Boys Water Polo: Sandburg stellar in rematch against Andrew
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media April 19, 2014 10:18PM
Updated: May 21, 2014 9:47AM
Sandburg didn’t have to wait long for revenge.
Two days after Andrew earned a 14-11 win in the Eagles’ home pool, the teams met again Saturday in the championship of the Sandburg Tournament.
This time it was all Eagles. Zach Roper scored six goals, Sean McNicholas made 16 saves and the hosts rolled to a 9-1 win in Orland Park.
“After they came out and demolished us Thursday, we wanted the rematch,” Roper said. “We came out with a lot of passion.”
After allowing eight first-quarter goals in Thursday’s game, the Eagles (13-4) clamped down on the T-bolts (18-2) in the rematch. The only goal for Andrew, which was without leading scorer Eric Tamulonis (flu), came on an Alex Gacek penalty shot in the third quarter.
“We had them on their heels a bit Thursday night,” Andrew coach Kris Kowal said. “I have the utmost respect for (Sandburg coach Jim Caliendo). He knows how to make adjustments and they came out with a great defensive game plan on us. If we see them again, it means we’re in the sectional final, so I hope it happens.”
Sandburg led 1-0 after one quarter, with Roper breaking the deadlock by scoring off a rebound with 48 seconds left.
The Eagles had a 4-0 advantage at halftime.
Roper dominated throughout the game, scoring twice in both the second and third quarters and adding a goal in the fourth.
“I definitely had something to prove,” Roper said. “I wasn’t going to lose our home tournament my senior year. It wasn’t just me, though. Our whole team really played great and our goalie was phenomenal.”
Indeed, McNicholas was dominant in the net.
“My defense was great in front of me, and after giving up so many goals last time, I really wanted to play a good game against them this time,” McNicholas said.
Earlier Saturday, the Eagles topped Conant 9-7, while Andrew beat Lane Tech 15-3. Both teams finished 3-0 in pool play, which began Friday.
The victory for Sandburg could go a long way in sectional seeding. Sandburg, Andrew and Lockport figure to be among the top seeds in the Lincoln-Way Central Sectional.
“I’m going to fight for the (No. 1) seed now,” Caliendo said. “I’m just proud of the way the team is progressing. The whole team played great.”
Constantinos Pappas, Mitch Winkelmann and Mitch Zieler also scored for the Eagles.
Tim Yara made 10 saves for Andrew.