Girls water polo state tournament
Where: Stevenson High School
Friday's quarterfinals New Trier vs. Stevenson, 4:30 p.m.
Lincoln-Way East vs. St. Ignatius, 5:45 p.m.
Fenwick vs. Naperville North, 7 p.m.
Palatine vs. Mother McAuley, 8:15 p.m.
The Pirates didn't win their division, didn't win a Mid-Suburban League title. But coach Mitch Tucker's team certainly learned how to overcome challenges this year -- and mainly, it's been through playing quality defense. Senior Rachel Chumbook (138 goals) and junior Caroline Wojtas (99) are formidable scorers, but Palatine has mostly been winning by shutting other teams down. The most recent team to score in double digits against the Pirates was MSL West champ Conant, but that was way back on April 7. The Pirates shut out a quality Prospect team in a recent matchup, then held Conant to 6 goals in the sectional championship game. Senior goalkeeper Kim Butler has allowed on average on 4.5 goals per game and has stopped 353 shots this season. Kristin Anderson has given Palatine (27-5) an edge by regularly winning the swim for the ball to begin periods, and all-conference pick Caitlin McHugh is another scoring option (23 goals, 23 assists). Other key players include Maryana Dvorska (18 goals, 31 assists), Lauren Rasor (14 goals, 20 assists), Emily Seidl (8 goals, 14 assists), Mathilde Mogensen (7 goals, 13 assists), Jackie Kincanon (6 goals, 9 assists) and Tess O'Brien (5 goals, 6 assists). Mother McAuley (24-8) figures to be a tough matchup. The Mighty Macs topped Loyola 11-10 in the MCAC championship game, then beat Bremen 9-7 to win the Stagg sectional. Mother McAuley's top scorers are Clare Bryar and Fran Williamson, both with 94 goals this season.
Saturday's schedule features semifinals at 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., with the third-place game scheduled for 5 p.m. and the title game set for 8 p.m.
-- Aaron Gabriel