With an 8-18 record entering the sectional tournament, the Brother Rice water polo team needed something drastic to happen if it was going to win the Stagg sectional.
So the coaching staff decided a new offensive system was in order, and it was exactly what the team needed.
The Crusaders will be one of eight teams competing for the state championship after a memorable sectional week that included wins over the top two seeds. Brother Rice, seeded fourth, topped Curie by one goal in the semifinals and held off second-seeded Stagg 12-10 to win the crown at Lincoln-Way Central on May 17.
“We changed a lot of stuff the last week and came together the last two nights. We put everything on the table. We told the kids if they wanted to take it to the next level, we needed to play our game and not the opponent’s game. They did everything we asked them to do,” said Brother Rice Coach Tony Cichowicz. “We realized what we were doing wasn’t working, so we changed it up. Everything worked like it was supposed to this week.”
Matt Bachler (four goals), Dan Birmingham (three goals), Luke Healy (two goals), Brennan Russell (goal), Peter Gurka (goal) and Kevin Kenny (11 saves) were the standouts for Brother Rice.