St. Ignatius wins fifth-straight sectional

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St. Ignatius has lofty goals this spring, but in order to achieve its first IHSA state championship, the Wolfpack had to get past Lane in the sectional finals at the University of Chicago Saturday night.

The Wolfpack took care of business early and often.

St. Ignatius cruised to a 14-7 win to qualify for the state tournament for the ninth time in the past 10 years, and fifth straight overall. The Wolfpack face Naperville Central in Thursday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal at Stevenson.

“We knew what we had to do, so we came out here and we did it, no joking around,” said St. Ignatius senior Becky Insalaco, who was named the Metro Catholic Aquatic Conference player of the year. “We put it all out there from the beginning. We just wanted to get out there and let more people play.”

St. Ignatius (21-4) already had the game in hand, up 7-2 at the half, before exploding for a 7-0 run in the third quarter to bury Lane (24-7).

I think it was one of those things where we had jitters and we took a deep breath and realized that we’re here to do something and we got it over with,” Wolfpack coach Michael Cashman said. “It’s different playing at night for a sectional championship, but we’ll take it.”

Insalaco and Tammy Stelnicki each scored three goals in the win for St. Ignatius. Freshman Diana Fernandez and Nikol Lagodzinska each added a pair of goals in the win.

The run to a state championship starts Thursday against Naperville Central. The winner will face the winner of the Fenwick-Mother McAuley winner in Saturday’s state semifinal. The three Metro Catholic Aquatic Conference teams have beaten each other up all season, and next week’s state tournament figures to be no different.

“I’m really excited to get back to state,” Cashman said. “There are a lot of great teams. This year, there hasn’t been one dominant team. I’m really looking forward to it. There is a lot of talent out there.”

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