Senior Patrick Kracker once again delivered a clutch goal for the Lyons Township High School boys soccer team on Oct. 21.

His second-half header off senior Brian Salvino’s indirect kick inside the box proved to be the game-winning goal as the Lions rallied to defeat 2-1 in the IHSA Class 3A Argo Regional final.

“I’d definitely put that up there for maybe [my] top goal because it’s a win-or-go-home situation,” Kracker said. 

“The other games, it might have been against more exciting teams, [but] this one means a lot because it was able to help our program go through to the sectional.”

The Lions (15-5-3), the No. 1 seed in the Hinsdale Central Sectional, again met rival Hinsdale Central on Oct. 25 after press time with hopes of reaching the sectional final at 6 p.m. on Oct. 28 against No. 2 Morton or No. 3 Benet Academy. The East Aurora Supersectional is at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 1.

LTHS had beaten No. 8 Argo 7-1 on Oct. 13 at home. Last week, the Argonauts had only two shots on goal, but the first one gave them an early 1-0 lead.

“I thought we played with a lot of determination to get back those goals,” LTHS coach Paul Labbato said. “We had the majority of the play and sometimes it gets nerve wracking when the goals aren’t going in.”

The Lions were fortunate that they answered roughly five minutes later for a 1-1 tie as Ben Swicionis scored with another Salvino assist.

Kracker scored when he was left open on the far post and beat an oncoming defender to Salvino’s restart.

“The ball was placed perfectly, and I just headed it in. It was great to help out the team,” Kracker said. “We kind of dialed in and our set pieces in the second half and were very effective.”

LTHS beat Kenwood 7-0 in the Oct. 18 regional semifinals. Austen Wisniewski (3 goals, assist), Joe Mazurowski (2 goals), Salvino and Kracker (goal each) and Jimmy Brejcha, Mason Burda, Haris Sarajlija and Jack Rempfer (assist each) accounting for the scoring.

LTHS cross country

The LTHS boys and girls cross country teams seek IHSA Class 3A state berths at the Waubonsie Valley Sectional on Oct. 29.

The top seven teams qualify for state as well as the top 10 individuals not among those advancing teams. 

On Oct. 22, the boys were second (48 points) and the girls third (74 points) at the LTHS Regional meet. 

Juniors Nick Strayer and Cillian Henning and senior Catherine Sommerfeld earned all-regional honors with top-five finishes.

Strayer (15:42.18) and Henning (15:44.23) were second and third in the boys race behind Oak Park and River Forest senior Liam Newhart (15:28.65).

“I was hoping we could go two and three, and that’s what we did. But I would have been happy with anything top five,” Henning said.

Senior Aidan Collins was seventh (15:58.39), followed by seniors Mike Ferrell (17th, 16:35.22), Reuben Guevara (19th, 16:36.69) and Matt McGovern (21st, 16:53.71) and junior Brendan Whelton (24th, 17:02.37).

The Lions finished just behind Oak Park and River Forest (42) and one point ahead of Downers Grove North, which rested its No. 2 runner.

“Today was really about running smart, not necessarily running a super fast time,” Strayer said. “I think we were able to execute on that plan.” 

Sommerfeld earned her second all-regional honors with a third-place finish (18:25.20), just 1.7 seconds from second behind York’s Bria Bennis and Michaela Quinn.

“Definitely sentimental, last time on the LT course, but looking forward to the next two weeks,” Sommerfeld said.

Third at regionals in 2021, Sommerfeld finished third behind the same two runners at the conference meet Oct. 15.

“I was just trying to keep it calm and together, knowing that it would be the same situation [as conference[ and the same last kick to see who got [second],” Sommerfeld said.   

Juniors Shannon Cranny (14th, 19:26.64) and Julianne Melby (15th, 19:28.66) also were top 15, followed by seniors Charlotte Lange (20th, 19:40.79) and Scarlett Lestina (22nd, 19:49.57) and juniors Kristina Findley (28th, 20:21.12) and Anna Bylsma (32nd, 20:32.17).

LTHS girls volleyball

The Lyons Township High School girls volleyball team ended the regular season with two victories on Oct. 22.

The Lions hope to return to their home court on Halloween as part of the Class 4A LTHS Sectional semifinals.

The Lions (28-7), the sectional’s No. 3 seed, defeated Buffalo Grove 25-10, 25-12 and New Trier 25-19, 25-16. They hope to reach and win the IHSA Jones Regional final on Oct. 27.

LTHS finished second in the West Suburban Conference Silver at 5-1 by beating Downers Grove North 25-12, 25-10 on Oct. 18. The next day, the Lions lost 25-16, 25-16 at Mother McAuley, the sectional’s No. 1 seed. LTHS is 1-1 against No. 2 seed Marist.