The St. Charles North girls water polo team needed every weapon in its arsenal to counter Alexandra Kos.
The St. Charles East junior scored early, often and frequently with her 9 total scores Thursday afternoon at the Saints' home pool in St. Charles.
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But St. Charles North seized command in the third quarter, scoring 5 unanswered goals in a three-minute and 24-second sequence.
Five different players for St. Charles North scored at least twice in the North Stars' 17-11 victory.
"We started playing some defense," said St. Charles North coach Nick Engle, whose squad improved to 11-2 on the season. "If we don't play good defense, we're not going to be successful."
Kos tied the match at 7-7 with a score 62 seconds into the third quarter, but St. Charles North responded behind Nicole Guyett, Katie Steele, Katie Difiglio and Katie Quinn.
The quartet was responsible for a five-score bonanza that Kos mercifully ended with a penalty-shot goal with exactly two minutes to play in the third quarter.
St. Charles East never came closer than 4 goals the remainder of the match.
Whereas St. Charles East received lone scores from in the second quarter from Megan Zbinden and Kaitlyn Johnsen to account for their total tally other than the prolific Kos, the North Stars' balanced attack ultimately paid serious dividends.
Guyett and Quinn combined to match Kos' match-high total with their respective totals of 5 and 4 goals; Steele, a freshman, and Difiglio added hat tricks for the North Stars.
Brittany Veto concluded the North Stars' scoring with a pair of goals.
At one point bridging the third and fourth quarters, St. Charles North collected nine scores to the Saints' two, both by Kos.
It was a disappointing conclusion for the Saints, who used Kos' back-to-back scores in the opening quarter to take the first of three multiple-goal leads.
"We were playing, I guess, with a lot of excitement in the first half," Kos said. "We know we are capable of winning (matches). Our energy level was way up there. The girls we had kicked out (for hard fouls in the second half hurt us)."
"We allowed (Kos) to take some shots that we shouldn't have," Engel said. "She had a great game."
The other bright spot for the Saints was goaltender December Fagen.
The carnage could have been far worse had the North Stars not only clanked 8 shots off the posts or cross; Fagen stopped 13 total shots, including several from point-blank range.
Conversely, St. Charles North keeper Allyson Foor needed to make only 3 stops.
"This is my first year of playing varsity goal," Fagen said.