southtownstar
SPLENDID 
Weather Updates

Girls State Water Polo: Lincoln-Way East KO’d by St. Ignatius

DianFernandez (3) St. Ignatius shoots for score over Taryn Linke (6) Lincoln-Way East. | JCunningham/For Sun-Times Media

Diana Fernandez (3) of St. Ignatius shoots for a score over Taryn Linke (6) of Lincoln-Way East. | Jon Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 66810658
tmspicid: 23838122
fileheaderid: 11694599
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: May 24, 2014 3:30PM



All season long as Lincoln-Way East became one of the state’s most improved teams — rattling off 25 wins after going 12-16 in 2013 — the Griffins prided themselves on having one of the best defenses around.

Friday, though, they ran into the team with the best defense in the state.

“They were very good at stopping us when we were trying to drive,” East’s Haley McCabe said of defending state champion St. Ignatius. “They were really good at pressing us and they were just a great team all around.”

St. Ignatius came in allowing just 3.4 goals per game. The Griffins managed four goals against them, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Wolfpack turned defense into offense time and again, rolling to a 15-4 win at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

The 15 goals is 10 more than the average East (25-6)allowed this season, but Ignatius (23-5) could have had more if it wasn’t for the play of Griffins goalie Jill Connolly, who made 18 saves.

“Jill’s been a really special player for us all season,” East coach Ryan Lodes said. “All our seniors have been great. I think playing here and experiencing the whole atmosphere of it was a great experience for all of us and a great learning experience for the girls who will be coming back. I know it was for me.”

McCabe scored twice and Zoe Spada and Teresa DiGiovanni added a goal each for the Griffins, who were making their first state appearance since 2009.

Diana Fernandez (4 goals) and Beca Martinez (3 goals) led St. Ignatius.

McCabe scored on a bizarre play — Connolly fumbling her initial pass before recovering it and finding McCabe open on the other side of the pool as the Ignatius defense chased the loose ball — to tie the game at 1-1 with 3:47 left in the first quarter, but the Griffins did not score the rest of the period.

East still was in it late in the first half, trailing 5-2. The Wolfpack scored three times over the final 2:06 of the half to pull away.

A 3-0 St. Ignatius surge to start the third quarter erased any doubts.

“Our offense was great,” Ignatius coach Brian Cashman said. “We did a great job moving the ball up and down and east and west.”

The Griffins will lose eight seniors, including Connolly, McCabe and leading scorer Aimee Schaaf.

“It meant a lot to get here as a senior and with all the other seniors,” Connolly said. “We worked hard for four years and it all led up to this.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.