ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles North boys water polo team prides itself on its tough defense, but its offense was highlighted Thursday night in a match with St. Charles East.
The host North Stars thumped the Saints, 15-2.
Senior Nick Traxler led North’s scoring with six goals, with three of them in the second half. Teammate John Pretet totaled four goals, all in the first half.
“We usually let our defense do the talking,” Traxler said. “We did some work on offense this week in practice, and it showed today.”
“We had opportunities [on offense] and we were able to take advantage of them. That’s been encouraging,” said North coach Chris Cloy. “It was a total team effort. The offense starts with John in the hole, but is no means based around him. We have a lot of players on the perimeter who can score and today you saw that.”
Traxler put the first point on the scoreboard, getting the ball past East goalie Peter Roach at the 4:50 mark of the first quarter. Pretet scored his first goal on North’s next possession. The junior scored his second goal to give the North Stars (7-3-1) a 4-0 lead after the first period.
Four North players scored five goals in the second quarter to give the team a 9-1 lead at halftime. Ross Davis (three goals), Nathan Bawolek (two) and Chris Stanek (one) rounded out the scoring.
Tyler VanGyseghem scored the only first-half goal for the Saints (2-5) three minutes into the second quarter.
The North Stars scored three goals in both the third and fourth quarters. Davis opened the third quarter scoring. Traxler added two in the period. The senior scored one goal in the fourth quarter sandwiched between two scores by Nathan Bawolek.
Scott Rogman scored East’s second goal early in the third quarter, when North Star goalie Collin Bawolek (six saves) could not hold onto Rogman’s throw.
“It was tough for us; they were setting the hole all the time and I was trying to get my kids to double team them,” said first year East coach Tim O’Grady. “I thought we were doing that pretty well toward the end of the game.”
Cloy was also impressed with his team’s defense.
“To me, giving up the two goals was the best part of the game,” Cloy said. “We only gave up one goal in the first half. I think we only allowed three shots in the first half. It was great to see the defense work.”