The Fenwick and Lyons Township High School boys water polo programs, collectively, have won the last 10 state championships. Granted, the Friars have done the Lions’ share of the work winning nine of those titles; however, in 2012 LTHS stunned Fenwick in the playoffs en route to its first and only state crown. Needless to say, whenever the respectful rivals meet a lot is at stake.
Saturday served as no exception with Fenwick defeating sectional host LTHS 13-7 to advance to Thursday’s state quarterfinals at Stevenson High School. Fenwick juniors Danny Farmer and Ryan Masi paced the victors with four goals apiece, while Andrew Bertschy contributed three goals. Jack Mahoney and Bailey Wendt each scored a goal for the Friars, and goalie Mike Hill fnished with 11 saves.
Early in the match, Farmer took control scoring four of the Friars’ first five goals. Fenwick scored three consecutive goals in the third quarter to build a 10-4 lead. The Friars (29-4) were content to trade goals the rest of the way with LTHS.
“LT is a great defensive team, so to put up thirteen goals on them was pretty awesome,” Fenwick coach Kyle Perry said. “It really all came down to our third quarter. We’ve been having quick starts but haven’t been able to finish as well as we should. We’ve been challenging the boys all week to see what they could do in the second half.”
The Lions (21-11), who edged conference rival Oak Park and River Forest 10-7 in the sectional semifinals, ultimately couldn’t keep pace with the high-powered Friars. George Duffy and George Lundgren both scored twice for LTHS, which lost three times to Fenwick this spring.
“Our goal was to try to be aggressive and attack their defense, and we definitely did that,” LTHS coach Doug Eichstaedt said. “We just didn’t execute our six-on-five progressions well enough later in the game.”
The Friars take on St. Ignatius in the state quarterfinals Thursday (5:45 p.m.) at Stevenson.
On Saturday, the state semifinals will take place at 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. with the state championship match set for 6:30 p.m. The third-place match is at 3:30 p.m. (all these semifinals/finals matches will be held at Stevenson).
Friars, Buglio shut down Lions in lopsided girls sectional final
Fueled by goalie Lexi Buglio’s inspired 11-save performance, Fenwick cruised past host LTHS in the sectional final, following the boys’ game. While the Friars provided ample support offensively for Buglio, the team’s stellar defensive work essentially secured the sectional championship. Simply put, LTHS struggled to score against the air-tight Fenwick defense.
“It was more of a defensive effort than it was an offensive effort,” Fenwick coach Jack Wagner said. “We took LT’s offense out of what they wanted to run and moved them a lot deeper out in the pool than they wanted to be.”
Colleen Barron led Fenwick with three goals, while Catie Wallace, Alexa Ovalle, and Bridget Carey scored two goals apiece. Janette Angelini and Olivia Ryan each added a goal. In addition to her 11 saves, Buglio had three assists and a pair of blocked penalty shots.
Fenwick (28-2) meets Naperville North in the state quarterfinals on Friday (7 p.m.) at Stevenson.
On Saturday, the state semifinals will take place at 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. with the state championship match set for 8 p.m. The third-place match is at 5 p.m. (all these semifinals/finals matches will be held at Stevenson).