Hoosiers Happy: No. 12 Indiana University Edges No. 9 Princeton University, 11-10, to Claim 2014 Collegiate Water Polo Association Championship

2014 CWPA Champions - Indiana University
2014 CWPA Champions - Indiana University

2014 Collegiate Water Polo Association Championship Schedule & Results

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The third goal of the game by Shae Fournier (Sr., Winnipeg, Manitoba/Grant Park) bobbed behind Princeton University goalie Ashleigh Johnson (So., Miami, Fla./Ransom Everglads) and barely crossed the plane of the goal line with 1:23 left in the fourth quarter for the deciding factor as No. 12-ranked and top seed Indiana University overcame an early 4-0 deficit to down 2012 & 2013 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Champion/No. 9-ranked/No. 2 seed Princeton University in the title game of the 2014 CWPA Championship at Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium.

The 2014 Western Division Player of the Year and the Player of the Game, Fournier took command of the game in the fourth quarter to turn a 10-9 Tigers' lead with 4:26 left in the final quarter into a one-goal Hoosiers' win by beating Johnson on back-to-back shots at 3:42 and 1:23 with both teams at even strength.

For Indiana, the game appeared destined to be a rout in Princeton's favor as the Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the first 7:09 of play by outshooting the Hoosiers seven-to-three.

Diana Murphy (So., Corona del Mar, Calif./Corona del Mar) broke the ice for Princeton as she beat Indiana goalie Jessica Gaudreault (So., Napean, Ontario/St. Joseph) 17 seconds into the first quarter after a sprint victory by Southern Division Player of the Year Katie Rigler (Sr., Fullerton, Calif./Rosary). Taylor Dunstan (Jr., New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) pushed the lead to 2-0 at 5:05 before Jessie Holechek (Jr., Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach) struck for her team's third goal on four shots as the Tigers continued to terrorize the Indiana defense in taking a 3-0 lead.

Ashley Hatcher (Jr., Miami, Fla./Miami Country Day) shoveled some more dirt on the Hoosiers as she turned and fired home a ball with 51 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 4-0 in favor of Princeton.

However, Indiana climbed back into the game on the back of Meghan Lappan (Sr., North Vancouver, B.C./St. Thomas Aquinas) as she fourth-year player finished a crossing pass from Allison Campbell (Sr., Maple Ridge, B.C./Maple Ridge Secondary/University of Maryland) 15 seconds following Hatcher's apparent gravedigger to move the Hoosiers within 4-1 at the 36 seconds mark.

Lappan struck again with 6:37 left in the second quarter as she dropped off a dime to Rebecca Gerrity (Jr., Marin, Calif./Marin Catholic/University of Maryland) for a quick shot to trim the lead down to 4-2.  Molly McBee (Sr., Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes) extinquished the Hoosiers' hurry-up offensive spurt by finishing a pass from Hatcher at 6:13 to make it 5-2, but Shelby Taylor (Jr., Calgary, Alberta/St. Francis) rifled a shot past Johnson at 5:55 to once again move Indiana within a pair of markers at 5-3.

The teams traded scoring blows over the remaining five-plus minutes of the first half as Rigler roped a power-play blast around the arms of Gaudreault at 4:38 to expand the Tigers' lead to 6-3 before Fournier got on the board for the first time by skipping a successful five-meter penalty shot with 2:29 left to make it 6-4 in favor of Princeton at intermission.

Indiana continued to chip away and annoy the Princeton defense to start the second half as Ellie Stott (Fr., Melbourne, Australia/St. Michael's Grammer/Melbourne University) stuck a try under the left arm of Johnson with 6:43 showing on the clock to inch Indiana within striking distance at 6-5.

McBee countered Stott's score by stuffing a man-up goal over the shoulder of Gaudreault 33 seconds later to return Princeton's lead to a pair at 7-5.

However, the duo of Stott and Lappan proved deadly to Princeton's hopes of joining Slippery Rock University (1988-to-1996) and the University of Michigan (2008-to-2010) as the only squads in CWPA Women's Water Polo history to three-peat as the Hoosiers were heroes with back-to-back goals at 5:00 and 4:20 to drew Indiana even at seven-all.

Princeton regained the lead (8-7) at 2:11 when Holechek found the back of the cage at the 2:11 mark of the quarter on a man-up chance, but Amanda Redfern (Sr., Goleta, Calif./Dos Pueblos) erased the lead with a rising shot for a natural goal with 49 ticks on the clock to make it eight-all entering the fourth quarter.

Following 24:25 of trailing and playing catch-up against Princeton, Indiana went in front for the first time with 7:35 left in regulation as Summer Creighton (Jr., Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) tossed in her lone score of the title tilt. 

Neither team was able to inflict any more damage upon the other until McBee appeared to turn the tide in the game by uncorking a power-play score at the 5:19 mark to bring balance to the the teams and a nine-all tie.

The Tigers appeared poised to deal Indiana a deathblow as Hatcher converted on a man-up opportunity to put Princeton back in front at 10-9, but Fournier proved herself too much to stop in the final 3:42 of play.

Trailing by one with the clock winding down and both teams' anxiety rising quickly, Fournier turned the pressure of the moment into points by netting the equalizer at 3:42.

Tied at 10-all, the championship turned not on a hard shot or a penalty call, but on the waves of the Kinney Natatorium water as Fournier launched a shot that hit the crossbar above Johnson's head and bounced straight down.  The ball died in the water behind Johnson, who reached back and moved the water slightly to permit the yellow-sphere to bob back and forth before crossing the lip of the goal plain for an 11-10 Hoosiers' lead.

Following possessions for both teams, Princeton had one final chance to score and force overtime, but Gaudreault and the Indiana defense stiffened to hold the Tigers in check over the final 15 seconds of their final possession to claim the Hoosiers' first CWPA crown and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament berth since 2011.

Fournier led the way for the Hoosiers, while Lappan and Stott added pairs of goals.  Creighton, Redfern, Taylor and Gerrity each posted solo goals to finish off Indiana's defense, while Gaudreault stopped nine shots to earn the win.

McBee keyed Princeton, with Hatcher and Holecheck both denting the twine twice and the trio of Murphy, Rigler and Dunstan each notching single goals. Johnson joined Gaudreault in finishing with nine saves as the sophomore suffered her first loss in six CWPA Championship games over the past two years to fall to 5-1 all-time in the league postseason.

Now a three-time CWPA Champion, Indiana's last title came at home in Bloomington as the team knocked off the University of Michigan, 5-3, in 2011 after downing Brown University, 7-3, at Harvard University in 2003.  The game marked Indiana's fifth CWPA Championship title appearance as the team fell 7-5 to Michigan at the University of Maryland in 2010 after dropping an 8-7 game to Michigan at home in Bloomington during the 2005 title tilt.

Overall, the game marked the first meeting between Tigers and Hoosiers since a 4-2 Indiana win on Februay 17, 2013 at the Bucknell Invitational.

In the history of the series, Indiana now holds an 11-8 all-time lead, including 7-5 and 4-0 advantages in neutral site and CWPA Championship games.

It marked the first meeting at the CWPA Championship between Indiana and Princeton in five years as the Hoosiers downed Princeton in 2009 (11-6 W at Havard on April 26 in the Fifth Place game), 2003 (5-1 W at Harvard in the Second Round on April 26) and 2002 (11-10 W at Princeton in the Third Place game on April 28) to account for their only meetings since the event began in 1988.

Princeton was making its sixth title game appearance as the Tigers fell to Hartwick College (8-6 L in 2007 at Princeton) and Brown (11-10 L OT SD in 2001 at Brown), while claiming the 2000 (6-4 W vs. University of Massachusetts at Princeton), 2012 (6-5 W vs. Maryland at Brown) and 2013 (6-4 W at Michigan) crowns.  However, a third straight and fourth overall title would have advanced Princeton to only its third National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship Tournament as the organization's championship tournament did not begin until 2001.

Following the conclusion of the tournament, the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) league office announced the 2014 All-Tournament team as student-athletes from seven of the eight competing teams were represented on the squad voted on by the eight (Indiana University, Princeton University, University of Michigan, Hartwick College, Brown University, Bucknell University, Connecticut College) head coaches:

  • Indiana University - Shae Fournier (First Team), Rebecca Gerrity (First Team), Jessica Gaudreault (Second Team) 
  • Princeton University - Katie Rigler (First Team), Ashleigh Johnson (First Team), Jessie Holechek (Second Team), Molly McBee (Second Team) 
  • University of Michigan - Kelsey Nolan (Second Team), Allison Skaggs (Second Team) 
  • Hartwick College - Sami Capparelli (First Team), Jemma Dendy Young (First Team)
  • Brown University - Kate Woods (First Team)
  • Bucknell University - Hannah Sunday (Second Team)
  • Harvard University - Yoshi Andersen (Second Team)

In addition, Fournier was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player and Hoosiers' head coach Barry King earned the Doc Hunkler Coach of the Tournament plaque, while Michigan's Allison Skaggs (Fr., Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro) notched Rookie of the Tournament accolades.

1 2 3 4 -- Final
No. 9 Princeton University
-- 10
No. 12 Indiana University
-- 11

Indiana Goals:  Shae Fournier (3); Meghan Lappan (2); Ellie Stott (2); Summer Creighton; Amanda Redfern; Shelby Taylor; Rebecca Gerrity

Princeton Goals: Molly McBee (3); Ashley Hatcher (2); Jessie Holechek (2); Diana Murphy; Katie Rigler; Taylor Dunstan

Saves: Indiana - Jessica Gaudreault (9) ; Princeton - Ashleigh Johnson (9)

Exclusions: Indiana - 14 ; Princeton - 7

Advantage Opportunities: Indiana - 2-for-7 ; Princeton - 5-for-14

Sprints: Indiana - 2-for-4 (3rd, 4th) ; Princeton - 2-for-4 (1st, 2nd)

Cards: YC - Princeton head coach Luis Nicolao (1:34 left in 2nd) ; YC - Indiana head coach Barry King (6:03 left in 4th quarter)

Officials: Alex Stankevitch, Hadi Farid 

Princeton University's Taylor Dunstan (No. 7) and Jessie Holechek (No. 13) defend against Indiana University

Indiana University's Meghan Lappan

Indiana University's Shelby Taylor looks to shoot

Princeton University's Camille Hooks

The Indiana University bench celebrates the first title in program history since 2011

University of Michigan's Allison Skaggs accepts Rookie of the Tournament honors from Commissioner Dan Sharadin

Indiana University's Shae Fournier accepts Player of the Tournament honors from Commissioner Dan Sharadin

Indiana University - 2014 CWPA Champions

Indiana University - 2014 CWPA Champions

Princeton University - 2014 CWPA Championship Runner-Up

University of Michigan - 2014 CWPA Championship Third Place

Hartwick College - 2014 CWPA Championship Fourth Place

Brown University - 2014 CWPA Championship Fifth Place

Bucknell University - 2014 CWPA Championship Sixth Place

Harvard University - 2014 CWPA Championship Seventh Place

Connecticut College - 2014 CWPA Championship Eighth Place


2014 CWPA Championship All-Tournament Team

 First Team
 Ashleigh Johnson (Goalie)  Princeton University
 Katie Rigler
 Princeton University
 Shae Fournier
 Indiana University
 Rebecca Gerrity
 Indiana University
 Sami Capparelli
 Hartwick College
 Jemma Dendy Young
 Hartwick College
 Kate Woods
 Brown University

Second Team
 Jessica Gaudreault (Goalie)
 Indiana University
 Jessie Holechek
 Princeton University
 Molly McBee
 Princeton University
 Kelsey Nolan
 University of Michigan
 Allison Skaggs
 University of Michigan 
 Yoshi Andersen
 Harvard University
 Hannah Sunday
 Bucknell University

MVP:  Shae Fournier (Indiana University)
Rookie of the Tournament:  Allison Skaggs (University of Michigan)
Doc Hunkler Coach of the Tournament:  Barry King (Indiana University)


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