Hoosiers Take Out Hartwick in OT Thriller, Finish Fifth at Easterns
April 29, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
The No. 3 seed Indiana Hoosiers women's water polo team (28-9) rallied from a five-goal deficit to defeat No. 5 seed Hartwick in an overtime thriller, 12-10, to claim fifth place at the CWPA Eastern Championship.
"I couldn't be prouder of the way they turned it around and got themselves back into the game," said Indiana head coach Barry King. "That was a full blown team effort today."
The Hoosiers finish the season with a 28-9 overall record, besting the previous IU single-season wins record by two.
"Our joke all year was that we may not play good water polo all the time, but we were really, really good at winning games," said King. "Today is a perfect example. Everything about today should have been us laying down and going to the next year, but they found a way to grind and win and that's just been the character of this team all year."
Freshman Colleen McNaught led the way with her seventh hat trick of the season. The freshmen trio of Summer Creighton, Alexis Jones, and Shelby Taylor notched two goals apiece. Senior Hanna Eimstad, sophomore Shae Fournier, and sophomore Meghan Lappan had one score each.
Senior goalkeeper Cassie Wyckoff racked up 10 saves and a steal in the win. The Los Altos, Calif. native surpassed her own single-season IU saves record of 348 during the first quarter. Wyckoff finished with 356 stops on the year.
Hartwick scored the game's first five goals, including four in the opening period to take command early.
Indiana received a strong effort from the second unit during the latter portion of the opening quarter, holding the Hawks momentum in check.
The Hoosiers battled back by outscoring the Hawks 5-2 in the second stanza, beginning with a Creighton goal at the 6:00 mark of the quarter. Taylor followed that up a minute later with a close-range goal after a nifty assist from Fournier.
McNaught scored the third consecutive Hoosier goal at the 4:25 mark after one of Lappan's team-high three assists to cut the lead to two.
After a Hartwick steal led to a score, the Cream and Crimson responded with back-to-back goals by Jones and Eimstad to cut the lead to 6-5 at the break. Eimstad's goal came with nine seconds on the game clock, converting the score after a McNaught dish.
The Hawks regained momentum early in the third, scoring three straight goals to go up 9-5.
The Hoosiers battled back yet again, scoring a pair of power play goals from McNaught and Taylor to cut the margin to two heading into the final eight minutes.
McNaught nailed a long-range shot early in the fourth to pull within one, but the Hawks came back with a counter-attack strike two minutes later.
Lappan came through with another six-on-five score for Indiana at the 2:29 mark to get within one.
On the Hoosiers' final offensive possession in regulation, the ball was entered into Amanda Redfern in the post, who found an open Creighton for the clutch game-tying goal with 23 seconds on the clock.
After both teams remained scoreless in the first half of the overtime, the Hoosiers seized control in second three-minute period, grabbing their first lead of the game at the 2:07 mark as Jones fired in the game-winner from straightaway after a McNaught helper.
Fournier came up with a crucial steal a minute later that led to an open Taylor, who then earned a five-meter penalty. Fournier rammed home the shot to put the Hoosiers in firm control, as they held off the final Hartwick shot attempts to earn fifth place.
CWPA Eastern Championship All-Tournament Team
MVP: Katie Rigler - Princeton
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