Naperville North continues to roll
For Naperville North it was a matter of adjusting to its environment.
Holding a 3-2 lead against Waubonsie Valley after one quarter, the Huskies pulled away with 9 unanswered goals, including 5 straight by senior Eric Curia.
The end result was a 14-4 road victory over the Warriors that moved Naperville North to 10-1 on the season, its only loss coming against defending state champion Lyons Twp. earlier in the year.
According to coach John Blumthal, his team spent the first quarter getting used to the pool's depth, particularly on the shallow end.
"Because we're so used to playing in pools that are all deep, that first quarter we were a little unfamiliar with the bottom," he said. "That kind of explains why they scored a couple of early goals on us. I had to get after them a little bit, but I think it was a matter of adjusting to a different type of environment."
Mike McWhirter's 5-meter free shot with 10 seconds left in the first quarter cut the Huskies' lead to 3-2, but the Warriors were held scoreless for the next 14 minutes.
The Huskies began putting some distance between themselves and their opponent with Curia's second goal coming just 16 seconds into the second quarter.
After an 8-goal performance in a 16-11 win over Lockport two nights earlier, Curia finished with a game-high 6 goals against the Warriors including all five of his team's goals in the second quarter.
He's been scoring a lot," Blumthal said of Curia, who finished with a program-record 162 goals last season. "We're putting him in positions to succeed. We've got a lot of guys who are feeding him the ball at the right time that is allowing him to get all of these goals. We've been playing good team offense with a whole set-based offense where he's going to break his own record."
Waubonsie Valley (3-8) ended the scoring drought 27 seconds into the fourth quarter when McWhirter scored on an unassisted breakaway. He led the Warriors with 3 goals on the evening.
"So far, we've been coming out every single game this season playing extremely well in the first quarter or first half and then it tapers off," Waubonsie Valley coach Matt Niemeier said. "We held a very good team to a 3-2 score at the end of the first quarter and then we just came back flat. We need to learn how to sustain that level of intensity and realize that just because you're tired, that doesn't mean the other team is too."
Nolan Roberts tallied 3 goals and 3 assists for the Huskies while teammate Gianmarco Duin added 3 goals and 1 assist.
Naperville North goalie Michael Shabel finished with 7 saves.
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