NA Water Polo Sweeps McDowell In Final Home Meet
The North Allegheny water polo team continued its strong play on the season with a doubleheader sweep of the McDowell Trojans on Tuesday night. The NA Boys began the evening with an 11-8 win and the Lady Tigers earned an 8-5 triumph in the nightcap.
In the opener, the NA Boys held a 5-4 lead at the half and gained control of the contest with a big third quarter. The Tigers outscored the Trojans 4-1 in the period, increasing the advantage to 9-5. The lead grew to 10-5 when sophomore Ben Gavran scored his sixth of the season with 2:51 remaining the fourth quarter, but a late McDowell charge trimmed the NA advantage to 10-8 with 21 seconds to play. Despite the late flurry by the Trojans, North Allegheny put the game on ice on a goal by senior captain David Lomakin with two seconds on the clock to cap an 11-8 victory. Lomakin finished with three goals on the night, increasing his team-leading total to 40 on the season, and was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
Adding to the NA goal total were junior Ethan Berty, sophomore Keller Sens and senior Tyler Tieppo with two goals apiece. Sophomore Asher Jones also chipped in with a goal, his eighth of the year. Sophomore Sean McClellan set goal with a team-leading three assists and Sens paced the defense with a team-leading three steals. In net, the tandem of Eliot Maravich and Justin Morrison combined for nine saves in the win. McDowell was paced by junior Owen Hardner, who tallied five goals in a losing effort.
Following an overtime loss in sudden death to McDowell on Saturday, the Lady Tigers were eager for a chance at redemption and took a 2-1 lead into halftime thanks to goals from juniors Anna Kegel and Emily Donnelly. At the 3:47 mark of the third quarter, freshman Grace Tirak tied the game at 2-2 with her second of four goals on the night for the Trojans.
However, after a low-scoring first half, North Allegheny opened the floodgates by scoring the next five goals to grab a 7-2 lead by the 6:46 mark of the fourth quarter. The NA run was powered by Donnelly with two more goals for a hat trick, and sophomore Rebecca Melanson with all three of her goals coming during the 5-0 spurt. For her efforts, Melanson was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
McDowell fought back with three goals in a 90 second span in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late as the Tigers hung on for an 8-5 win. Senior captain Emma Halle netted a goal for NA in the final stanza to increase her team-leading total to 34 on the season. Halle, Melanson and Marissa Dorman all hauled in three steals each to pace the defense. Kegel also set up numerous goals with a team-leading four assists on the night. In net, junior Hannah Ziegler earned the win with 12 saves and continued strong play in between the pipes.
With sweep, the North Allegheny boys’ team improves to 7-1 on the season and the Lady Tigers jump to 5-4 on the campaign. NA will visit Wilson for a final tune-up before the Western Conference Round Robin begins next week.