Michigan 13, Redlands 7

May 14, 2005



ANN ARBOR, Mich. The No. 6 seeded University of Michigan women's water polo team became the first East Coast school to win a match at the NCAA Championships with a 13-7 victory over seventh-seeded Redlands Saturday (May 14) in the consolation semifinal of the NCAA Championship at Canham Natatorium. Sophomore Shana Welch (Larksville, Pa./Wyoming Valley West HS) led the Wolverines with four goals and senior Sheetal Narsai (Commerce, Calif./Bell Gardens HS) tied the U-M career scoring record with her seventh hat trick of the season. In net Betsey Armstrong (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron HS) made 15 saves. For Redlands, sophomore Alie However netted three goals.

The Wolverines opened the game with two quick goals by Jo Antonsen (Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura HS) and Welch to take a 2-0 lead with 4:45 to play in the first quarter. Redlands, however answered with a pair of power-play goals to knot the game at 2-2 at the 2:19 mark. One minute later, Michigan regained the lead with a goal by Megan Hausmann (San Diego, Calif./Bishop's HS). Narsai dumped the ball into Hausmann on the right post and Hausmann fired a sweep shot to the right side of the net for the score. After seven minutes of play, Michigan held a 3-2 advantage.

The Wolverines pushed their lead to 4-2 with a marker by Kristin Hoogenboom (Portland, Ore./Sunset HS), but once again Redlands was able to tie the game with back-to-back markers to make the score 4-4 just two minute before the half. With less than one minute to play in the Welch scored on the power play to record her second goal of the game and give the Michigan a 5-4 lead at the intermission.

Michigan scored the first two goals of the second half to build its lead to 7-4 midway through the third period. After Redlands answered to pull within two, 7-5, but the Wolverines quickly responded to take an 8-5 lead into the fourth quarter. With less than 10 seconds left in the third quarter, Armstrong found Narsai on the counter attack, creating a one-on-one opportunity with Redlands goalkeeper Caitlin O'Dell. Narsai sent the shot to the left side of the net for her second goal of the game.

The Maize and Blue pulled away in the fourth quarter, scoring the first four goals of the period to open up a 12-5 lead with just 4:18 remaining in the game. The run was sparked by a power-play goal from Welch on the Wolverines' first possession of the period and Narsai capped the flurry two minutes later with her third marker of the match. The teams traded goals over the remainder of the match, leaving Michigan with the victory.

Michigan (29-13) advances to face Loyola Marymount in the fifth-place match on Sunday (May 15) at 1:30 p.m., while Redlands (19-13) will play Wagner on Sunday (May 15) at noon in the seventh-place contest.

QUOTES

Michigan Head Coach Matt Anderson
On the game ... "Today the game went as expected. I was thinking if they were able to get six-on-fives in the first half I might change my sub rotation if it was a close game at halftime -- and that's what happened. After yesterday's tough game where we were hoping to be playing in the semifinals, it took a little time for the girls to get rolling. We had played Redlands earlier in the year and they were very competitive and very well coached so I knew they would be trying to do things that exploited our weaknesses. At halftime I told the girls to get aggressive on our counters. Make aggressive passes and make aggressive shots and that is what we did afterwards.

On the team's offensive boost in the second half ..."Shana (Welch) didn't play much in the first half but she played a lot in the second and had three goals and set up the fourth. She opened it up in the second half because she was able to get into the flow of the play. The game ended up being competitive, which i knew it was going to be. We're the first non-California team to win a game in the NCAA Tournament so that was huge because we wanted very badly to be the first.

On Michigan's physical edge in the second half ... "Physically, Redlands did what it could on defense but the difference was that we had better players like Betsey and Shana and our athletic ability took over in the second half."

Michigan Sophomore Driver Shana Welch
On being the first non-California team to win an NCAA Tournament game ... "It's a big deal for us. It's something we were aiming for. After a tough loss yesterday we just wanted to come out and rebound."

On her goal late in the second quarter ... "The larger your lead at halftime the more momentum you have. The more goals we scored the more we got back into our groove. It was great to get one right before the end of the period."

Michigan Senior Goaltender Betsey Armstrong
On Redlands tiring in the second half ... "They shot a lot less in the second half and when the game opened up they were just taking every single shot they had the opportunity to throw up. They looked a lot more tired. We try not to get overconfident with any lead but it's definitely nice to be ahead a couple goals. It gives me a nice boost."

Redlands Head Coach Tom Wittemore
On the game ... "We played well and played as hard as we could. We were competitive in the first half and into the third period but Michigan is a tough team. We made some key mistakes and when you do that against a good team they take advantage. Overall it was a good effort and I was pleased with our competitiveness."

On Redlands' offense and defense ... "Amanada Woodward drew two four-meters and five fouls and Alie Hower scored three goals, so they were the highlights on offense for us. We played solid team defense but we struggled to try and keep up with Michigan's transition attack. Even when they scored from inside we were scrambling a little to catch up."

On Sunday's game against Wagner ... "We're looking to finish the season with a 'W'. We beat Wagner by one earlier this season in a very competitive game. We've played well this week, we just had the luck of running into two tough teams."

Redlands Sophomore Driver Alie Hower
On the game ... "We played great for three quarters but we could have used more experience out there. I'm proud of how we competed against Michigan."

On her three goals ... "Two of those goals were on the man-up and one was on a four-meter. My teammates did a great job of drawing ejections and I just put them in."

On Sunday's game against Wagner ... "We want to end the tournament with a win. I want to walk away from the last game with a 'W'. I'll do my best to try and draw some ejections against Wagner and put some balls in the net."

NOTES

" With the victory, Michigan became the first East Coast team to win a game at the NCAA Championship. The Wolverines are now 1-3 in NCAA Championship play

" U-M senior Sheetal Narsai recorded her seventh hat trick of the season. Narsai's three goals moved her into a tie for the U-M career scoring mark with 143 goals.

" U-M senior Betsey Armstrong recorded 15 saves against Redlands to post her 15th game of the season with 10 or more saves. Armstrong now has 67 career games with 10 ore more saves.

" U-M sophomore Shana Welch recorded her 15th hat trick of the season and now has a school-record 84 goals on the year.

-- Courtesy Michigan