No. 13 University of Michigan Upends Notre Dame College, 10-4, & No. 12 Indiana University, 10-7, to Reach CWPA Western Division Championship Game
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Stifling defense led to a fiery offense as the 13th-ranked University of Michigan water polo team used a pair of wins to advance to the final round of the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Western Division Championship at Indiana University's Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center. The No. 3 seed Wolverines defeated No. 6 seed Notre Dame (Ohio), 20-4, in the opening round before knocking off championship host and No. 2 seed Indiana, 10-7.
Four players recorded hat tricks, but it was Kelsey Nolan's (San Jose, Calif./Leland) second-half offense against IU that propelled the Maize and Blue to the final round to face 19th-ranked Hartwick College at noon on Sunday, April 15.
Nolan scored six goals on the day, including five against No. 12-ranked Indiana in the semifinal game. Audrey Pratt (Burlingame, Calif./Burlingame), Meagan Cobb (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) and Laura Milstead (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa) each added hat tricks to power U-M's attack in the first game against NDC.
Alex Adamson (Coronado, Calif./Coronado) and Morgan Turner (Mission Viejo, Calif./Trabuco Hills) split the starts in the cage. Adamson was credited with the win against Notre Dame (Ohio), registering six stops, and Turner recorded six blocks to hold off Indiana for the victory.
Against Indiana, Michigan trailed 6-3, calling a timeout with 3:02 remaining in the third quarter. After the timeout, the Wolverines overwhelmed Indiana with six unanswered scores. Michigan scored three consecutive goals on that many attempts.
Nolan accounted for four goals during the 6-0 run, including two in both the third and fourth quarters. She knotted the score at six with 44 seconds left in the third and gave U-M its first lead of the contest, 7-6, at the 7:47 mark in the fourth.
Nolan and Milstead added a score, with Lauren Colton (Tustin, Calif./Tesoro) ripping a backhand to help Michigan close out the game, 3-1, on the Hoosiers.
In the first-round match-up against No. 6 seed Notre Dame (Ohio), 11 players found the back of the net. Pratt recorded four goals, two steals, two drawn kickouts and an assist to guide Michigan to a season-high 20 goals.
Michigan scored 13 markers before surrendering a goal in the third quarter, leading the Falcons 11-0 at the break. U-M's defense was coupled with 18 steals and nine drawn kickouts. The Wolverines scored five from the power play and several goals via the counterattack.
Meagan Cobb (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) and Laura Milstead (Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa) tallied three goals, with Sophie Hoegh (Miami, Fla./Ransom Everglades) registering a team-best three steals.
In the third quarter, Michigan maintained control with a 13-1 advantage (2:41) before tacking on four goals with less than three minutes left in the frame. Milstead and Hoegh each scored two goals to smother NDC's score at the 1:13 mark, giving Michigan a 17-2 lead at the start of the fourth. The Wolverines stayed aggressive on defensive and outscored NDC, 3-2, courtesy of a pair of goals from Pratt to close out the game.
Next, Michigan will meet No. 4 seed Hartwick in the championship game on Sunday, April 15 at noon inside the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington, Ind.
Release courtesy Michigan Athletic Communications