Girls water polo: Stevenson's sharing in the success
With the game well in hand and the third period coming to a close, she could have very easily taken the shot and scored from point-blank range.
Instead, her little soft touch pass ended up in the hands of running mate Eleanor Michaud, who promptly smashed it in the goal.
But that's the way Stevenson junior girls water polo standout Claire Haas is: unselfish.
"The team dynamic is tremendous. We see each other all of the time and have become very close," said Haas, who is a monster on the defensive end as well. "It doesn't matter who scores. We have so many weapons and we all realize we need each other to succeed."
It's that exact culture that has played a huge role in Stevenson remaining the top dog in the state while staying unblemished at 22-0 after it breezed past visiting St. Ignatius 15-5 on Wednesday evening.
"We're pretty young but our leadership is so strong and we have great balance in our scoring," said Patriots coach Jeff Wimer. "The girls work hard and really support each other. And in my eyes, Claire is one of the best players -- if not the best -- in the state."
Haas' hat trick in the first half on Wednesday helped prove that as it upped her team-leading total to 90 while helping Stevenson take a 10-3 halftime advantage.
Seniors Julia Nicholson and Fiona Gaffney are co-captains along with Haas, and Nicholson's two quick goals in the first minute of the game got things rolling.
"We really work on our defense and try and minimize the other team's shooting," noted Wimer, whose girls out-shot the Wolfpack 27-18. "We're so quick to collapse on the ball. The girls practice hard against each other on that."
After Nicholson's goals, Haas scored her first on a penalty shot to make it 3-0 not even two minutes into the game.
The defense was swarming as usual and was evidenced by sophomore attacker Lauren Maloney's steal and goal after a mad scramble by the net.
Then Michaud scored her first goal after taking a beautiful outlet pass all the way down the pool from Pats sophomore keeper Anna Mossakowski, who registered 4 saves while splitting time in goal with junior Brigitte Lefebvre (3 saves).
Haas then scored her second, and sophomore Kalista Tapas also scored to make it 7-0 after the first.
Gaffney punched one in, Tapas scored her second and Haas her third in the second frame.
"We didn't make very good choices when we allowed those 2 goals in the second," said Wimer.
And speaking of those multiple weapons on offense, junior attacker Eileen Hoang went crazy with a hat trick of her own in the third. Michaud also tallied her second that helped build a 14-3 cushion heading to the fourth.
Substitutions were frequent in the fourth, with senior Melanie Blake's dish to Maloney accounting for the lone Pats goal.
"It's one game at at time. We're pretty grounded and know there's always room for improvement," added Haas.