Glenbrook South girls lacrosse

Glenbrook South's Caroline Nowak, center (No. 15), strategizes with her Titan teammates during a recent IHSWLA sectional contest against Montini. (Anna Clark photo / June 3, 2014)

Glenbrook South's girls lacrosse team has been one of the state's top programs for some time.

But the Titans' performance against Oak Park in an Illinois High School Women's Lacrosse Association quarterfinal May 30 may have cemented this team's legacy as one of the school's finest.

Glenbrook South jumped to an early lead, but the team's confidence dwindled when senior attacker Carly Weinman sustained a knee injury.

"You could see it was a momentum changer. The girls were hanging their heads," coach Annie Lesch said. "In years past, we've often built leads against good teams and let them come back. Sometimes we've folded under the pressure. But this team is different."

Oak Park tied the score early in the second half, but Titans goalie Evi Gountanis saved an ensuing breakaway attempt to stop the Huskies in their tracks. Glenbrook South rallied with a series of turnovers and scored five unanswered goals to capture the 10-5 victory and a berth in the state semifinals this week.

The Titans (17-4) played top-seeded and unbeaten New Trier on Wednesday for a chance to play for the state title.

"I'm really proud of the girls, how they stepped up," Lesch said. "When Evi stopped the breakaway, that turned things around. Then our attackers took over."

Lesch said senior attacker Caroline Nowak, senior midfielder Kelly Ward and senior defenseman Kara Stevens pulled the team together. Junior midfielder Olivia Eigel, junior defenseman Maggie Ziegler and first-half goalie Autumn Koh also helped set the stage for the win.

Key wins against Neuqua Valley, Montini and Lake Forest, teams that have tested Glenbrook South in the past, had coaches and players feeling that this was their year.

"We knew coming in this year that we had an experienced team of juniors and seniors who were really dedicated in the fall with lifting and training," Lesch said. "These girls had their eyes on state from the beginning."

The Titans lost 8-5 to New Trier in Central Suburban League play during the regular season.