Week #4: Wolverines Set for Pair of Games at Fluid Four

Feb. 20, 2013

Saturday, Feb. 23 -- vs. Long Beach State - Fluid Four (Bloomington, Ind.), 11:20 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23 -- vs. Washington & Jefferson - Fluid Four (Bloomington, Ind.), 6 p.m.

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The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan water polo team (3-8) will stay in the region to face a pair of teams in the Fluid Four on Saturday (Feb. 23) in Bloomington, Ind. The Wolverines will face No. 10 Long Beach State (6-2) at 11:20 a.m. before wrapping up against Washington & Jefferson (0-0) at 6 p.m. Both games will be held at the Hoosiers' Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center.


• The Maize and Blue has gone 11-2 at the Fluid Five/Fluid Four Challenge in five appearances at the event. Michigan went 3-0 in its last appearance in 2010, downing Cal State East Bay, Wagner and Gannon.

• The Wolverines trail, 8-2, in the all-time series against Long Beach State. U-M dropped an 8-6 decision to the 49ers at the Triton Invitational two weeks ago. Michigan owns a perfect 13-0 record in the all-time series against Washington & Jefferson.

• Michigan has lost just once in the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center since 2007, and it has been eight seasons since the Wolverines lost to a neutral opponent in Bloomington. The Wolverines are 41-6 all-time when traveling the short distance to Indiana.

• U-M faced ranked opponents in eight of its first 11 games, including six games against top-10 teams. U-M has faced the No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, No. 7, No. 8 (twice), No. 11 and No. 16 nationally ranked teams.

• Sixteen different Wolverines have scored goals this year, including eight freshmen.

• Senior Kiki Golden has scored in all but one game this season and currently leads the Michigan team with 23 goals. She boasts three hat tricks, including a season-best five goals against CSU East Bay at the Triton Invitational. She has upped her career goal tally to 171 and currently sits to fourth place among U-M's all-time scoring leaders. She is 39 goals shy of the third spot, currently held by Alison Mantel (210, 2008-11). Shana Welch (2004-07) holds the U-M's program record with 297 career goals.

• Eight Wolverine freshmen have already registered their first collegiate goals this season. Bryce Beckwith headlines the group with nine goals, while Presley Pender boasts eight goals and Ali Thomason owns five. Kelly Martin, Julia Riemersma, Gabriella Serure, Emily Sejna and Barbara Lanier also scored in the opening three weekends.

• Senior goalie Alex Adamson was named CWPA Western Division Defensive Player of the Week last Wednesday (Feb. 13) after posting 20 saves and two assists at the Triton Invitational. The Wolverine captain owns 75 saves on the season and 508 in her collegiate career, ranking second among U-M's all-time leaders in the category -- behind only assistant coach and two-time Olympian Betsey Armstrong (1,267, 2002-05).


Alex Adamson
Coronado, Calif.

Q: Do think you have a good vantage point for how the team is progressing, coming together and improve over these first few weekends?
A: Being in goal, I'm able to see the whole field, and I've seen a lot of good things develop over the past couple of weeks. Things are starting to click. It's still early in the season, and people are kind of figuring out their roles. There have been definite improvements.

Q: Has it been good to have these handful of weekend off competition to really work on things in practice?
A: It's been great. I think even more than having weekends off is that we've had really good competition up until now. We've seen the best, played the best, played with the best, and we're able to come back and have time to watch tape, go over things and let our bodies rest a little bit. We still are full-blown conditioning right now. Nothing has slowed down; there's no taper, so having a day or two to rest has been really good.

Q: With this young team, they have kind of been thrown into the fire with the competition level early this season. Are you seeing them stay positive and realize how much they are improving?
A: I've said it several times -- this is a great freshman class. They understand that the college game is very different than anything they've ever played before. They understand that when you play teams No. 1-4 and get your hat handed to you a little bit, it's hard. But they also understand that they held their own and can step away and realize that they really can play with these girls. They might be the best in the country, but you have every right to be in the pool with them.

Q: You obviously love going to California, but are you excited to stay in the same time zone with this weekend tournament at Indiana?
A: I'm happy that we won't be hanging out in airports all weekend. Playing at Indiana is always a good environment. It will be nice to play in the east a little more and see these teams we haven't seen yet. But we do love California. The west coast is home for a lot of us. I am excited to see what the east has this year though.

Q: Are you looking forward to a rematch against Long Beach State?

A: They are a very good team this year -- maybe one of the best teams Long Beach has had. We had a one-goal game with them going into the last 40 seconds. That was a close game two weeks ago, and I think it will be a close, solid game this weekend. We improved a lot over that weekend after that game. Knowing what we're coming up against with Long Beach State. We also have enough games under our belt now that we know what we're doing well and what we're not doing well. We need to start honing in on those things we're doing well.

The Wolverines earned 10th place at the Triton Invitational Feb. 9-10, splitting their four contests with wins against Santa Clara (11-6) and Cal State East bay (15-12) and losses to Long Beach State (8-6) and Loyola Marymount (9-7). Senior Kiki Golden headlined the U-M offense with 11 goals, while freshman Ali Thomason posted five markers -- the first of her career -- including a hat trick against Santa Clara. Senior goalie Alex Adamson earned 20 saves in the Wolverine net.
[ Recaps: Day 1 | Day 2 ]

Wednesday, March 6 -- at Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii), 3 p.m. HST