Water polo is NCAA bound
May 1, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Hoosiers women's water polo team (25-11) defeated top-seeded/No. 6 nationally ranked Michigan in the CWPA Eastern Championship on Sunday, 5-3, behind a stellar defensive performance spearheaded by goalkeeper Cassie Wyckoff. The Hoosiers are headed to the NCAA Championship for the second time in program history and earn their second CWPA Conference Championship.
"From the time the final buzzer sounded last season, this team was on a mission to win this championship," said Indiana head coach Barry King. "It's an unbelievable feeling, there's no doubt about that."
The Hoosiers held rival Michigan to its lowest scoring output of the 2011 season and snapped the Wolverines' 22-game winning streak in the process. Indiana shut out Michigan in the opening quarter, as well as the second half.
Shae Fournier led the Hoosiers in scoring with three goals. Kara Butler and Lauren Wyckoff added one goal apiece.
Cassie Wyckoff dominated the majority of the contest, recording 14 saves. The Los Altos, Calif. native won Tournament Most Valuable Player honors for her outstanding play and also set a single-season school record for saves with 322 during her junior campaign.
Jakie Köhli and Lauren Wyckoff joined (Cassie) Wyckoff on the All-Tournament First Team.
"They have done the work and they earned the opportunity," said King. "It's just a terrific finish and Cassie Wyckoff played like she was the best in the world."
The Hoosiers scored the game's first three goals, before Michigan responded with three of their own during the second period.
Fournier answered with a clutch score with two seconds to play in the half to give IU a 4-3 lead.
The stifling Hoosier defense went to work for the remainder of the game, while (Lauren) Wyckoff rifled in a third quarter backhander to go up by two.
Indiana allowed no goals in the final period, while controlling the ball and coming up with huge stop after huge stop. Köhli was instrumental in the final stretch on the defensive end. The junior collected four steals and three field blocks in the contest.