Nestled at No. 10 in the national rankings is a Midwestern power that is quietly hoping to return from a one-year hiatus to the NCAA tournament. Michigan has become a perennial power in women’s water polo and they possess a roster that is deep, talented and eager to make waves on the national scene.
Trevor Freeman: Yourselves, Maryland and Indiana all look very strong this season. What does Michigan need to do to win the East over what should be tough competition?
Coach Anderson: This is the most even year we have had in the East since 2002-2003 when us, Indiana, Hartwick and Brown all battled it out. You need to throw Princeton in that mix you mentioned as a team to beat as they have all the intangibles to be successful. Harvard is also playing very well. Maryland is playing so well right now and I really hope that program can be saved. Brown had a barnburner with IU, heck any team is going to have a tough game at Easterns. Right now, Hartwick is fifth in the CWPA polls and that would be a very tough five seed.
We lost some great seniors that went to four consecutive Eastern Championship games. This year we have to have the younger players step up and the veterans like Kiki Golden, Alex Adamson and Meagan Cobb amongst others who do have a ton of experience to continue playing very well.
Freeman: Kiki Golden is a returning All-American. Can you tell us what makes her the great player she is?
Anderson: Kiki can look to people like she is just an offensive force; however she came to us as a college-level defender. Kiki is from Northern California and was a section MVP at Monte Vista High School. Kiki played behind some ‘bigger names’ at Monte Vista and Diablo club but she was as college ready as any of them which I noticed. Kiki gets a lot of steals for us and is always leading the team down the pool. Kiki has a high motor. As high a motor of any player I have ever coached.
Freeman: Alex Adamson has been outstanding in the cage for your squad. What makes her the effective goalie she is?
Coach Anderson: Alex was thrown into the fire as a freshman when Brittany May tore up her shoulder. As Alex has played more for us, she has gotten more comfortable in our system. She was very good last year and has been better this year. Alex feels very comfortable with our defense and making outlet passes. She also does a great job of vocally communicating to our team on defense. There is always a big maturity from a player’s sophomore year to junior year and Alex Adamson is showing that this year.