Best local sports team

Northwestern University's women's lacrosse team

Forget those rosters of gazillion-dollar jocks on Chicago's professional sports scene: the area's best and best-coached team just pulled off its sixth national championship in seven years, with so little attention there's a chance you might not even have heard about it. Northwestern University's women's lacrosse team, which had won five NCAA championships in a row before it lost last year to Maryland, wrested the title back from the Terps in a relentless 8-7 game last month. Lacrosse hasn't yet found the audience it deserves (a luminous ball, easier to spot in a thicket of sticks and pockets might help), but Wildcat coach Kelly Amonte Hiller is already legendary, and they're playing right under our noses. —Deanna Isaacs