2012 Western Division champions
April 15, 2012
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center)
Event: CWPA Western Division Championship Final
Score: #13 Michigan 7, #19 Hartwick 6
Records: Michigan (21-11), Hartwick (25-11)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun., April 27-29 -- at CWPA Eastern Championship (Providence, R.I.)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Kiki Golden (Danville, Calif./Danville) scored with 3:55 left in the fourth to give the No. 13-ranked University of Michigan water polo team the edge to defeat No. 19 Hartwick, 7-6, and win its 11th consecutive CWPA division title on Sunday (April 15) in Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.
Golden led all players with a hat trick from four goals on the day while tallying a team-high three steals. Kelsey Nolan (San Jose, Calif./Leland) recorded four assists, which included the assist to Golden for the deciding goal.
In a game that featured four ties and two lead changes, the No. 3 seed Wolverines trailed the No. 4 seed Hawks, 6-5, with 6:33 remaining in the game. For the second straight game, Nolan evened the score to give Michigan a chance. Her goal with 5:36 left tied the board at 6-all.
Hartwick threatened to regain the lead on its next possession, but Alex Adamson (Coronado, Calif./Coronado) sprawled to block a skip shot at the left lower corner. She finished with eight blocks on the day to complement two assists and helped U-M's defense manufacture 12 steals and two field blocks.
On the ensuing counter and after a Hartwick ejection with 4:14 left, U-M capitalized on the 6-on-5 power play when Nolan aired a pass into Golden on the breakaway. Golden lunged out of the water and found room to skip in the shot from the air, just tipping the ball in the direction of the cage to help U-M retake the lead for good.
The Wolverines stopped the Hawks on their last two possessions, including an opportunity with seven seconds remaining. From the middle, Michigan forced Hartwick to commit a long pass to the right corner and out of range for a final strike to secure the lead.
Cobb opened the scoring in the first quarter (6:52). Hartwick tied things up at one until two goals from Golden, at the 4:30 and 2:02 marks, gave the Wolverines a 3-1 edge at the end of the first frame.
After a 3-2 halftime score in favor of Michigan, the Hawks tied it at three with 6:14 on the clock in the third. However, Pratt's goal at 5:50 pushed U-M back in front, 4-3.
Two possessions later, the Hawks called a timeout (4:02) and used the break to answer with a score, drawing the game even at four with 3:48 left. To close out the period, Golden completed the hat trick with 32 seconds left. U-M led, 5-4, at the start of the final frame and after the game was knotted up twice, Michigan's third power-play goal secured the victory.
Next, Michigan will be of 13 teams to compete at the CWPA Eastern Championship beginning Friday, April 27, and concluding Sunday, April 29, in Providence, R.I.
Hartwick Goals: Jemma Dendy Young, Kamila Zakirova 2, Lisa Bass, Lily Martinez, Sasha Freeborn
Saves: U-M 8 (Alex Adamson), Hartwick 10 (Haley Cox)
Ejections: U-M 6, Hartwick 8
N O T E S
Michigan has won 11 consecutive CWPA division crowns (2002-12), including nine Western Division titles. The postseason divisional tournament returned this year after a one-year hiatus. Last year, Michigan was named the 2011 Western Division champion based on its regular-season record. Michigan had won the previous seven CWPA Western Division tournament championships and a pair of Southern Division tournament crowns before that.
U-M is now 15-4 all-time vs. Hartwick and 2-0 against the Hawks this year, including a 10-9 overtime win on March 11.
Michigan is 5-10 against ranked opponents this season after defeating the 19th-ranked Hartwick Hawks.
With the win, Alex Adamson is now 14-9 this season with 53 career wins in the cage for second all-time in school history.
Kiki Golden registered four goals and now has seven hat tricks this season.
Michigan held a 3-2 lead at the half and moved to 16-1 in games it led at the break.
Meagan Cobb tallied one point (a goal) and is now 16 points shy of 200 in her career.
Contact: Zena Lewis (734) 763-4423