Boys water polo: Stevenson (33-0) in fine form against Mundelein
While a talented Mundelein boys water polo team has been on the rise this season, Stevenson made sure the Mustangs' season came to a halt.
The Patriots cruised to a 19-5 victory at Deerfield on Saturday, giving them their fifth sectional crown in a row and hiking their record to 33-0.
Next up for Stevenson is a state quarterfinal match against Lincoln-Way East at 7 p.m. Friday at Stevenson. The Patriots finished second in the state last year.
Patriots senior 2-meter Dan Maleski scored a pair of goals, and senior utility Andrew Shashin and junior 2-meter Justin Ginsberg also scored for a quick 4-0 lead against Mundelein.
But spirit and tenacity has boded well for Mundelein this year, and that surfaced again, as senior attacker Nick Oleinik and sophomore attacker Jake Garcia responded with goals to get the Mustangs within 5-2 after the first. Sandwiched in between was Shashin's second tally.
"We needed to keep the turnovers down and take care of the ball," said Mundelein first-year coach Russ Gates, whose team finished 17-14 after a 24-9 campaign a year ago. "But we've come a long way. We're doing pretty well. I'm real proud of the guys, regardless the outcome."
The second period was huge for Stevenson, which scored 6 unanswered goals to make it 11-2 with 42 seconds left. Maleski and junior utility Eric Osuch each scored twice, while junior utility Collin Kapecki and Justin Ginsberg added single goals. Mundelein closed within 11-3 after Oleinik skipped one past Pats junior keeper Charlie Day. But Shashin scored his third just before the halftime horn and the Pats were still in control 12-3.
Mundelein got its faithful excited to open the third.
In a crazy couple of sequences to start the frame, Mustangs junior keeper Shane Stanley (4 saves) had a couple of amazing saves following furious scrambles in front of the net.
That defensive energy carried over when senior attacker Brandon Kavanaugh fed sophomore Ryan Zentz to make it 12-4.
But Stevenson answered by rolling off another 6 straight goals to take a 19-4 lead and put things out of reach heading to the fourth.
Kapecki scored his second, third and fourth goals of the game, and senior attacker Rahul Arun also scored. Shashin added his final 2 goals, including the latter with Mundelein defenders in his face and his headgear covering one eye.
"We had a couple of lapses but the quick start was big for us," Patriots coach Sean Wimer said. "Mundelein is a much improved team. But we expected a great effort and high level of execution."
Day finished with 6 saves in three quarters of action, while sophomore Nik Ebeling stopped 2 shots tending to the net in the fourth.
The lone score in the fourth came when Mundelein junior utility Jake Gonzalez dished off to Joe Duffy.