McAuley takes fourth in state water polo
One day after 13 proved a lucky number for Mother McAuley, it reverted to its more common form.
Thirteen goals on Friday were enough to advance the Mighty Macs out of the quarterfinal round of the girls’ state water polo tournament. With senior captain Clare Bryar scoring seven times, McAuley defeated Palatine 13-8 in Lincolnshire.
But on Saturday, another batch of 13 tallies was spread out over two matches, which weren’t enough to continue the Macs’ ascent to the top. Instead, they settled for fourth place overall after falling short against eventual champion Fenwick (12-8) and host Stevenson (9-5) in a semifinal and third-place match, respectively.
McAuley’s Saturday average was almost three behind its per-match figure during the season. The Macs entered the Elite Eight averaging 9.4 goals per outing.
McAuley’s downfall against the Lady Friars could be traced to the third quarter, which favored the latter 5-0. By blanking the Macs, Fenwick easily erased its one-goal halftime deficit.
And McAuley never completely got into a second-half rhythm as it managed just two goals over that span. The Lady Friars’ triumph completed a three-match sweep of the Macs in 2014.
McAuley slipped into an early hole versus Stevenson and could never climb out. The Macs, who failed to score at least six goals for only the fifth time in 35 matches, never drew closer than two after the opening period.
Bryar was a standout in defeat as she paced McAuley with four goals opposite Fenwick and three against the Lady Patriots. The Macs’ other scoring came from senior Fran Williamson (hat trick versus the Lady Friars, one goal against Stevenson) and sophomore Maggie Hennigan (one in each match).
Besides Bryar’s outburst on Friday, McAuley used scoring from Williamson (five goals) and sophomore Julie Olivares (one) to finish off Palatine. Bryar and Williamson both netted 94 goals for the Macs this season.