Day helps Stevenson subdue Palatine
There's definitely an art to goaltending.
And Stevenson sophomore keeper Charlie Day has embraced the process with open arms.
Playing JV last year, things were perhaps a little more controlled.
"I'm definitely learning that everyone's a shooter and not like last year, where just position players scored," said Day, who dove and leaped all over the place during the Pats 21-6 nonconference boys water polo victory over visiting Palatine on Monday evening. "I'm settling into it, though. At first I was more passive and didn't move a lot. But the coaches have me moving out more and I'm playing less on the line."
Day's efforts have resulted in allowing just under 5 goals per game for the now 8-1 Pats. Against Palatine he recorded 12 saves, many off of Palatine shots that had some mustard on them.
As for the offense, Stevenson has so many weapons that goal scoring should never be an issue.
Case in point: Some 58 seconds into the game, senior utility player Cris Tomassetti's shot from point-blank range was thwarted initially, but he knocked in his own rebound to get things rolling.
Tomassetti scored one more of his game-high 5 goals during a first-quarter outburst that saw the hosts raced off to an 8-0 lead before you could blink.
Then with 2:20 left in the opening act, Palatine got on the board when junior attacker Dylan White rifled one just past Day's outstretched arms to make it 8-1. Tomassetti then scored his third goal of the period to help propel the hosts to a 10-1 first-period lead that would never be threatened.
"We're still a little sloppy but we were better defensively today," said Stevenson coach Sean Wimer, whose troops will embark on some rigorous two-week training before its next match after spring break at home in the North Suburban opener against Mundelein April 5.
"We hold ourselves to pretty high standards and just need to concentrate on the fundamentals. The smarter we play, the easier it is."
The potent Patriots offense also saw senior attackers Kurt Holzer and Alex Kapecki score a pair of first-quarter goals, as did junior center Dan Maleski. Sophomore attacker Collin Kapecki also got in to the scoring frenzy with a tally in the first.
Stevenson didn't let up in the second period in scoring 7 more goals to add to its lead and take a 17-3 halftime cushion. Junior center-defender Andrew Shashin popped in 2 scores right away, while Tomassetti got his fourth and fifth. Single goals in the second stanza were scored by junior attacker Varun Ganesh, Collin Kapecki and sophomore attacker Eric Osuch.
The Pirates, who slipped to 3-5, got second-period goals from senior attacker Ivan Turkan and junior attacker Dylan White.
With the game in hand, Maleski scored another goal while junior attacker Rahul Arun scored a single goal in the third for Stevenson.
Turkan's second goal of the game and senior attacker Alex Adame's tally accounted for Palatine's third-period scoring.
In the fourth, Maleski netted his fourth goal and Ganesh fed senior attacker Andrew Lefebvre with a nice pass to round out the scoring for Stevenson, which out-shot Palatine 39-22.
Turkan then made it a hat trick in scoring Palatine's lone fourth-period goal.
"We have some high expectations and we've been playing decent," said Palatine coach Joe Grzybek. "We were hoping to slow them down a little but then Stevenson's obviously really good."
Pirates senior keeper Jake Conrad was busy in goal, stopping 12 shots.
Palatine was also a little short-handed without four players away on spring break, including a leading scorer in senior attacker Marcus Carter-Buckman.