The Waubonsie Valley girls water polo team proved again in Wednesday's 9-8 loss to visiting Hinsdale Central that despite earning just two wins so far this season, it's an improving squad that is consistently aggressive and hungry for success.
"We're getting better every game. The beginning of the season was rough, but they don't give up," said Warriors coach Diana Mehl. "We were down by 10 the other day to York and the team stayed aggressive and didn't give up."
The Red Devils (12-4) led 7-4 after three quarters and were ahead from the start. But they were never able though to get far enough in the contest to make the outcome a foregone conclusion.
The Warriors got strong goaltending from Ashley Ruskey and Talyssa Melgoza, who each played two quarters, and especially in the final and most crucial quarter the Warriors showed excellent patience on offense and waiting for the best shot possible.
With 5:51 left in the game and for about the next two minutes, Waubonsie scored three unanswered goals to tie the contest.
It started with Molly Devine hitting net off a pass from Taylor Tobiason. Just 39 seconds later, Tobiason got the ball to Marion Bautista, who fed Neha Khann, who took a couple of seconds to get the right shot and blasted it into the net.
Sarah Anderson tied the game with 3:53 left. Hinsdale Central responded with two goals at 3:05 and 2:00 to go up 9-7.
The Warriors weren't done, however, as Devine scored her second goal of the game with just 33 seconds left, setting the stage for an exciting finish. Waubonsie kept up its offensive pressure until the very end, but the Red Devils ate the remaining clock.
"We were just trying to get the ball back in the final 30 seconds and try to tie it," Devine said. "We're putting the shooters where they want to be and they try to get it in."
Hinsdale Central was led by Sarah Pircon's 6 goals and the strong goaltending of Alden Leader, who finished with 14 saves and helped keep the aggressive Warriors from taking control of the game.
Sam Holzschu scored twice and Tobiason and Kimela Srey each tallied a goal during the first three quarters for Waubonsie.
"Throughout the season we've become much more of a team," Devine said.