Boys water polo defeats rival Naperville Central in an exciting comeback match

There’s no better feeling than a comeback. The excitement of parents and fans watching, the opposing side’s coach shouting in frustration and the tangible momentum of the team playing the game. The Naperville North High School boys water polo team experienced this in their Crosstown Classic match on April 6. Though the first half started rough, they finished with a dominating score of 13-4. 

With a hard start, the team displayed that hard work pays off. The first goal was scored four minutes into the game by sophomore Mason Hofmann. Throughout the half, the Huskies strong defense clashed with the Redhawks pugnacious offense. Hofmann explains how he prepared for today’s game. 

“After spring break, we worked really hard. In the past week leading up to this game, we worked a lot on our defense. So I think that really showed today by only giving up four goals,” Hofmann said. 

After finishing the first half 3-3, the Huskies took over in the second half, ending the third quarter 8-3. The comeback showed the team’s ability to work together to achieve success. Senior Jason Xu shares what the team discussed during halftime and what ultimately carried their offense in the second half.

“We were saying that we’re playing really well on defense and we just had to continue that but we switched our offense a little bit and that seemed to work and get in their heads,” Xu said.

The Crosstown Classic is one of the biggest games of the season for every sport. Every athlete and coach wants to go in with a strong mindset to perform well and hopefully leave with a win. Head Coach Kelly Reif explains the anticipation when entering a high stakes game and how the team prepared. 

“The players are always really nervous and really hyped up for the game, so it’s really hard to get them to settle down. In the first half, I think we were a little tentative and tight. We settled down and I am really proud of how they played in the second half,” Reif said.

The team hopes to use the momentum they gained from this exciting win in their next matchup this weekend. The Huskies jump into the pool once more on Saturday, April 8. They will face St. Charles North at NNHS starting at 10:30 a.m.