May 2, 2010
Site: College Park, Md. (Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium)
Event: CWPA Eastern Championship (Finals)
Score: #7 Michigan 7, #14 Indiana 5
Records: U-M (32-6), Indiana (21-11)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun, May 14-16 -- at NCAA Championship (San Diego, Calif.)
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- For the third consecutive season, the No. 7-ranked University of Michigan water polo team claimed the CWPA Eastern Championship title, defeating No. 14 Indiana, 7-5, on Sunday (May 2) inside Maryland's Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium. The Wolverines' fifth Eastern title gives them an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship (Fri-Sun., May 14-16) in San Diego, Calif.
Freshman Alex Adamson (Coronado, Calif./Coronado) made eight saves in the cage to lead the Wolverines. Junior Alison Mantel (Miami, Fla./Gulliver) tallied a goal and had three helpers, while junior Lauren Orth (Poway, Calif./Poway) dented the twine twice.
After IU took a short-lived lead early in the second period, Michigan unloaded four unanswered goals to take a 5-2 lead into the break. Senior Leah Robertson (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor) sparked the rally with a steal high in the defensive zone. After drawing an ejection, she passed back to Mantel and took off for the goal where she easily deposited the breakaway marker. Junior Ryley Plunkett (Modesto, Calif./Johansen) scored a minute later, taking a pass from freshman Kiki Golden (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) on the left post. Orth then expanded the lead to 4-2 on a five-meter penalty shot. Plunkett and junior Cara Reitz (Miami, Fla./Gulliver) shut things down for the remainder of the period, combining for four steals on IU's final four trips of the half. Mantel roofed a shot just before the break to send the Wolverines to the break with a three-goal lead in tow.
Michigan's lead shrunk to one at 5-4 after IU scored an early goal in the third period and narrowly got a long shot in at the buzzer. However, the Wolverine defense buckled down in the fourth, getting a field block from Plunkett and a save from Adamson to maintain the one-goal margin. Golden gave the Wolverines some insurance, scoring a no-look backhander at two meters on a pass from Orth midway through the final frame. Indiana forced U-M to use that insurance, scoring with 1:50 remaining, but a laser from Orth at five meters sealed the game for the Wolverines.
The teams exchanged 6-on-5 opportunities throughout the opening frame and Michigan proved to be the first to take advantage. A little more than two minutes into the opening frame, Mantel found sophomore Meagan Cobb (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) on the left post where the Wolverine sophomore hesitated before rifling a shot into the cage. IU got the equalizer on the power play two minutes later, taking advantage of the confusion when Adamson was whistled, leaving U-M's cage untended.
The Wolverines' first-round opponent will be announced on the 2010 NCAA Championship selection show, which will be broadcast on broadband via NCAA.com. The show is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday (May 3) and will determine seeding for the NCAA Championship, which will take place May 14-16 in San Diego, Calif.
|No. 1 Michigan||1||4||0||2||7|
|No. 3 Indiana||1||1||2||1||5|
U-M Goals: Lauren Orth 2, Meagan Cobb, Leah Robertson, Ryley Plunkett, Alison Mantel, Kiki Golden.
IU Goals: Nicole Redder 2, Jakie Kohli 2, Kara Butlet.
Saves: U-M 8 (Alex Adamson), IU 6 (Cassie Wyckoff)
N O T E S
The Wolverines clinched their fifth CWPA Eastern Championship crown and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. U-M also claimed the 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2009 titles.
Michigan improved to 5-2 in Eastern Championship title games. Two of U-M's championship wins have come against Indiana.
The Wolverines became the first program to successfully complete a CWPA conference three-peat in the modern era.
Michigan improved to 29-6-1 all-time and 4-1 at the CWPA Eastern Championship against Indiana.
Senior Leah Robertson became the third Wolverine named Eastern Championship MVP in program history. She joins Betsey Armstrong (2005) and Julie Hyrne (2008) as the only players to capture the honor for the Maize and Blue. She joins Hyrne as the only U-M players to take home both the division MVP award and postseason MVP award in the same season.
Robertson became the first Wolverine to earn three CWPA Eastern Championship All-Tournament first team selections. Robertson was also a first team honoree in 2008 and 2009.
Freshman Alex Adamson becomes the third Wolverine rookie netminder to lead U-M to an Eastern crown.
Robertson (31 points; 17g, 14a) took over the program lead for points by a Wolverine at the CWPA Eastern Championship, passing Sheetal Narsai (30 points, 2002-05).
Alison Mantel collected her 45th, 46th and 47th assists of the season, breaking a tie with Erin Brown (44, 2005) for second on the U-M single-season list. She needs three more helpers to match Jo Antonsen's (49, 2005) program record.
Kiki Golden became the first-ever winner of the CWPA Eastern Championship Rookie of the Tournament.
Former Wolverines Vickie Brown (2002-05) and Shana Welch (2004-07) were in attendance for today's game.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Matt Anderson
On the win ... "We knew that it was going to be a typical Michigan-Indiana game. We knew it was going to be close and we just had to do what we have done all year against them, which was get the lead and let the defense dictate things. We were very fortunate. We had a very nice second period to go up 5-2 at the half and then we were able to control the game. Coming in to Easterns, I thought the two teams that could knock us off were Princeton and Indiana -- if anybody was going to be able to. We had to go through both of them to win. This is very satisfying. Even though we have had a very strong season, it was a very tough half to win Easterns. It is very gratifying."
On how this win differed from 2008 and 2009 ... "To do three in a row is harder than to win it the first time or the second time -- trying to keep the focus, the energy and the pressure all season long. After last year, losing seven of our top 16 and losing roughly four starters, people didn't expect this to happen. But we felt as a program that we could do it. That mentality made it a much more workmanlike. It made it very satisfying for the team to complete the three-peat."
Leah Robertson, University of Michigan
Alison Mantel, University of Michigan
Kirsten Hudson, Hartwick College
Nicole Redder, Indiana University
Kara Butler, Indiana University
Lauren Presant, Brown University
Cassie Wyckoff (Goalie), Indiana University
Lauren Colton, University of Michigan
Kandis Canonica, Bucknell University
Lauren Wyckoff, Indiana University
Lauren Brunner, Princeton University
Devan Kennifer, Harvard University
Phoebe Champion, Princeton University
Stephanie Laing (Goalie), Brown University
Contact: Ryan Sosin (734) 763-4423