Naperville North senior Dani DiMatteo knows this year's Huskies water polo team is mighty talented and she is hoping for a special season.
While a winless Waubonsie Valley team may not be a great barometer, Naperville North did look sharp again Thursday night in a 14-3 triumph that sends the Huskies into spring break with a perfect 10-0 mark.
Contact information ( * required )
DiMatteo and her teammates displayed pinpoint passing while jumping ahead 11-0 in the first half as Caitlin Holzer scored three times and seven Huskies scored in the first 14 minutes of play.
"I feel like we played well. I love playing with my team," said DiMatteo, who had 2 goals and 2 assists in the first half. "My team is very sportsmanship-like. We try and get as many passes in as we can and we help one another all the time and we're there for each other."
Jillian Eiken scored 29 seconds into the match after DiMatteo passed to Helen Wei, who then found the junior open in front of the Waubonsie Valley net. DiMatteo later scored on a breakaway, and her second goal -- which made the score 10-0 -- came on a play that featured several passes and ended with yet another close-range opportunity.
"They're feeling good about themselves," Naperville North coach Andy McWhirter said. "They've really built themselves up as a great community. If 90 percent of our goals came from one girl, the other teams would double-team her and shut her down. Now everybody's a threat. We get a lot of girls the opportunity to get their hands on the ball close to the net."
Waubonsie Valley freshman goalie Nicole Conway made 5 saves in the first half, but she was constantly under attack by the talented visitors. Warriors coach Diana Mehl felt her team took a step back after playing tough against Naperville Central earlier this week.
"The girls didn't play well. They psyched themselves out and did not play their best game," she said. "The girls played really well against Naperville Central Tuesday. But today they did not play well."
Sarah Anderson scored all three of the Warriors' goals in the second half, with Megan Turner assisting on the first one. The Huskies, who played reserve goalie Dree Kinder for three quarters, used several lineups and got everyone involved.
DiMatteo hopes the hot start leads to even better results down the road.
"We're really trying to make it to state this year. We've come so far and we've been so close and we really feel like this is our year," she said, noting that Naperville Central ended the Huskies' season last year in the sectional finals. "So we have a mission. We have one goal and that 's to make it to state."
The Huskies have already beaten the Redhawks once this season and will square off in another cross-town showdown when they return to action after spring break.