Girls Water Polo: Lyons wins its own invite, rolls into playoffs
Updated: May 5, 2012 10:30PM
After two easy wins Saturday to end the regular season, Lyons’ top-ranked team now changes its focus on the postseason.
Lyons (28-1) will try to win its second state tournament in three years when it begins the postseason May 10. Lyons, the top seed at the York Sectional, will play eighth-seeded Clark at 4:30 p.m. to open the playoffs. Lyons learned a lesson from last year by not taking anything for granted. Mother McAuley stunned Lyons 7-3 in last year’s playoffs to keep Lyons from making a repeat trip to the state tournament.
The good fortune for Lyons started with a 13-10 victory over previous No. 1 and defending state champion Fenwick at the Fenwick Invitational. The sectional final is at 1:15 p.m. May 12. Lyons is ranked No. 1 and Fenwick is ranked No. 2 by illpolo.com.
“We feel confident,” Lyons coach Derrick Brace said. “The pressure is on us. We won the first meet. We are the ones with the target on their back.”
Lyons was given a bye Saturday in the six-team Lyons Invitational and needed to play on two matches to win the tournament, which featured all six water polo playing members of the West Suburban Conference: Morton, York, Hinsdale South, Hinsdale Central, Oak Park-River Forest and Lyons.
Lyons beat OPRF 16-2 in the semifinals and York 19-3 in the final.
The only loss for Lyons this season was 14-11 to Naperville Central at the Fenwick Invitational.
“With Fenwick, obviously our sectional is going to be one of the most watched sectional in the state between boys and girls,” Brace said.
As usual, Lizzy Kosin and Kirby Kaptur were the scoring leaders for Lyons, but Brace said starters Blair Hopwood and Sam Patel raised their game against West Suburban foes.
Brace is in his second season, but was a volunteer coach working with goalies when Lyons won its first state title.
“The experience has helped make a difference,” Brace said. “I only think I’ll get better as a coach. That will help.”