Narrow Triumph Over Naperville

The Varsity Boys’ Water Polo Team showed character and grit in tight win over Naperville Central on April 9


Going into their first Saturday matchup against Naperville Central, Stevenson’s boys’ varsity water polo team had earned a 9-6 record. Unable to continue the unbeaten run of the previous season, in which they won the team’s second state title, the team has had a season of mixed results. As of today, the team now stands with an 12-6 record.

The first quarter started fast with Naperville opening the scoring, going up 1-0 off a good team move. However, a steal from Stevenson captain Angelos Koutsogeorgas ’22 fed to whole set Olin Kusevskis ’24 to level the game. Kusevskis scored again moments later to give the lead to the Pats, and the score stayed level for several minutes despite a lot of end-to-end action. Late in the quarter, Naperville put away two quick goals to give themselves a 3-2 lead. 

The second quarter kicked off to a good start for the Patriots. Daniel Li ’23 came off the bench to provide a strong pass for Kusevskis, who instantly drew a five meter penalty. Sully Swanson ’22 scored from the five meters line to tie the game. From there, the quarter sped up and the intensity increased. Kusevskis was kicked out for the second time, putting him close to foul trouble, and Naperville scored from the man up advantage. This was Stevenson’s second conceded goal from a man down situation. On the other end, the Pats drew a man up, from which Koutsogeorgas scored. 

Back at their net, an ejection nearly cost the Patriots a goal, but a strong save from goalkeeper Mark Younan ’22 kept the score even. To end the quarter, Naperville scored a fantastic goal from distance, which appeared to ricochet off a green cap to find itself in the back of the net. The Patriots did not back down, Max Lapointe ’23 worked up his own shot from distance to tie the game. Neither team managed to take a lead into the break, ending the first half 6-6

The third quarter began quickly, with Naperville winning the ball from the swim off and immediately putting pressure on the Patriot defense. A great save from the substituted goalkeeper Armaan Gill ’24 and a pass immediately after fed a counter in which Andrew Mossman ’23 got close to goal. Another ejection for Naperville, and Koutsogeorgas found himself right in front of goal with the ball, scoring without missing a beat. After a costly turnover, Napeville nearly pulled one back but was stopped by a recovery foul. However, Stevenson did concede another ejection. A timeout call from Naperville on that man up play gave both teams a chance to regroup with their coaches.

Coach Wimer meets with his team during a break. Wimer frequently deployed subs at various breaks in the game, having different lines of players that could play together, a very successful tactics in recent years.

Naperville came off the timeout stronger and scored on the man up. However, there was a response from the home team. In a great move, Jack Osmond ’23 found himself with the ball from midrange, and his shot skimmed the surface of the water before nesting itself in the back of the net. Naperville took the ball back to the Pats’ net, and some calamitous defending saw the ball clatter around the defense and end up in the back of the net. Kunal Rajadhyax ’23 passed to Angelos at close range, who powered it away to restore the team’s two goal lead. The quarter ended 10-8. 

The Pats started the fourth quarter right where they left off, with Kusevskis scoring again. Naperville called another timeout, and after attempting a time out play, their effort clammered against the crossbar. After another green and gold ejection, Naperville scored another goal. The Patriots worked their way up the pool, with a solid effort from Lapointe hitting the post. Luckily, Kusevskis did not let it go to waste and tapped in the rebound. Confident, and up 12-9 with only 4 minutes to go, the plan was working for Stevenson. 

Naperville hit the post again; between Gill and the woodwork, they were struggling to get that crucial goal. Trying again, a good effort from Naperville was blocked by Gill and out on a two meter. Gill then made a terrific stop off a shot from the pass in to keep the opposition out. A clash between two players then led to a double ejection, leaving both teams with six men in the pool. Coach Wimer called on his team to slow it down since at that point, all they had to do was run out the clock. With only  23 seconds to go, Naperville scored a consolation goal, leaving Stevenson up by two. The game ended 12-10.  

Stevenson defends on a Central attack. “Offense wins games, defense wins championships” is a favorite line around the team.



The day that their head coach, Sean Wimer, was inducted into the Stevenson Sports Hall of Fame, the team gave him the perfect gift: an important win against tough competition. 

Both teams were hurt by the man down situations they created. They struggled to protect their net when their defense was down a man. Many of the game’s goals came from man up situations. Stevenson held on, trusted their defense, and pulled out a win. 

Despite trailing multiple times through the game, they never let the game get away from them, their fight being the reason they were able to pull ahead in the third quarter. They edged out the opposition through their (mostly) tight defending and by countering from defense. A deserved win for Wimer and his squad, albeit a little close for comfort.