Redlands 10, Wagner 9

May 15, 2005

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Canham Natatorium)
Event: NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship (Game 9)
Result: No. 7 Redlands 10, No. 8 Wagner 9
Records: Redlands (20-13), Wagner (24-10)
Next Redlands Game: Season complete, 7th place
Next Wagner Game: Season complete, 8th place

Redlands Takes Seventh with a 10-9 Victory

ANN ARBOR, Mich. No. 7 seed Redlands earned a 10-9 victory over No. 8 seed Wagner Sunday (May 15) in the seventh-place match of the NCAA Championships at the University of Michigan's Canham Natatorium. Sophomore Alie Hower led the Bulldogs with four goals as Redlands erased a two-goal second-quarter deficit and hung in the final minute to secure the win.

The Bulldogs took an early lead with power play goal by Hower but Wagner quickly answered with a penalty shot by junior Sara Kramer. Following a missed shot by the Seahawks, Redlands sophomore goalkeeper Caitlin O'Dell was whistled for the four-meter foul on the rebound resulting in the equalizer for Wagner. The Bulldogs, however regained their lead with Hower's second goal of the game at the 2:48 mark of the opening period to take a 2-1 lead into the second period.

Wagner took control of the match with a 4-1 run to open the second quarter. Junior Courtney Crase scored on the first possession of the period and after a Redlands goal with 5:29 to play in the half, Crase put away her second tally to make the score 3-3 at the 5:16 mark. Freshman Billy Hoelck completed the run with a pair of markers to give Wagner a 5-3 advantage with 3:14 remaining in the second quarter. Redlands answered with back-to-back goals by Hower and junior Meghan Rosenberger to tie the game at 5-5 but the Seahawks regained the lead just six seconds before the end of the period on a goal by senior Jamie Fullen to make the score 6-5 at halftime.

Redlands regained the lead at the 2:20 mark of the third quarter with two straight goals by Hower and sophomore Kelly Stein, but just 17 seconds later, Wager tied the game with a goal by sophomore Stacey Travous to make the score 7-7 heading into the final period. The two teams traded scores during the first five minutes of the fourth quarter bring the count to 9-9 with less than two minutes to play. With 1:24 to play in the game, Rosenberger fired an outside shot that found the left side of the Wagner net, giving the Bulldogs a 10-9 advantage. Wagner's final attempt with less than 30 seconds left sailed high, leaving Redlands with the victory.

With the win, Redlands (20-13) finishes seventh at the NCAA Championship, while Wagner (24-10) takes eighth.

Redlands Head Coach Tom Wittemore
On the game ... "We played a one goal game against them earlier in the year. We knew it would be competitive. We wanted to finish the season in style and we accomplished that. Early in the game we forced a lot of perimeter shots but as the game went on we showed more patience and looked for better opportunities."

On Redlands' standout players ... "Alie Hower had a good game, scoring four goals. She was our go-to player. She missed some shots early but kept at it. Meghan Rosenberger played well too. She missed her first five shots but stuck with it and scored the game-winning goal. She also finished with four steals."

On the rise of East coast water polo ... "Clearly the East coast and the Midwest are getting more exposure for women's water polo. It's a combination of things. Exposure from events like the NCAA tournament and the rise of the sport helps parity grow. Water polo is growing in high schools and these players are looking for more places to play, like the East coast and Midwest. Schools like Wagner and Michigan give these players an opportunity to play and it helps create more parity in the sport."

Wagner Head Coach Patrick Beemer
On the game ... "It was a heck of a game. Redlands has a great coach in Tom Wittemore and they play very well together. We're an inside team and we scored nine goals on the inside today but they got eight of their 10 from the outside. That was the difference."

On key Wagner performances ... "Courtney Crase and Stacey Travous played well today. They drew a lot of ejections but we just couldn't capitalize on them. Our offensive output was a little limited today. Senior Monica Lopez had a great game too and she'll be missed. She played excellent defense today and kept us in the game."

On their first tournament appearance ... "We only make one trip to California a year so we don't get to face top caliber teams that often. For the girls on the team, this may be the first or second time they've played teams this good. The other coaches this week have been great and the exposure of being in the tournament has helped us a lot. It's phenomenal for our program. Instead of me chasing down recruits I'm having athletes sending me stuff now. People are starting to get to know East coast water polo."

Score by Periods 1 2 3 4 F
Wagner 1 5 1 2 9
Redlands 2 3 2 3 10

Wagner Goals: Billy Hoelck 3, Courtney Crase 2, Jamie Fullen, Monica Lopez, Sara Kramer, Stacey Travous. Redlands Goals: Alie Hower 4, Meghan Rosenberger 2, Corinne Flowers 2, Kelly Stein, Kelly Phillips. Ejections: Wagner 9, Redlands 9. Goalie Saves: Katie Hauck (Wagner) 7, Caitlin O'Dell (Redlands) 4.

-- Courtesy University of Michigan