Girls Water Polo: St Ignatius eases past Stevenson
Updated: May 18, 2012 7:52PM
Junior Becky Insalaco, St. Ignatius’ leading scorer, is used to seeing defenses spend ample time trying to bottle her up.
When she found the going tough against Stevenson in Friday’s state quarterfinal, her teammates stepped up to pick up the slack.
Insalaco only scored once, and it was two minutes into the fourth quarter with the game already in hand. But her teammates, led by senior Stephanie Fernandez, who scored three times, and sophomore Rebecca Martinez (two goals) were there to help the Wolfpack earn a 9-3 win and a berth in Saturday’s 11:30 a.m. semifinal against Naperville Central.
“We’ve faced a lot of times where teams focused on Becky and we’ve done a really good job in game situations of getting the ball to other kid,” St. Ignatius coach Michael Cashman said. “We won it on team play, and that’s how we’ve been all year. We’re just clicking at the right time.”
Despite the often stellar play of Stevenson senior goalie Lisa Michalowski, the Wolfpack (21-6-1) pulled out to a 4-1 lead by the half. Fernandez scored twice in that span.
The lead swelled to 7-1 after three quarters as Ignatius began to pull away.
“We learned that she was really big, so she comes up really big (out of the water),” Fernandez said of Michalowski, who had 14 saves. “She’s a great goalie. When she went back down, we shot. It helped that we did what we were told.”
Stevenson (25-9) found the going tough against the St. Ignatius defense. The Patriots struggled to a 3-for-28 shooting night in the face of that pressure and senior goalie Katie Murphy was as dominant as Michalowski all night for Ignatius.
“They played awesome defense on us,” Stevenson coach Jeff Wimer said. “Their defense shut us down and we didn’t respond. I thought Lisa, our goalie, played great. We just didn’t step in time. In all honesty, I thought we matched up very well, but actions speak louder than words, and their actions were louder than ours.”
Stevenson was led by Erin McCook’s two goals.
The Wolfpack now faces one of the top teams in the state in Naperville Central, a team they have not faced yet this season. The Redhawks have only two losses all season.
“It’s one of the best teams we haven’t seen this year,” Cashman said. “We know their style of play, so we’ll see what happens.”