Another weekend, another sweep.
On Sunday, the No. 7 Michigan water polo team rallied in the last quarter to capture a come-from-behind victory against No. 18 Princeton, 12-10. The win against the tournament hosts capped the Wolverines’ three-game sweep of the Tiger Invitational and improved their record against Princeton to 15-3 all time.
Michigan also kept its 13-game win streak alive.
The Tigers’ Senior Day made for stiff competition and a hostile environment for Sunday’s matchup. The Wolverines (23-4 overall) blew a 6-2 first-quarter lead to allow Princeton a one-point advantage advantage deep in the fourth quarter.
“The atmosphere was intense against Princeton because it was their Senior Night,” sophomore Lauren Colton said. “Any time it’s anybody’s Senior Night, (they’re going to be) 10 times harder than they would be because they want to play great for their seniors.”
Michigan was rescued by a clutch counterattack, though, led by sophomore Kiki Golden, who collected a hat trick for the game and also tallied two steals.
A penalty on her breakaway with 2:15 remaining in the fourth led to Orth’s equalizer.
“It was the fourth period that we re-established that aggressive play that got us the early lead and, fortunately, we were able to end on top,” Michigan coach Matt Anderson said through the Athletic Department after the game.
The Wolverines had no trouble handling the first two games against Bucknell and St. Francis on Saturday. After a close first quarter against the Bisons, Michigan raced ahead to a 9-4 lead at halftime and didn’t look back.
Junior goalkeeper Tara Brigham had a career-high 11 saves against St. Francis, and senior Cara Reitz and freshman Lauren Dudley each posted four-goal games.
“Bucknell made us work, but in the third period, we opened up our counterattack,” Anderson said. “Our speed and our two-meter play was too much for them to handle.
“(The game against St. Francis) was definitely a breakout game for Lauren Dudley.”
Anderson expects Dudley, who had six scores on the weekend, to be a key contributor for future seasons.
Senior Alison Mantel, nicknamed “Magic,” officially broke the 100-200-300 assists-goals-points plateau on Saturday against St. Francis. She joins former teammate Julie Hyrne as the second Wolverine to reach the career milestone.
“It’s a very big accomplishment,” Anderson said. “She’s worked hard for four years to get to that level.”
Michigan’s win over Bucknell improves their record to 4-0 in the CWPA Western Division. The Wolverines’ last league game of the season will be against Hartwick next Saturday in Lewisburg, Pa.
If Michigan wins, it will claim the division championship for the 10th consecutive season.