Nine Straight: Wolverines Sink Hoosiers for CWPA Western Division Title

April 24, 2010

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Canham Natatorium)
Event: CWPA Western Division Championship (Finals)
Scores: #7 Michigan 5, #15 Indiana 3
Records: U-M (29-6), Indiana (19-10)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun., April 30-May 2 -- at CWPA Eastern Championship (College Park, Md.)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan water polo team claimed its ninth straight division crown with a 5-3 victory over No. 15-ranked Indiana in the finals of the CWPA Western Division Championship on Saturday (April 24) inside Canham Natatorium.

Freshman Alex Adamson (Coronado, Calif./Coronado) made seven saves while holding IU to three scores in the cage. Freshman Kiki Golden (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) led the defensive charge with four steals and tallied the game-winning goal.

After battling back and forth defensively for the first seven-plus minutes, Michigan broke through on the power play when junior Alison Mantel (Miami, Fla./Gulliver) threaded a pass across the cage to a wide-open Golden for the goal with 37 seconds remaining in the opening period. Adamson kept IU from creating a momentum shift right off the opening sprint of the second period, stoning Nicole Redder on a breakaway. Midway through the second frame, junior Sarah Roberts (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor) charged a ball that was sitting on the goal line for U-M's second goal. Mantel followed with a goal inside the final two minutes to put the Maize and Blue ahead with a commanding 3-0 lead. Indiana scored one late to create a 3-1 halftime score.

Indiana narrowed the lead to 3-2 before U-M exploded for two goals 31 seconds apart. Junior Keller Felt (La Jolla, Calif./La Jolla) created the first goal, stripping the ball and sending a pass to senior Leah Robertson (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor) in close where she fired one off the bar and in. Mantel dented twine late in the period, juking to draw the IU goalie out of position and then scoring top shelf. Indiana pushed in the final frame but could only one muster one goal in the late going.

The Wolverines will look to defend back-to-back conference titles at the CWPA Eastern Championship next weekend (April 30-May 2) in College Park, Md.


Championship 1 2 3 4 F
No. 2 Indiana 0 1 1 1 3
No. 1 Michigan 1 2 2 0 5

U-M Goals: Alison Mantel 2, Kiki Golden, Leah Robertson, Sarah Roberts.
IU Goals: Kelsey Campbell, Kara Butler, Kelly Palmberg.
Saves: U-M 7 (Alex Adamson), IU 12 (Cassie Wyckoff)
Ejections: U-M 8, IU 9


• The Wolverines remained undefeated in the CWPA division title game, improving to 9-0 with the championship on the line.

• Michigan improved to 30-1 at the divisional championship and a perfect 20-0 since realigning into the Western Division.

• The Wolverines extended their undefeated streak to 17 games. Michigan has not lost since Feb. 28.

• Seniors Terri Bukofzer, Casie Kelly, Brittany May and Leah Robertson played in their final game at Canham Natatorium.

• The 2010 senior class improved to 122-42, matching the 2009 seniors for wins by a class. This year's seniors reached 122 wins in six fewer games.


Michigan Head Coach Matt Anderson
On the win ... "You have to have markers that you reach and you have to feel good about reaching them. You cannot not want to celebrate when you do something good. I tell the girls to show your emotions, that's how you need to play the game. It was a defensive struggle. I knew that once we had the lead going into the fourth that we could manage the game defensively. Provided we didn't make bad turnovers, we'd be fine. That's what we did. It is nice when you have two freshman step up. Kiki Golden and Alex Adamson were just phenomenal. We got into foul trouble and that allowed the young guns to step up and do it. Then in the fourth, Ryley Plunkett, Lauren Orth and Leah Robertson went in and finished it out defensively -- which is always the key."

U-M Senior Two-meter Defender Leah Robertson
On the emotion of senior day ... "It is really fun. It is nice to have my last home game be a win against one of our biggest rivals -- Indiana -- and especially in such an important tournament like Westerns. Though it is sad to have my last home game here, hopefully it will be a good introduction to the postseason and we can get an NCAA bid."

U-M Freshman Goalie Alex Adamson
On staying focused in such a big game ... "The team and the way the defense plays sets the tone for how I play. They have been coming out in all these games and kicking butt. Staying up in the lanes and pressing hard, that is what we needed. When they go out with that intensity, it is easy for me to feed off of what they are doing."

Wolverines Beat Gannon to Earn Spot in Western Final Tonight

Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423