Metea Valley boys water polo with one of the strongest seasons in program history, facing an incredibly tough challenge against Cam Dougherty and the defending state champions from Naperville Central.
Early in the first quarter, Redhawks looking to strike quickly but Metea Valley goalie Jimmy Cronin with a great stop to keep the game scoreless.
You can only keep Central off the board for so long, some quick passing gets the ball to Luke Klein-Collins for the opening goal of the match.
Metea trying to even things up as Jonathan Duval unleashes a shot, but Jonah Klein-Collins corrals the ball for the save.
Redhawks add to the lead late in the first as Bender Russo finds Henry Mills for the goal, 2-0 Central after the first.
Early in the 2nd, Metea offense finds a groove as Colin Szczesny feeds Brady Erdman for the goal, Mustangs on the board down 2-1.
Moments later, Issac Noren with a perfect pass to Luke Klein-Collins who makes a great play to palm the ball and shoot in one motion and get the goal to go, putting the Redhawks back up by two.
Mustangs not going away, Szczesny dumps it in for Tyler Flanders, who’s shot drifts just over the line for the goal, MV down one, 3-2.
Central again has the answer as Cam Dougherty with a fantastic skipping shot into the corner, Redhawks lead 5-2 at the break.
Early in the 2nd half, Bender Russo passes to Brad Sanford who uses a powerful lefty shot to score his 2nd goal. NC up by 4.
Metea doesn’t give up, Brady Erdman powers his 2nd goal past the deflection of Jonah Klein-Collins to pull his team closer.
More great ball movement, Mark Laboe to Henry Mills to Luke Klein-Collins in a blink and just like that Naperville Central leads 9-3 after the third.
Brad Sanford looks to add on with a penalty shot, but Jimmy Cronin makes a great stop to keep a glimmer of hope alive.
But Central just too much to handle, Bender Russo with another assist to Sanford who scores his third goal. Redhawks move on to the sectional championship to face Neuqua Valley as the quest for state title number three rolls on.
For additional highlights, visit our Naperville Sports Weekly page
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