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  By Aaron Brown

  May 2013


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Only four teams remain in the state water polo playoffs in 2013. The quarterfinal round winners meet for a total of two contests to determine which teams will in the state title game on Saturday night. Here is your guide to all of the action on Saturday, May 18:





9:00am Lincoln-Way Central vs Mundelein

The Knights and Mustangs meet for the first time in 2013 with a state title berth on the line. With that much mystery surrounding the proceedings, we'll have to assume things will boil down to which defense can stop the other team's main weapon on the offensive end. Danijela Jackovich poured in 8 goals and proved unstoppable for the Loyola defense on Thursday night, so Mundelein will have to find a way to limit her chances. The same can be said about Karrie Kozokar for the Mustangs, as she totaled 9 goals in the team's 11-5 win over Barrington in the quarterfinals.


Jackovich will continue to lead the team on both the offensive and defensive ends, but they may need major contributions from Beth Senese, Kristi Howe, Liz Klock, Megan McLean, Michelle Dundek, and goalie Caroline Foglton. Mundelein will look to Allison Boothe and Kozokar for their offensive production, but they have a variety of players like Courtney Perrault, Hannah Davidson, and Michelle Barron that are more than capable of making a big difference for the state's fourth-ranked squad. Barron came up big with two goals in the victory over the Fillies on Thursday.


Questions: Which defense can stop their opponents' main offensive weapon? How will the teams and coaches adjust after never having played in the regular season? How will the players adapt to being in the unfamiliar territory of a state semifinal game on Saturday morning?


Previous meeting: The two teams did not meet in 2013.




10:15am Mother McAuley vs St Ignatius

Mother McAuley is riding high after stunning the defending champions (Fenwick) on Thursday night. They have to avoid a letdown, but they won't be overlooking rival St Ignatius in the semifinal round. The Wolfpack turned things on late in the first half of their quarterfinal game with Naperville Central to walk away with a 15-6 win. The teams have a day to rest before continuing their rivalry on Saturday morning at Stevenson High School.


The Mighty Macs lineup is as strong as it has ever been, with Amy Kopale, Clare Bryar, Fran Williamson, Kristen Kleist, Meg Golon, and Vicky Arciniega all expected to make major contributions in the semifinal contest against another Catholic League foe. Meanwhile, St Ignatius blends the experience of Becky Insalaco, Karen Juarez, Maggie Maloney, Rebecca Martinez, and Tammy Stelnicki with freshmen Diana Fernandez and Jenny Stelnicki (goalie).


Questions: Can the Mighty Macs carry the momentum from their win over Fenwick into the next round? Will they be worn out from playing such a tough game against the Friars deep into the night? Can the Wolfpack find a way to stop Bryar from scoring like she did in both games during the regular season? Can Tammy Stelnicki continue to shine if McAuley puts their focus on stopping Insalaco? How will the contrast of goalies affect the outscome, as Abbott is a senior with years of experience while Stelnicki is a freshman playing in her first state tournament?


Previous meetings: Mother McAuley went 2-0 against St Ignatius in 2013. They won 11-6 on March 11 in an early-season conference game, then defeated the Wolfpack 12-7 to win the MCAC Tournament on May 4. Clare Bryar totaled 9 goals in the two games to lead the Mighty Macs to both victories.





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