Loyola Marymount 10, Michigan
Loyola Marymount 10, Michigan 5
May 14, 2005
ANN ARBOR, Mich. The No. 6 seed University of Michigan women's water polo team dropped a 10-5 decision to No. 5 seed Loyola Marymount Sunday (May 15) in the fifth-place match of the NCAA Championships at Canham Natatorium to finish sixth overall at the tournament. Senior Sheetal Narsai scored her eighth hat trick of the season and senior Betsey made 11 saves, but the Lions scored six goals in the second quarter to take a 6-2 lead into the locker room and held on in the second half for the win.
Michigan started the game strong, killing two straight power plays before taking a 1-0 lead with a six-on-five goal by junior Megan Hausmann. After drawing an ejection on the Lions at the 1:32 mark of the first quarter, senior Meg Knudtsen dumped the ball into Hausmann for a quick shot to the right side of the net. After one period the Wolverines held a 1-0 lead.
After Michigan pushed its lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal by junior Kristin Hoogenboom one minute into the second quarter, but LMU answered with a 6-0 run to seize a 6-2 at the half. Sophomore Katie Hicks started the run with a power-play goal at 5:27 and then capped it with her second goal of the game with 1:54 remaining in the half. Freshman Rosanna Tomiuk also put away a pair of goals during the run.
LMU scored the first goal of the second half to build its lead to 7-2, but Michigan responded with a power-play tally by Narsai at the 5:16 mark of the third quarter to draw within four, 7-3. After swinging the ball around the arc, Jo Antonsen found Narsai five meters in front of the cage for the shot to the left side.
The Lions continued to control the game, scoring back-to-back goals to start the fourth quarter and increase their lead to 9-3. Narsai countered for Michigan with her second and third goals of the game, but the Wolverines still trailed 9-5 with less than one minute to play. LMU added one final tally to secure the victory.
Michigan finishes their season with a 29-13 overall record and a sixth-place showing at the NCAA Championships, while Loyola Marymount (30-7) took fifth.
Michigan Coach Matt Andrerson
On the game ... "For the first nine minutes of the game we were totally controlled it. We were having trouble offensively, but they were having major trouble offensively. There was a span there we were up 2-0 with about five minutes left in the half, then for a span of about four minutes our girls did not get back as well as they should have on counterattack defense. For whatever reason, LMU swam harder to get out on their counter and we just didnt get back. You cant do that with a team like LMU. They are so athletic."
On the NCAA experience and hosting the national championship ... "This is such a tremendous experience. All eight teams here had a tremedous experience. Michigan, as a host, did an outstanding job. Our team had an outstanding year. We played 42 games, had an extremely tough game against Stanford, had a good victory against Redlands and then just kind of ran out of gas. I have no complaints. To get into the tournament when you're hosting it is a lot of pressure. These girl's came on the last 25 or 26 games of the season and turned it on when they needed to. Only two teams are going to be happy today with where they are and one team is going to be happy when the day is over, but all eight of us are happy for being here."
On his Wolverine senior class ... "I could go on and on. They played their hearts out. They did it with their water polo skills. Not all of them were expecting to play big time college water polo and they came to a young U-M program and they elevated it into a big, national program."
Michigan Senior Goalkeeper Betsy Armstrong
On the game against LMU ... "LMU is a great team. We have had very competitive games against them in the past and have had some bad losses in the past as well. We came out expecting the game to be very competitive and after the first period we dominated it. Maybe we got a little ahead of ourselves. They ended up coming back with a little more fire than we could react to."
On the NCAA experience ... "It's been a great experience. My senior class came to the Final Four our freshman year. Not that we thought we would come every year, but we felt we would become a dominating force. It's been a lot of hard work the last four years and to come back and finish our senior year here has just been everything we have worked for."
On her four years at Michigan ... "It has just been an amazing experience. Before my class came to Michigan, this program was only full varsity for a year. To establish the sport of water polo outside of California, such as a school like Michigan, to be a part of that has been remarkable. Looking back 10 years from now and seeing that it is still successful is what is going to make me the most proud."
Loyola Marymount Head Coach John Loughran
On the game & "I am really proud of this team and how they fought back. We had a very disappointing Friday and we came back and played one of our best games of the seasons tonight. We wanted to be in the winner's bracket, but it was important to set the table for the future by finishing strong today. "
On the turnaround in the second quarter & "The first period we played tight but we continued to play hard and did not stop shooting. The shots were not going and first and usually when we are in a shooting slump we struggle to get out of it. Tonight we were able to work out of it and hit a shot and then went on a seven-goal run."
Loyola Marymount Senior Driver Jessica Conner:
On the game & "We really came together as a team today. We wanted to be in the championship round and we were disappointed not to be there. We overcame that and played well as a team. It was so important for us to come together as a team. We did."
On her four-year career & "It was a great four years and this team has grown so much in my four years. We have accomplished so much. I was able to finish my career on a high note and hopefully that will lead to continued growth in the future. Hopefully the teams in the future will see how much players in the past have put into this program and we continue our winning tradition."
On coming from behind & "We had played Michigan twice and we knew we could beat them. We came from behind to win here last time and when we got down today we knew that we could do it again. We played with a lot of confidence and stuck our shots."
-- Courtesy Michigan