Girls Water Polo: Fenwick outlasts Mother McAuley
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media March 13, 2013 9:16PM
Fenwick's Genna Curry shoots the ball as Mother McAuley's Kristin Kleist defends. | Jon Langham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 15, 2013 11:02AM
Entering the fourth quarter Wednesday night, Mother McAuley seemed poised to knock off two-time defending state champion Fenwick and hand the rival Friars a rare home loss.
The Mighty Macs outplayed Fenwick in the third quarter and took a lot of momentum into the fourth when Amy Kopale scored at the buzzer for a 3-2 lead.
That was the last shot McAuley — ranked second in the state — would get past Fenwick goalie Lexi Buglio. Buglio made 10 saves to help the top-ranked Friars escape with a 5-3 win in a Metro Catholic Aquatics Conference game in Oak Park.
“We just didn’t execute on our offense in the fourth quarter like we should have,” McAuley coach Vanessa Carroll said. “We let down a little bit and Fenwick took advantage of our mistakes.”
Alexa Ovalle (2 goals) tied the game in the opening minute of the fourth on a power play and Cara Borkovec’s second and third goals of the night gave the Friars (2-0, 2-0) the 5-3 lead with three minutes left.
Kopale, Kristen Kleist and Fran Williamson scored for McAuley (3-1, 1-1), while Sarah Abbott made eight saves.
McAuley was snake-bitten late, pounding shot after shot off posts or crossbars.
The Mighty Macs missed plenty of chances to take a bigger lead into the fourth, as Kleist, Kopale and Clare Bryar all hit the crossbar on good looks.
“We have to hit the net,” Carroll said. “We had a lot of chances, we just couldn’t hit the net.”
Buglio denied Kopale with a strong save with 1:51 left to seal the win.
“I had to stay focused and trust my teammates,” Buglio said. “I knew we’d come together as a team. This was a big win.”
McAuley, meanwhile, will focus on possible late-season rematches with the Friars.
“We’ll see them again,” Carroll said. “We’ll take the loss and work on fixing the little things we need to fix.”