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Girls Water Polo: Sandburg turns back Lincoln-Way East

Updated: June 7, 2014 6:37AM



Lincoln-Way East came to Sandburg on Monday looking to clinch the outright SouthWest Suburban Blue title and deny the Eagles a chance for their third straight conference crown.

Sandburg had other ideas.

“We really wanted it,” Sandburg’s Sarah Dolitsky said. “We had motivation and we wanted to come out and take it to them as best as we could early.”

Dolitsky did most of the damage, scoring seven times as the Eagles earned a 10-6 victory in Orland Park.

With the win, Sandburg’s second over East this season, the Eagles (18-8, 10-2) and Griffins (20-4, 10-2) will share the conference championship if both teams win their final league games as expected. Sandburg visits Homewood-Flossmoor on Wednesday and East hosts Stagg on Friday.

Sandburg led 3-0 after the first quarter, with Dolitsky doing all the scoring, and 4-0 in the second before the Griffins rallied to within 4-2 by halftime.

The Eagles exploded for five goals in the third to pull away, Dolitsky scoring three times and Stephanie Pappas twice to extend the lead to 9-3.

Sandburg was bolstered by the return from injury of Danielle Lencioni, who had a goal and two assists.

“When Danielle was out, it took a toll on our offense,” Sandburg coach Sofia Pappanastos said. “Her coming back got everybody fired up. Her and Sarah have a unique connection on offense.”

After the Griffins rallied to within 9-6 behind two goals from Lauren VanderVelde, Dolitsky and Lencioni hooked up to deliver the dagger. Lencioni took a Dolitsky pass and buried the shot to make it 10-6 with 2:17 to go.

Haley McCabe scored twice for the Griffins. Taryn Linke and Aimee Schaff each scored once and Jill Connolly made 12 saves.

“We really struggle in the shallow end,” East coach Ryan Lodes said. “We don’t practice in it. Sandburg had a really good slough in the middle on defense and we didn’t work the ball to the outside as much as we wanted to. Hopefully, we can still get a share (of the conference title) and we’re just getting ready for sectionals.”

Sectionals are next week, with East the top seed in the Lincoln-Way Central Sectional and Sandburg seeded second in the Stagg Sectional.

“It’s always a good accomplishment to win conference,” Pappanastos said. “We can’t let it go to our heads, though. I told the girls we have to treat this just like any other win. Sectionals are the most important thing.”



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