Two close wins keep EHS water polo on top

Four more wins, including a last-second 8-7 victory over Puyallup, kept the Enumclaw High girls water polo team’s record unblemished and pushed the Hornets to the top of the league standings.

At press time, the Hornets’ Friday opponent Auburn Mountainview is also undefeated in league play, setting up a battle that will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Enumclaw Aquatic Center.

The Hornets opened with a league win March 17 over Auburn. The Trojans jumped to an early 2-1 lead after center Lauren Sleezer scored two goals in the first three minutes of the game, but the Hornets responded with a double-team defense at center and an aggressive fast break offense.

EHS seniors Kelsey Brazier and Liz Schmidt scored consecutive fast-break goals to put the Hornets ahead 3-2 with three minutes remaining in the opening quarter and the Hornets never looked back, winning 16-5.

Schmidt finished the game with four goals and Kaitlyn Korsch and Erin Stucker added three goals apiece. Lindsay Bowden scored two and Amber Morris, Breanna and Brooke Flaquinti and Kelsey Brazier each added one.

Goalkeeper Shaye Hogerhuis had 17 saves for Enumclaw. Bowden and Stucker each tallied five assists. Bowden also posted five steals, while Stucker and Morris each stole four.

Against Puyallup March 18, the Hornets started poorly and fell behind 4-0 until Kelsey Brazier scored two minutes into the second quarter.

“We had a tough first quarter; Puyallup came out strong, and we struggled at first, but the girls showed real toughness,” coach Bob Averill said.

Both teams played stingy defense through the second quarter and Puyallup entered halftime with a 4-1 lead. Enumclaw roared back in the third period, scoring four goals – three by senior captain Korsch – while holding the Vikings to a single score.

With the score tied at five entering the final period, the teams traded goals until Korsch put the Hornets ahead 7-6 with 56 seconds remaining. Puyallup took control of the ball and called its final timeout with 33 seconds remaining. After passing the ball around, Viking Jordan Brain scored with 13 seconds remaining to tie the game at seven.

It was the Hornets turn to find a heroine and it came in Breanna Flaquinti. The Hornets called time out to set up the ball in the frontcourt. The Viking defense denied the pass to center, but Flaquinti got open at the perimeter and scored from seven meters with one second on the clock for the 8-7 win.

Friday, the Hornets scored an 8-3 victory over a young Bonney Lake team.

Scoring for the Hornets were Korsch and Bowden, with two goals each, and Schmidt, Ali Ballard, Kelsey Sonneson and Alexis Firlotte. Hogerhuis collected nine saves in goal and added two assists on the offensive side. Alina Van Ruff and Bowden added two assists each and Annie Birklid and Korsch each had one. Bowden grabbed four steals, while Ballard had three, and Firlotte stole two. For Bonney Lake, Courtney Fisher scored two goals, and Alex Ellis scored one.

Saturday, the Hornets won a narrow 6-5 game with Wilson.

Wilson scored first, in the first minute of the opening quarter. The Hornet defense then held Wilson scoreless for the next 14 minutes, until the Rams earned their second score, nearly two minutes into the third quarter, to cut the Hornets’ lead to 3-2. Both teams scored again in the third period and entered the fourth frame with Enumclaw holding a narrow 4-3 lead.

The Hornets extended their lead with two goals in the first two minutes of the final period, by Korsch and Stucker. Wilson chipped away at the lead, scoring two more in the final five minutes, but Enumclaw held on for the 6-5 win.

Scoring for the Hornets in the victory were Bowden with two goals, and Korsch, Sonneson, Stucker and Morris with one goal each. Bowden also had nine steals, while Morris stole six. Hogerhuis had 10 saves in the goal for Enumclaw.

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