Late Rallies Come Up Short in Two-Goal Losses to Hartwick, Princeton
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MGOBLUE Ali Thomason
MGOBLUE
Ali Thomason
MGOBLUE

Feb. 16, 2014

Site: Lewisburg, Pa. (Kinney Natatorium)
Event: Bison Invitational (Day 2)
Score: #20 Hartwick 12, #20 Michigan 10 (OT); #8 Princeton 8, #20 Michigan 6
Records: U-M (2-9), Hartwick (7-5), Princeton (7-0)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 22 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 7 p.m.

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The No. 20-ranked University of Michigan water polo team lost closely contested decisions to a pair of CWPA rivals, falling to fellow No. 20 Hartwick, 12-10, in overtime and No. 8 Princeton, 8-6, on the second and final day of competition at the Bison Invitational on Sunday (Feb. 16) at Kinney Natatorium.

Senior Kelsey Nolan (San Jose, Calif./Leland HS) posted four goals on the day, including a hat trick -- her second of the season -- in the first slate against Hartwick. Sophomore Ali Thomason (San Rafael, Calif./Marin Catholic HS), senior Audrey Pratt (Burlingame, Calif./Burlingame HS) and freshman Allison Skaggs (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS) also tallied at least one goal in each game; Thomason boasted two goals and three steals in the Princeton slate.

Freshman goalkeeper Emily Browning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS) played the entirety of both games in the Wolverine net, earning a combined 14 saves, including her tournament high with eight in the finale against Princeton.

Michigan scored four goals in the final quarter against the Tigers, including three goals off 6-on-5 opportunities but could not overcome the late deficit. Princeton also took advantage of power-play scenarios with goals early and midway through the final frame.

Pratt put the Wolverines on the board first midway through the first quarter, before Princeton pulled away with four straight goals -- two in the first and two in the second. Thomason responded quickly to the fourth, however, to pull U-M within two goals at the halftime intermission. She scored again seconds into the final quarter to again pull Michigan within two, but the Tigers kept pace to maintain their lead.

The Wolverines battled back to force overtime against Hartwick in the morning contest, scoring the game-tying goal with on sophomore Presley Pender's (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) rocket with just two ticks remaining in regulation, but the Hawks tallied the only goals in extra time with one in each overtime frame.

Michigan led just once in the contest after first-quarter goals from sophomore Kelly Martin (Orlando, Fla./Winter Park HS) and Pratt, but the Hawks took advantage of a pair of late U-M exclusions to score twice in the final 90 seconds of the frame and steal the lead. They maintained the narrow one-goal advantage through each of the next two quarters.

Pender scored twice in the fourth quarter, first evening the score at nine apiece midway through the period, before Hartwick retook the lead on a 6-on-5 opportunity just moments later. She netted the last-second tally -- the second time in her career she has forced overtime in the waning seconds -- with a hard shot inside the box.

The Wolverines will head to Bloomington, Ind., for their second of three scheduled regular-season meetings against rival Indiana next Saturday (Feb. 22). The CWPA division game is slated for a 7 p.m. start at the Hoosiers' Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center.




GAME SUMMARIES

By Period 1 2 3 4 OT OT F
Michigan (2-8)
2
4
2
2
0
0
10
Hartwick (7-5)
3
4
2
1
1
1
12
U-M Goals: Kelsey Nolan 3, Kelly Martin 2, Presley Pender 2, Audrey Pratt, Allison Skaggs, Ali Thomason
Hartwick Goals: Sami Capparelli 3, Jemma Dendy Young 2, Cayley Tonkin 2, Katie Ermakova 2, Ricci Ferigo, Devon Boyle, Lara Dendy Young
U-M Saves: 6 (Emily Browning)
Hartwick Saves: 13 (Michaela Davies)

By Period 1 2 3 4 F
Michigan (2-9)
1
1
0
4
6
Princeton (7-0)
2
2
1
3
8
U-M Goals: Ali Thomason 2, Audrey Pratt, Kelsey Nolan, Allison Skaggs, Danielle Robinson
Princeton Goals: Katie Rigler 4, Jessie Holechek 2, Morgan Hallock, Ashley Hatcher
U-M Saves: 8 (Emily Browning)
Princeton Saves:9 (Ashleigh Johnson)


Michigan Head Coach Matt Anderson
On today's games ... "As a coach, I'm extremely unhappy that we lost. But when you get to overtime, it truly can go either way. It's a bad call here, a lucky shot there, so you can't put too much on it. We played better against Princeton than we did against Hartwick. That's what we need to go since everyone is chasing Princeton. Does it give the girls confidence? If you compare it to where we were two weeks ago, it should. But we have to get better, because other teams are getting better. We will get better if we maintain the focus that we have shown since we were taught a lesson out in California. We are further along this year than you would have expected us to be based on our early-season results. We're not happy that we lost, but we're close -- with an overtime game, a barnburner and a nice victory last night against the preseason MAAC favorite. That was a good one that will impact NCAA seeding if we were both to make it."

On the Wolverines' continued improvement ... "I felt like we got better game to game. Against UC San Diego, we did not come out and control the ball in the first quarter. We had seven turnovers in a row, and they really capitalized. We had some prep time to work without Bryce Beckwith and Hathaway Moore, and it allowed us to get a lot more solid on our lineup and work as a group. From the first period against UC San Diego to the second, we got better every period after that. So, that was good to see."

On the preparation for rival Indiana ... "Without having started our game plan yet, we just need to play better than we did the first time. We know we play them again at the end of March and chances are we'll play them again one more time, so we're not looking to play a perfect game next weekend. But we're sure looking to play a heck of a lot better game. If we do that, then we're capable of winning."

Contact: Leah Howard (lchoward@umich.edu)

   

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