Averylin Cummins scored three goals and Evanston’s girls water polo team ended years of frustration against archrival New Trier Thursday night.
The Wildkits held off the Trevians for a 10-8 victory in a matchup between two teams ranked in the top six in the state by the website illpolo.com, beating New Trier for the first time since the 2015 season.
Cummins was one of six players to score Thursday as ETHS finally turned the tables on the Trevians. The two teams will meet again Saturday in a quadrangular event at Stevenson that also includes the defending state champion Patriots.
Evanston improved to 10-4-1 on the season and that tie came against undefeated Stevenson. So there’s no doubt that the Wildkits belong in the ranks of the sport’s elite teams this spring.
But beating New Trier was something special. Just ask ETHS head coach Andy Miner.
“We beat them at all three levels, and that’s the first time that’s ever happened,” Miner said. “This is a big win for our program. It’s been a long time coming.
“We’ve been so close for so many years, but I think there was a mental block, maybe connected to the rivalry. The rivalry aside, New Trier is a very good program and they’re hard for anyone to beat. There’s so much history and so many emotions bottled up when we match up with them that sometimes it’s hard to execute in a close game.
“We have a lot of players now in the program who have been playing year-round for years now. You can’t achieve great things [in the sport] if you just show up for the high school season. You need to put in a solid winter – and a solid summer too – and show up ready to play for the high school season. We’ve had a slow trend in that direction, and I don’t think the potential for this group has been realized yet.”
Hilda Arellano and Alex Krepsik backed up Cummins’ performance with two goals apiece, and the Wildkits also counted goals from Ava Santos-Volpe, Aveen Cunningham and Morrigan Bushroe-Stump, combined with a solid performance from sophomore goalie Nina Kaiser.
Krepsik scored an insurance goal with 1 minute, 57 seconds left in the fourth quarter to provide the final margin of victory and neither squad scored after that.