By Mike Miazga

The York girls lacrosse team continued its recent turnaround.
The Dukes were 10-7 overall and 3-1 in West Suburban Conference play through late last week. York, ranked No. 7 in the state by, had won 10 of its last 12 games.
York recently scored a 10-9 overtime win against Lyons Township, which was ranked No. 7 in the state at the time. The Dukes also downed St. Ignatius 12-11 and scored the game-winner with one second left in the contest.
Coach Ryan Walz noted recent strong play from goalie Issy Torres and sophomore Cate Duhig. “We had an amazing performance by Issy in the Lyons game,” he said. “Cate is a sophomore who takes our draw and is improving so much in such an important position.”
Ellie Grubbs was leading the state in assists with 54 in 16 games. Duhig leads the team in goals with 38 in 17 contests.
“We have a very balanced team offensively and defensively,” said Walz. “We have so many great scorers and playmakers. On any given night someone new is the hero.”
Kerry O’Malley, Liza Kraus, May Mann, Marie Grasse and Katie Clugg lead the way on defense. “They have been logging heavy minutes,” said Walz.
Torres and Caroline Fritsch have starred in goal for the Dukes. “Both Issy and Caroline have been great,” said Walz. “They have been sharing the workload. Issy will graduate this year and attend Division I University of New Hampshire, but we are lucky to have two very solid goalies in Caroline Fritch (a junior committed to Division I Drexel) and sophomore Sammy Kraus.”
Walz had high praise for Grubbs, O’Donnell and Duhig. “Ellie, Eileen and Cate have been outstanding,” he said. “In my opinion, Ellie is one of the best playmakers I’ve seen. She leads all Illinois players in assists. She reads the field so well. She looks to make the best play unselfishly and sees cutters and reads the defense so well.”
Walz said his team now heads into an extremely challenging sectional. “We are heading into the playoffs in one of the most challenging sectionals in the state,” he pointed out. “Four of the seven teams in our sectional typically are ranked in the top 8 in the state, including what many consider Hinsdale Central as the favorite to win the state championship. Due to the move to IHSA and their geographical playoff system, it will be a bigger challenge than the ranking system we have gotten used to, such as the top team plays the lower-ranked teams. Now, in order to make the Elite 8 in state for the fourth year in a row we have to beat some of the best teams in the state just to get out of our sectional. We are up for the challenge and we seem to always excel when we face tough competition.”


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