One play summarized the one-sided St. Charles North girls water polo team victory over visiting St. Charles East on Thursday night.
Lexy Kos' second goal of the half for St. Charles East gave the Saints seemingly a glimmer of hope when her shot found the desired location with less than 10 seconds remaining before halftime.
But the North Stars' Sarah Stern had the ultimate response.
The three-year senior member of the North Stars launched a shot from the mid-mark of the North Stars' pool -- roughly 38 feet -- and the arching shot eluded the Saints' keeper with a second remaining before the intermission.
St. Charles North was in firm control during what proved-to-be a 17-4 verdict over the Saints at home.
"I didn't expect that to go in," said Stern, who tallied 6 goals on the evening for the North Stars. "I saw the time (remaining) and just threw it. We don't want to let up (as a team). We just keep scoring. (My teammates) couldn't believe the look of shock of my face (when the improbable shot scored)."
As brilliant as Stern was on the evening against her archrival, Nicole Guyett was even more impressive.
The Saints simply had no way to contest her in the middle of their own net.
Scoring with backhands, rebounds and point-blank opportunities, Guyett finished with a career-high 8 goals.
The junior opened the first period with three straight to set the early tone for the North Stars.
"We were working together as a team," Guyett said. "I love the backhand. Once we're in the lead we just keep going."
St. Charles North (10-2) more than doubled (32-15) the shot attempts, and the carnage could have been far worse had not several shots bounced off the posts or crossbar.
Then again, St. Charles East (1-9) would have found the final score much more palatable if it were not for the outstanding goalkeeping of the North Stars' Hannah Horsfall.
Kos, who had the bulk of the Saints' scoring opportunities, eventually finished with three scores.
But the sophomore could have had a game for the ages had not Horsfall made all four of her saves against Kos.
Three appeared to be almost certain goals, and Kos was also victimized by an equal number of near-misses off the twin posts.
"We were all determined to come back strong against our rivals," Horsfall said.
Guyett and Stern, who were named co-MVPs of their home invitational last weekend, scored all 10 goals in staking the squad to a 10-2 lead at halftime.
Guyett sat out the entire third period and added a fourth-period goal for the last of her 8 tallies, while Stern had three scores in each half.
Angelica Villa, Kelsey Theile and Maddie Jones added single goals for the North Stars.
Meghan Zbinden scored in the waning moments for the Saints' final score.
"(We played a better) second half," St. Charles East coach Stephanie McClure. "We started making adjustments."