Did mention of the record startle her? Yes, but it didn’t faze her.
Sophomore Alex Adamson, the starting goalie of the Michigan water polo team, enters Saturday’s match against Indiana with the potential to become the third Wolverine ever to win five straight games against the Hoosiers — a record she was unaware of.
Moreover, it’s more of a missed skip-shot to her than a factor that will actually affect her play.
“Records don’t matter,” Adamson said after practice on Wednesday. “This weekend is about coming out and proving that we’re the best team in the East. The record is meaningless if we don’t win that game.”
No. 7 Michigan will travel to play No. 13 Indiana for one of the biggest rivalry games in collegiate water polo. This will be the 37th meeting between the teams, and Michigan has won each of the past eight meetings from 2007.
This particular matchup also means more to Michigan coach Matt Anderson than any other game of the season.
With a newborn baby of two days and the fiercest match upon him, Anderson has a lot on his plate. But he feels confident entering the weekend’s contests.
Anderson also recognizes Adamson’s hard work and dedication.
“Alex is a gamer,” Anderson said. “She proved it as a freshman when she took over for our injured senior goalie (Brittany May) and she’s continued as a sophomore. You know she’s going to show up.”
Last year, Adamson went 4-0 against Indiana as a rookie. She also claimed a program-best 4.5 goals-against average. If Michigan wins, she has a chance to surpass May and join the ranks of Betsey Armstrong (2002-05) and Camille Clarendon (2001), who have each beaten Indiana more than four times.
So far this season, Adamson has earned the starting position in the cage, but she does share the position with junior Morgan Turner.
“It’s a great feeling having someone I respect a lot there to bounce ideas off of and get good advice from,” Adamson said. “It’s something that a lot of teams and goalies don’t have.”
Anderson is not surprised by the goalie’s success this season and said Adamson’s confidence level has improved from last season.
“She does not doubt herself like she may have as a freshman, the first time she played,” Anderson said. “To me, the key is you need to practice with the same intensity as the game, and that’s what Alex always does. She believes in herself a little more because she’s been through it already.”
The Wolverines will face the Hoosiers this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET in Bloomington, Ind. Adamson will take position in the cage and defend the biggest rivalry Michigan water polo owns.
For now, her last words about what Anderson refers to as “that school down south” were: “I hope they’re ready for us.”