Girls Water Polo: Sandburg shakes off cobwebs, wades past Bremen Co-opTara Capouch, of Sandburg, looks to pass against Bremen for the IHSA Girls Water Polo Sectionals at Stagg, Friday, May 11th, 2012 in Palos Hills, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 14, 2012 9:36AM
Playing in its first postseason match after getting a forfeit win over Morgan Park in the quarterfinals, Sandburg’s rust showed offensively early in Friday’s match against Bremen co-op.
Thankfully for the Eagles, their defense was dominant throughout and the offense caught on eventually in an 11-7 Stagg Sectional semifinal win.
“I was really proud of our defensive effort,” Sandburg coach Jane Caliendo said. “We always want to be playing our best polo of the season at the end of the year, and right now we’re really doing that.”
Jamie Pappanastos scored four goals and Alona King made 12 saves to lead the second-seeded Eagles (22-10), who will meet top-seeded Mother McAuley in Saturday’s final.
Emma Martinus had four goals for No. 3 seed Bremen (20-9).
The match was tied at 1 after the first quarter before Pappanastos scored on a breakaway and Julie Jenkot (2 goals) found the net on a power play to put Sandburg up 3-1 at the half.
King made several big saves as Bremen was shut out in the second quarter.
“It definitely helps to make some saves early,” King said. “I can feel them out and know where they’re going to shoot. Our defense was phenomenal tonight. It was the best it’s been all year.”
The Eagles pulled away with a strong offensive surge early in the third quarter. Pappanastos scored twice and Jenkot also tallied to open up a 6-1 lead.
“We had to get warmed up on offense,” Pappanastos said. “We always come together, though.”
The Red Jaguars finally got their offense going in the fourth quarter, scoring four goals, but they couldn’t cut the deficit below four.
“(Sandburg) just played a little tougher than us,” Bremen coach Sue O’Sullivan said. “We weren’t really ready for it. They just wanted it more.”
Brittany Kamper and Cara Hays scored twice for the Eagles and Lauren Olson added a goal.
Nora Plank, Sarah Minnich and Hannah Schultz all scored for Bremen.