Girls Water Polo: Husejnovic just what doctory prescribed for Maine East offensePark Ridge Saturday, 3/31/12
Resurrection's Colleen Koepke (7) takes a shot on goal over Maine East's Medina Husejnovic (2) during the first period of Saturday's match. Maine East won the match, 15-1. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 2, 2012 6:36PM
Maine East’s Medina Husejnovic was very quiet and unassuming as a freshman on the girls water polo team last year.
While she’s always been athletic, she was trying to learn the rules and concepts of a sport she just started playing.
Then, last summer, the team’s leading goal scorer, sophomore Maria Protic, decided to train and play with a club team in Evanston. That made it necessary for someone to step up and take command of a fairly young program.
Husejnovic answered the call and has never looked back. Ten games into a new season, Husejnovic leads the team in goals (38), assists (27) and steals (55).
“Last year I didn’t really know anything,” she said. “I barely knew the rules and I just watched. During the summer, coach told me I had to be a team player and step up. I told myself. ‘You can do this’. I wasn’t afraid to take shots and now I know what I’m doing.”
Amin could see an almost immediate transition when he called for Husejnovic to take on a bigger role.
“She came out last summer and played point for us in our summer league and she kind of came out of her shell,” Amin said. “I was curious if she would continue it into the season. And she did. She’s driving, shooting and creating. And when she scores there’s no celebrating. She just has a blank look on her face like, ‘That’s to be expected.’ ”
Husejnovic also put in the effort during the offseason. She worked hard in the weight room to build more strength and ran to increase her stamina. Amin said she has “legs like an ox” and that’s given her the ability to jump higher out of the pool and get more on her shots.
Her best game this season came against Maine South, when the Blue Demons (8-2) trailed 4-2 with just three minutes remaining in the game. Husejnovic scored twice to force overtime and then found the net with just seven seconds remaining in OT to give Maine East the 5-4 win.
With strong play from Husejnovic, Protic and goalie Isabelle Trier, the Blue Demons have also registered big wins over Glenbrook South and Evanston.
“Our main goal is to go to state and it may not be this year, but we’re working hard for it,” Husejnovic said. “If we can beat these good schools we can beat anyone.”
“It’s nice to see that we’re able to compete with schools like that,” Amin said. “Those three conference wins are big for us. Now we want to make sure this is something we continue to do year after year. We don’t want to take any steps back.”
Husejnovic has fallen in love with water polo so much that she may try to continue playing at the next level. But she has other aspirations as well.
“I really want to do water polo in college,” she said. “I didn’t think I could be really good in any sport but then I found water polo. It’s just amazing. I want to go to Duke because I want to be a doctor but if I can get a scholarship from another school for water polo I might go there.”