Naperville North girls water polo is heading back to state after sinking Naperville Central in the sectional finals

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Welcome to the girls water polo sectional final in a hot and muggy Metea Valley pool featuring Naperville North and Naperville Central who are no stranger to the final. These longtime rivals are ready to battle it out in the sectional championship for a tenth consecutive season. The two time defending State champion Huskies come in winning their last four while the Redhawks look to capture their first sectional since 2017, when they beat these Huskies 10-4 and went on to finish as the State runner up. Naperville North took down Waubonsie Valley in the semifinals while Naperville Central narrowly escaped Metea Valley. This highlight is sponsored by BMO

Goalies come up big early

Redhawks are looking to score early with Juliana Russo but her shot goes off the post and senior goalie Sophie Raquel clears it for the Huskies.

Huskies bring it the other way,  however Clare Shiffer doesn’t allow any of that as she saves the ball after a North goal opportunity goes off the post as well. 

Raquel continues her solid half in the net as neither team can break the seal. We are scoreless heading into the halftime break. 

Second half scoring fest

In the second half Kelsey Wessel begins the attack by inching close to the zone and lobs that ball over Shiffer’s head and it just goes into the net to give her team a 1-0 lead. 

Not long after, Juliana Russo answers for Central by scoring a goal and we’re tied up at 1.

Raquel has done so much saving but now she’s scoring for the Dogs. This one puts North back in front 2-1. 

So who is the new goalie for North? It’s freshman Rugie Stackevicius who comes out of the net and pushes the ball out of sight to maintain the lead.

Wessel stays in scoring mode and catches the goalie off guard to extend the North lead to 3-1. 

Russo has a penalty shot opportunity and she gets it to cut the deficit to one goal going into the fourth. 3-2 Huskies.

Kelsey Wessel also has that same penalty shot chance and she hits it to add on to her three goal game and expand the lead.

Central will not just give up as Allie Guccione scores and the Redhawks now trail 4-3.

Redhawks now have a shot to tie it up later in the fourth but again Stackevicius denies the equalizer. 

Caroline Pendlay sinks Naperville Central

Caroline Pendlay is waiting for a target to open and uses all her might to score. That one is your dagger and the two-time defending State champs Naperville North takes home another sectional title after a 5-3 win over Naperville Central. The Huskies are heading back to the State series where they will face Mother McAuley in the quarterfinals.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!