By Sam Scinta
CHESTERFIELD – With over eight months until the start of the 2019 O’Fallon Township High School Girls Lacrosse season, the O’Fallon Styx program is hard at work using the offseason to show the rest of the St. Louis area just how dominant the teams from this town can be.
The girls went 5-0 over the weekend across the river in Missouri in the Route 66 Lacrosse Classic, setting a great mark for the Styx program ahead of the 2018-19 school season by claiming the tournament championship.
O’Fallon held a perfect 3-0 record at the end of pool play, setting the stage for a two-game run into the championship at the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex, the site of last year’s classic as well.
Route 66 had been hosted at the O’Fallon Sports Park in previous seasons, but had been moved due to scheduled renovations at the park for last year. It is still unclear whether the event will return to the Metro East once construction is completed.
Girls Styx won one of four medals awarded in the Classic, joining 410 West Lacrosse (14U Gold), Texas Heat (14U Silver), and Marquette Mustangs (HS Silver).
O’Fallon cruised through the early portion of their schedule, beating StL Rush Lacrosse Blue team 19-1 before racing past St. Joseph’s Academy with an 8-3 win. Styx then defeated Brave Blue team 10-3 to close out pool play.
Styx then faced their two toughest challenges of the tournament in bracket play, needing to lock their defense in to advance past StL Rush Lacrosse Red 10-5 to advance to a championship round bout against the Marquette Mustangs.
In the title game, #1 seeded O’Fallon used their trademark staunch defense to keep the Mustangs off balance in their end. Styx kept opposing shots on goal at a minimum, and those that got through were often saved by the keeper.
O’Fallon’s opportunistic offense would prove to be more than enough for Styx to walk away with the win, as they went on to beat Marquette 6-2.
Styx’s win in Chesterfield struck a chord with Route 66 organizers, many of whom worked closely with Tamara Boots to bring lacrosse to the St. Louis area at a higher level. Boots, one of the game’s pioneers in the area, passed away in October of 2014 after a long battle with cancer.
“We know that Tamara was here today, because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky,” tournament director Jennifer Vogel said. “She was here with each of you, because you played the game the right way, and you played the game with passion. She would be very proud of the way you carried yourselves here.”
O’Fallon certainly has Boots to thank for the strength of the lacrosse program in the community, and these girls have done a great job of carrying the torch in her memory. The win in Chesterfield is just the latest example of a growing culture of excellence for the sport in the O’Fallon and Shiloh community.