Stevenson impressively battles past Libertyville
Look around, and some of the players were sporting T-shirts that read "Peace on Earth, War in the Water."
Well, when it comes to girls water polo, any and every opponent definitely needs to be ready for battle when tangling with Stevenson.
The Pats can come at you from so many different angles, and Tuesday evening's 12-1 victory at an always formidable Libertyville group was testament to that, with eight different Stevenson players finding the back of the net.
"We have a very experienced and deep team," said coach Jeff Wimer, who has been at the helm 15 of the last 18 years. "All of the girls are great ball-handlers, and they have a good perspective on the season. We just try and take it one game at a time."
One of the many reasons Stevenson is off to a blazing start is because of the play of the team's leading scorer, junior Allison Travetto. She knocked in 3 goals Tuesday and now has an eye-popping 78 this season.
"We have a lot of great players and a great goalie," said Travetto, who scored 2 of her goals in the opening quarter as the Pats staked themselves to a 7-1 lead. "Everyone helps and we have amazing chemistry and team bonding, which speaks volumes."
With the game under control, Travetto sat out in spurts after the first quarter but scored her third goal in the third period to keep Stevenson comfortably ahead at 11-1.
Libertyville (7-4 overall, 0-2 in North Suburban Conference) scored its only goal right off the bat to take an early 1-0 lead when senior 2-meter defender Julia Fletcher snuck one past the outstretched arms of Pats keeper Lauren Burns.
"We started pretty good but Stevenson, in my humble opinion, is hands-down the best team in the state and Jeff is the best coach in the state," said sixth-year Mundelein coach Chris Crawford. "They have a great set offense. We're just trying to work on smaller things and get better with every game."
After Fletcher's goal, it was all Pats as Burns, a junior, stopped shots left and right and finished with 14 saves on the evening.
Besides Travetto's offense, Stevenson got two scores from senior attacker Annika Hotchkiss, while single goals were scored by Autumn and Eileen Hoang, Joanie Newland, Melissa Gartenberg, Claire Haas and Jordan Landau.
Libertyville played well in the second half, allowing only 2 goals on 8 shots attempts. Senior keeper Kate Aumuller made some nifty saves at point-blank range, and the offense got better penetration. The defense applied better pressure in the third quarter, which forced the Pats into a couple of shot clock violations.
"They have a really nice team and a lot of us know each other from playing club and age group when we were younger," said Travetto. "After playing them tonight, we need to work harder on offense and adjust to how the other team is defending us."
After finishing third at state a year ago and runner-up in 2012, the goal is obviously to win a state championship. Stevenson's quest for that continues -- as well as the current 17-game win streak -- when the Pats entertain Vernon Hills at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Cats hit the road Thursday when they visit Mundelein.