BY JACOB KOFFSKY
For the Daily
Published January 23, 2011
Many coaches believe there is no such thing as a moral victory. Michigan women’s water polo head coach Matt Anderson disagrees.
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Coming off a narrow one-goal loss to No. 4 UCLA merely hours before, Anderson knew playing No. 1 Stanford would be especially tough. He was right, as the Cardinal thoroughly handled Michigan 15-6 Sunday afternoon at Canham Natatorium. Juniors Melissa Seidemann and Palavi Menon paced Stanford throughout the battle with four points each, and anchored a second-period run that broke open a tight contest.
A quick glance at the final score does not show how close the match was, as the Wolverines remained competitive well into the second half.
Michigan senior Alison Mantel assisted fellow senior and former high school teammate Cara Reitz on a power play goal that knotted the game at 1-1 with 2:54 left the in the first period. Reitz then found junior Meagan Cobb on another power play goal to force a tie at two with seven minutes left in the second.
But the Cardinal showed how deserving they are of their ranking, rattling off eight- straight goals before halftime.
Stanford junior Alyssa Lo broke the tie with 6:12 left in the half by finishing in transition on an assist from freshman Kelly Dodson. Not a minute later, Menon fired senior Kim Kreuger’s feed past Michigan sophomore goalie Alex Adamson to reg. Four other players registered points for the Cardinal before halftime.
Four of Stanford’s six second-period tallies were aided by Michigan ejections, which plagued them throughout the game. The Cardinal capitalized on the Wolverine’s overly physical style of play.
“It’s 2-2 in the second period, no other team had scored more than one on them, and no one had scored in the first half on them this weekend,” Anderson said. “And then, bam. Four power plays later, they made all of them its 6-2.”
With the extra-player advantage, Stanford spread the pool and forced the Michigan defense to swim back and forth, merely adding to the exhaustion it endured from its two hard-fought wins against No.7 San Jose State and No. 15 Cal State Northridge on Saturday.
The Cardinal moved the ball quickly and effectively, and their shots came from anywhere and everywhere.
“They all want to score the ball, so it’s hard to figure out,” Adamson said.
Michigan senior Lauren Orth and freshman Hathaway Moore scored back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to six with 1:51 left in the third, but Seidemann netted two consecutive bounce shots before the period ended to crush any chances of a rally.
After facing four ranked opponents, the Wolverines emerged from this weekend’s Michigan Kick-Off tournament with a 2-2 record, and Anderson was the first to describe the weekend as a success.
“We had a great weekend,” Anderson said. We got better.”
Try to tell him there is no such thing as moral victory.