It was a big weekend for the Michigan water polo team. Playing three games in one weekend at the Indiana Invitational, the No. 13 Wolverines defeated Colorado State and No. 14 UC Davis but lost to No. 10 San Jose State in sudden death.
On Saturday, the Wolverines kicked off the invitational by defeating Colorado State, 9-5. The Wolverines began by leading 4-0. Michigan held a 6-2 lead at halftime. Sophomore Shana Welch scored three goals and, in the process, set a school record with 56 total goals in one season.
In the final game of the weekend, against UC Davis yesterday, the Wolverines won 6-3. In the second period, they went up 2-0, and, after just 14 minutes of play, they opened up with a 4-1 advantage. The scoring just built on from there, and senior Sheetal Narsai scored a total of four goals during the game.
UC Davis had just entered the invitational on a six-game winning streak during which it had defeated No. 8 UC Santa Barbara.
With two overtimes and then a final sudden-death overtime, the game against San Jose State was a “barn burner,” according to Anderson. The Spartans took an early 1-0 lead in the game, but senior Meg Knudtsen managed to tie it before the end of the first period. By the middle of the second quarter, the game was still tied at three until Welsh scored to give the Wolverines a 4-3 advantage. San Jose State managed to score two more goals and led 5-4 at the half. With only 34 seconds left in the third period, San Jose squeezed in three more goals, leaving it at 8-5 in the final period. The Wolverines finally answered back, scoring three times with only 4:14 left and tied the game and sending the game into overtime.
With just 44 seconds left in overtime, Michigan junior Megan Hausmann scored first, but the Spartans responded and tied the game again. Neither team managed a single goal during the second overtime, leading to sudden-death overtime. After two Wolverines were ejected from the game, Katie Hicks from San Jose State finished it off with 25 seconds left in the period.
“San Jose was the most physical team they’ve played,” Anderson said, “It was a really excellent game with fireworks. The crowd got excited and we were just one bounce away from winning. When you get into sudden-death overtime, either team plays good enough to win.”