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Quarterfinal #3: Mundelein 14 Loyola 12

By Aaron Brown


LINCOLNSHIRE, IL - Mundelein jumped out to 4-1 first quarter lead, weathered the storm during a 5-1 Loyola run in the third quarter, and held the Ramblers scoreless in the fourth quarter to emerge with a 14-12 state quarterfinal victory on Thursday night to advance to the state semifinals on Saturday morning at Stevenson High School.


The Mustangs ran off three straight goals in the game's first three minutes, as Sean Falconer, Pat Falconer, and Frank Lukacs found the back of the net for the Mustangs. After Loyola's Charlie Dowdle got the Ramblers on the scoreboard late in the first period, Will Davidson recorded a steal and moments later took a lead pass from Nick Mandas and scored to give Mundelein a 4-1 lead heading into the second quarter.


In the second period, Loyola started to apply a heavy amount of pressure on the offensive end. TJ Considine lofted a shot over Mundelein goalie David Dickinson that trickled towards the goalline before the keeper rescued it from crossing the line. But Considine kept after the ball, forcing Dickinson to throw away a backhand towards the sideline in order to prevent a goal. On the ensuing possession for Loyola, Steve Freedman hit the left post and the Ramblers still trailed by three. Dowdle scored a much-needed goal for the Ramblers one minute later, but Davidson responded with his second score of the first half. Then, after Loyola goalie Henry Hermes assisted Connor Murphy on breakaway goal, Davidson had another response, as he scored from five meters out to keep Mundelein ahead by three goals. Loyola would trim the lead to 6-4, but Pat Falconer tallied his second score to give head coach Rahul Sethna's squad a 7-4 lead right before halftime.


When Will Davidson scored in the closing seconds of the first half and Brandon Horsch scored on the first possession of the second half, it looked like a 9-4 lead was going to be enough to send Mundelein to the state semifinals. If you went out to the concession stand to grab something to drink, you would have been surprised to come back in to see that the Mustangs' lead had been trimed to 10-9 after the Ramblers scored on five straight possessions. Here's how it went down:


Pat Stein forced a turnover and assisted Jimmy Nickele on a goal. Brandon Horsch scored his first goal of the contest to give Mundelein a 10-5 lead. Considine hit the post but Freedman pushed in the rebound. Frank Toops made a steal on Mundelein's next possession and scored an unassisted breakaway goal. Dowdle added a penalty shot to make the score 10-8. Dowdle then found Nickele open on the right post, and he converted the chance to cut the lead to 10-9. And this was all by the third minute of the third quarter!


Sethna called a timeout to settle down the troops, who had let a seemingly comfortable 8-4 halftime lead shrink to 10-9 with ten minutes remaining in regulation. Their response? Sean Falconer quickly added his second goal. But, Toops scored on an outside shot to bring Loyola back to within one goal. Pat Falconer and Considine traded goals, then Falconer and Murphy scored before the end of the third period and Mundelein took a 13-12 advantage into the last seven minutes.


Bracing for a see-saw and out of control final quarter, Mundelein struck first after an ejection when Mandas tallied his first goal early in the period. And after allowing Loyola to score eight times in the third period, the Mundelein defense stepped up when it mattered most and held the Ramblers scoreless in the final period to come out of the fixture with a 14-12 win.




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