U-M Beats No. 16 San Diego State to Complete Perfect Weekend
Presley Pender

March 9, 2014

Site: Cambridge, Mass. (Blodgett Pool)
Event: Harvard Invitational (Day 2 of 2)
Result: #20 Michigan 9, #16 San Diego State 7
Records: U-M (10-10), SDSU (10-7)
Next U-M Event: Sat-Sun., March 15-16 -- host Wolverine Invitational (Canham Natatorium)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The No. 20-ranked University of Michigan water polo team rallied to a 9-7 decision over No. 16 San Diego State on Sunday afternoon (March 9) at Blodgett Pool to complete its perfect weekend at the Harvard Invitational. With the victory, the Wolverines extended their win streak to seven straight games.

Sophomore Presley Pender (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) posted a hat trick -- her second of the weekend -- to headline the Wolverine offense. With the Aztecs threatening a fourth-quarter rally, Pender scored midway through the frame to maintain U-M's two-goal cushion. Sophomore Ali Thomason (San Rafael, Calif./Marin Catholic HS) also posted a multi-goal effort with tallies in the first and third quarters.

Freshman goalkeeper Emily Browning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS) played the complete game for Michigan, earning seven saves while collecting her 10th win of the season.

The Wolverines narrowly trailed, 3-2, after the first quarter. After SDSU struck first, Michigan responded with back-to-back goals from Thomason -- on a 6-on-5 opportunity -- and freshman Allison Skaggs (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS) midway through the frame. The Aztecs stole back the lead with two goals late in the frame.

Michigan surged ahead in the second quarter, retaking its lead midway through the frame on a cross-cage lob shot from Pender following a rebound off the post. Junior Elizabeth Williams (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad HS) padded U-M's halftime lead to two goals, 5-3, on an outside shot with two minutes left in the quarter.

The Aztecs scored early in the third quarter, but U-M responded with two tallies of its own, scoring on a backhand shot through the double team from senior Kelsey Nolan (San Jose, Calif./Leland HS) and a Pender five-meter penalty. After SDSU added another goal late, Thomason converted on another 6-on-5 opportunity in the final minute.

SDSU cut the Wolverines' lead to one with two goals early in the fourth quarter, but Pender completed her hat trick moments later to keep pace, scoring on a lob shot midway through the period.

Michigan (10-10) will host its annual Wolverine Invitational next weekend (Saturday and Sunday, March 15-16) at Canham Natatorium. U-M will face Gannon, Notre Dame, Pacific, Siena and Fresno Pacific.


By Period 1 2 3 4 F
Michigan 2 3 3 1 9
San Diego State 3 0 2 2 7

U-M Goals: Presley Pender 3, Ali Thomason 2, Allison Skaggs, Audrey Pratt, Elizabeth Williams, Kelsey Nolan
Saves: U-M 7 (Emily Browning)


• The Wolverines improved to 6-13 in the all-time series against San Diego State. U-M halted a two-game SDSU win streak in the series.

• Michigan's seven-game winning streak is its longest since posting 10 consecutive wins last season.

• Senior Kelsey Nolan extended her scoring streak to 12 straight games. She has scored at least one goal in 18 of the Wolverines' 20 games this season.

• Sophomore Presley Pender has posted hat tricks in each of the last two games and multi-goal efforts in each of the last seven.

• Ten different Wolverine players tallied at least one goal at the Harvard Invitational.

• Princeton was the only other team to post a perfect record at the Harvard Invitational.


Michigan Head Coach Matt Anderson
On the weekend sweep ... "It was a great way to end a very successful spring-break trip, with a very solid 3-0 weekend. Allison Skaggs has definitely stepped up her game as well as Presley Pender, who had a very strong tournament. Heidi Moreland really stepped up defensively, and I thought Emily Browning played well and put us in a position to win. Having Hathaway Moore back has really allowed other players to get back into their natural roles, like Kelsey Nolan and Ali Thomason.

"So, all in all, it was a very successful trip -- first to Montreal to get some outstanding training in with some of the best players in the world. That definitely helped us, and I think it showed this weekend. So, now we'll shift our focus to the Wolverine Invite, and we'll focus on continuing to get better. I'm pleased with our freshmen and sophomores, who are definitely starting to play with more experience. That's a great thing as we move past the midpoint of our season."

Contact: Leah Howard