Boys Water Polo: St. Ignatius outlasts Brother Rice in state quarterfinal
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media May 17, 2013 10:22PM
St. Ignatius' Billy Barth (6) and Brother Rice's Kevin Mayer (5) battle for the ball. | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
All matches at Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire
Naperville North 10, New Trier 9
Fenwick 13, Homewood-Flossmoor 6
Stevenson 9, Conant 6
St. Ignatius 9, Brother Rice 6
Naperville North (29-2)
vs. Fenwick (29-5), 11:30 a.m.
vs. St. Ignatius (21-10-1), 12:45 p.m.
Third place: 5 p.m. Saturday
Championship: 8 p.m. Saturday
Updated: June 20, 2013 4:14PM
Falling to Metro Catholic Aquatics Conference rival St. Ignatius in Friday night’s state quarterfinal marked a bitter end to Brother Rice’s season to be sure, but first-year coach Chris Mulcrone was quick to look at the bright side.
“We’re building,” he said. “We’ve improved, and we just have to put the work in to keep getting better. My seniors did a great job getting us back to state. My nephew (Kevin) was the only kid on this team I knew in March. They met my expectations and we’re in good shape going forward.”
Friday, the Crusaders could not overcome five power-play goals from the Wolfpack, which took control late for a 9-6 win at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.
St. Ignatius (21-10-1), which was led by three goals from John Reyes, advances to meet host Stevenson in Saturday’s semifinals. The Crusaders finished 20-11 after their first state appearance since 2010.
Matt Bachler led Rice with two goals. Cal Kennedy made 11 saves.
Rice finished a defensive-minded first half with a 3-2 lead, but the Crusaders’ aggressive defense came back to haunt them late.
Rice was called for seven ejections — to St. Ignatius’ one — and the Wolfpack went 5-for-7 with a man-up.
Ignatius really took advantage of the fouls in the third quarter, scoring three times on the power play.
Reyes had two of those scores. The second with 44 seconds left in the third quarter came after Rice’s Dave Jackson fouled out, and gave the Wolfpack the lead for good at 6-5.
“(Losing Jackson) hurt, big time,” Mulcrone said.
The backbreaker for Rice came when Ignatius goalie Tim Zymon (12 saves) made a stop on a point-blank chance for Ian Disteldorf (1 goal), then sent a cross-pool pass to Reyes, who scored on a breakaway for an 8-5 lead with 3:22 to go.
Moments earlier, Billy Barth (2 goals) scored on a backhanded shot for the Wolfpack.
“(Ignatius) came out with a chip on their shoulder after we beat them (10-7 in the MCAC third-place game May 4),” Kennedy said. “When (Barth) scored that really nice goal, they took off from there.”
Dan Birmingham, Dan Whalen and Kevin Mayer each scored once for Rice.
“We had shots hit posts that looked like they were going in,” Kennedy said. “If we get a few of those, we could have won. It wasn’t our night, but it was a great season. It was a pleasure.”