Indiana Tops UCSD, Claims Seventh Place at 2014 NCAA Championships
May 11, 2014
LOS ANGELES Calif. - Tied 8-8 with 2:26 left in the fourth quarter, Colleen McNaught buried the game-winner with 2:31 to play as No. 8-seed Indiana University knocked off Western Water Polo Association Champion, No. 7 seed University of California-San Diego to claim Seventh Place at the 2014 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship hosted at the University of Southern California's Utyengsu Aquatics Center.
Leading 8-6 entering the fourth quarter, Indiana (24-7) would need to survive the Tritons (27-13) rallying back to tie the score with 2:40 left in the final quarter of regulation before McNaught put the game to rest by beating UCSD goalie Courtney Miller on a left-handed shot to the corner.
The contest was all Indiana early as junior Shelby Taylor used a feed from Meghan Lappan 34 seconds into the first quarter to convert on a power play for a quick 1-0 lead. Fournier cushioned the margin at 5:24 by spiraling in a strike to make it 2-0 before UCSD rifled in a five-meter penalty shot to pull the Tritons back to within one at 2-1 with 3:29 to go in the period.
Sophomore center Candyce Schroeder, who entered the game with five goals following a pair against No. 1-ranked Stanford University in the opener and a hat-trick versus No. 4 Arizona State University yesterday, answered for Indiana as she used a centering pass from Rebecca Gerrity to stick a tally to return the lead to a pair at 3-1.
However, UCSD would outscore Indiana 2-1 over the remainder of the opening quarter as the Tritons ended the period down 4-3 after eight minutes of action.
UC San Diego evened the damage 45 seconds into the second quarter as they finished a pass to tie the score at four-all. The tie lasted until the 6:00 mark when Fournier made the Tritons pay for a five-meter penalty to put the Hoosiers back in front 5-4. Indiana added to their lead prior to the halftime buzzer as Campbell blasted a centering pass from Lappan to make it 6-4 at the break.
UCSD responded with 5:27 on the third quarter clock via a successful six-on-five conversion to once again pull her team within one at 6-5. But Schroeder rang up her second strike of the game and seventh of the action at USC by whipping the ball to the back of the cage to once again provide Indiana a two-goal lead at 7-5.
The teams traded goals over the remainder of the third quarter to make it 8-6 and set-up the dramatic fourth quarter in a highly physical contest.
Neither team was able to muster much offense over the first three minutes of the final quarter until the Triton's exploited a crease in the Hoosiers' defense to convert on a six-on-five chance with 5:11 to move the Tritons within 8-7.
UC-San Diego would tie the Hoosiers at 2:40 with both teams at even-strength as Lizotte spun in her second goal of the game to balance the scoreboard at eight-all. However, an exclusion call against UCSD would give McNaught all the time and space she would need to pick apart the Tritons' defense for the deciding advantage score with 2:26 to play.
Up by one with time ticking away on UC-San Diego's ability to comeback, the Hoosiers would receive a break thanks to the arm of Fournier as the 2014 CWPA Western Division Player of the Year lined a shot off the body of UCSD goalie for a corner throw, a fresh shot clock, a 30-second Indiana timeout and a red card to UC-San Diego head coach Brad Kreutzkamp with 18 seconds to go for the backbreaking play.
Overall, Fournier keyed the Hoosiers' attack with a hat-trick, while Schroeder dropped in two goals to mark the only Indiana players with multi-goal games. Campbell, McNaught, Gerrity, and Taylor each tacked on solo goals, while Lappan (two) and Gerrity (one) notched assists. In addition, Lappan won all four sprints in the game to allow the Hoosiers' to control the pace of the contest at the start of each quarter of play.
Fournier's first goal of the match would mark the 300th score of her craeer. She would finish an incredible four-year campaign with 302 goals, an Indiana school record.
The Hoosiers, who downed No. 11 Princeton University by an 11-10 final score in the CWPA Championship game on April 27 at Bucknell University to claim the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, pick up their second victory of the NCAA Tournament. Last Saturday, May 3, Indiana stopped MAAC Champion Wagner College at home in Bloomington, Ind. by a 11-6 final score to punch their ticket to the eight-team NCAA Championship tournament at USC.
Overall, Indiana is now 3-6 all-time at the NCAA Championship. The Hoosiers fell to the top-ranked, and eventual National Champions, Stanford University by an 18-2 final in the first round of the 2014 tournament on Friday and dropped a 13-9 game against No. 4 Arizona State University to open the consolation round on Saturday, wrapping-up the 2014 NCAA Postseason with a 2-2 record.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final Indiana 4 2 2 1 9 UCSD 3 1 2 2 8
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