an outstanding sophomore year. Also, she earned Most Valuable Player on the team and recognition by IHSWLA as All-State Honorable Mention last season. She looks to lead the team this year in her junior year campaign. Alongside Antonucci are two first team All-Conference players from last season, Caroline Skinner and Katherine Ragusa. Skinner, the team leader in assists last season, looks to lead the team in that category again. She will look to make an impact this year at the midfield position for the Scouts. Katherine “Kat” Ragusa is another player that coach Cat will be looking upon to impact the team in a positive way at the midfield position. Libby Thompson, the star studded field hockey player heading to Duke University will look to add her second state championship in one school year this spring. On top of all this goalscoring prowess, Audrey Kaus, heralded as one of the best lacrosse players in the area, returns for her junior season after being saddled with injury in recent years.
Coach Cat has big expectations for the team and these returning players, but is also going to look for some of the new up-and-coming talent.
“There is a lot of good talent coming in, but we will just have to see what they got at tryouts,” Coach Cat explained as she gets ready for a successful season. Coach Cat is a pro at finding young talent to fill her roster and looks forward to seeing the freshman compete to find a way on the roster in March.
For many years now, ever since girls lacrosse was brought to Lake Forest, Loyola and New Trier have been the Scouts’ biggest rivals. For the Scouts it has been hard for them to take them down in the sport due to Loyola’s ability to recruit, and New Trier’s massive student enrollment to choose from.
This year, however, could be a little different.
With the returning players coalesced with the up-and-coming freshman talent, Coach Cat feels that it could be the year to end the drought of losing to both teams. The marquee game that coach Cat looks to on the schedule is their game against New Trier. Losing to them last year 14-7 gave the girls a little bit of hope that they can compete with the best.
Coach Cat alluded that her favorite thing about being a part of the Varisty Girls lacrosse team here at Lake Forest High School is the camaraderie with the team.
“My favorite thing is getting on that field and being with the girls every day for two and half months. They keep my motor going because it always brightens my day when I get to spend time with them at practice or coaching them during a game. They are great girls, and I’m so proud to be their coach.”
When coach Cat received the job, she was filled with excitement because she always wanted to be the Varsity Head Coach of a sport at Lake Forest High School. This year the girls will play everyone in the conference once, except for Zion-Benton and Waukegan who do not have teams in the sport. This season, the Scouts’ non-conference schedule boasts New Trier, Loyola, and Hinsdale Central, allowing them to play great competition that they will hopefully see in the state tournament in May. Coach Cat looks to hit the ground running as soon as she decides which 19 players will fit her championship expectations this season.