Wolverines Rally Past No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, Rout Azusa Pacific
Kelsey Nolan

Feb. 28, 2014

Site: Thousand Oaks, Calif. (Samuelson Aquatics Center)
Event: Cal Lutheran Invitational (Day 1 of 2)
Score: #20 Michigan 11, #15 UC Santa Barbara 10 (OT); #20 Michigan 14, Azusa Pacific 8
Records: U-M (5-10), UCSB (5-11), APU (6-7)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 1 -- vs. Whittier - Cal Lutheran Invitational (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 1 p.m. PST

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The No. 20-ranked University of Michigan water polo team opened the Cal Lutheran Invitational with back-to-back wins, rallying to defeat No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, 11-10, in overtime before cruising past Azusa Pacific, 14-8, on Friday afternoon (Feb. 28) at the Samuelson Aquatics Center.

Senior Kelsey Nolan (San Jose, Calif./Leland HS), freshman Allison Skaggs (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS) and sophomore Presley Pender (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) all posted multiple goals in both contests. Nolan and Skaggs boasted a pair of hat tricks -- Nolan tallied a season-best four goals in the opener against Gauchos -- while Pender netted two goals in each game.

All three Wolverine goalkeepers contributed to the day-one sweep. Freshman Emily Browning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS) earned five saves in a complete-game effort against UCSB, while sophomores Julia Campbell (Naperville, Ill./Central HS) and Hayden Green (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) posted five stops apiece in a combined effort against Azusa Pacific.

The Wolverines rallied from a four-goal deficit to defeat UC Santa Barbara in overtime. The two teams traded goals in the first overtime frame, before senior Audrey Pratt (Burlingame, Calif./Burlingame HS) scored the lone goal of the second, taking a pass from Pender and flicking a backhand into the lower corner with just 1:21 remaining.

UCSB took advantage of a couple 6-on-5 opportunities to jump out to a sizable 5-1 advantage late in the second quarter, before the Wolverines scored twice with just two minutes remaining in the frame, converting on a last-second 6-on-5 chance of their own to cut the deficit to two goals at halftime.

Michigan exploded for four goals in the third quarter, twice evening the score in the frame, before the Gauchos responded with two early goals in the fourth to reestablish their two-goal cushion. Kelsey Nolan completed her hat trick on a backhand shot at the quarter's midpoint, pulling U-M within one, and capitalized on a 6-on-5 opportunity to knot up the game with a cross-cage shot two minutes later. Browning stopped a five-meter penalty late to preserve the tied game.

The Gauchos scored first on a 6-on-5 early in the overtime, but Pender again evened the score just seconds later, netting an outside shot to the high left corner to set up Pratt's game-winner in the second-overtime frame.

U-M rolled in its second slate against Azusa Pacific, jumping out to a big halftime lead with four goals in the first quarter and seven in the second. Nine different Wolverine players scored goals. Kelsey Nolan netted the game's first two markers -- and added another in the second -- to extend her scoring streak to seven games and earn her fourth hat trick of the season.

Pender also scored two goals in the first quarter -- both in the final minute of the frame -- while Skaggs netted two in the second and one in the third to secure her second hat trick of the day -- and in her career.

The Wolverines will wrap up play at the Cal Lutheran Invitational tomorrow (Saturday, March 1), facing Whittier at 1 p.m. PST before closing out the tournament against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 2:15 p.m. at the Samuelson Aquatics Center. CMS and Whittier are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in NCAA Division III, respectively.


By Period 1 2 3 4 OT OT F
Michigan (4-10)
UC Santa Barbara (5-11)
U-M Goals: Kelsey Nolan 4, Allison Skaggs 3, Presley Pender 2, Hathaway Moore, Audrey Pratt
UCSB Goals: Jessie Porter 3, Lauren Martin 2, Carly Christan 2, Bryn Hudson, Samantha Murphy, Taylor Shore
U-M Saves: 5 (Emily Browning)
UCSB Saves: 9 (Mackenzie Brokaw)

By Period 1 2 3 4 F
Michigan (5-10)
Azusa Pacific (6-7)
U-M Goals: Kelsey Nolan 3, Allison Skaggs 3, Presley Pender 2, Barbara Lanier, Ali Thomason, Heidi Moreland, Elizabeth Williams, Kelly Martin, Audrey Pratt
APU Goals: Alynn Reade 4, Megan Myers 2, Alyssa Hess 2, Angelina Castaneda
Saves: U-M 10 (Julia Campbell 5, Hayden Green 5), APU 10 (Jessica Armagost 4, Katie Margot 6)


Michigan Head Coach Matt Anderson
On the team comeback and win ... "As I told the ladies, we did something that we hadn't done all year -- we battled back. We were down 5-1 in the second period, and we just kept plugging away. Three of our last four games have been against teams ranked ahead of us, so we're doing a nice job of getting better. Today our veterans really took over -- Kelsey Nolan, Audrey Pratt, Presley Pender. Having Hathaway [Moore] back is wonderful. She brings an element to our game that we had been missing. Obviously, [Allison] Skaggs played a really great game. So, even down 5-1, I felt like it was a very winnable game, which is different than earlier in the season. It's a big deal that we battled back and defeated very good team."

On executing the game plan ... "We played better as a team in this game. I'm pleased that people are better understanding where they fit in the team structure. We played a group that was working well together. Our sophomores, juniors and seniors really focused on the game plan. It allowed [Allison] Skaggs to do her thing, because we weren't asking her to lead the team. We just wanted her to be a part of the team, and she scored three goals."

On Emily Browning's play against UC Santa Barbara ... "She had another solid game. She had a couple nice 6-on-5 saves. She's coming along well. With her performance, she played well enough for us to win. That's all you ask out of a goalie. She gave us a chance to win."

Contact: Leah Howard (lchoward@umich.edu)