Fourth Quarter Flurry Propels Hoosiers into Fifth Place Game at NCAA Championship
May 14, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A four-goal onslaught by the Indiana Hoosiers women's water polo team in the final five minutes was too much for No. 7 seed/No. 14 nationally ranked UC San Diego in the consolation round at the NCAA Championship, giving the No. 6 seed Hoosiers their first NCAA postseason win, 11-8, and a spot in the fifth place game on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
The No. 10 ranked Hoosiers improved to 26-12 on the season, matching the 1998 and 2003 squads for the program's best single-season win total.
"After a sluggish start, it was great to come out and show what we're made of in that second half," said Indiana head coach Barry King. "We really stepped up and made the key plays late in the game."
Jakie Köhli led the Indiana second half surge, scoring all of her team-high four goals in the final 16 minutes. The senior duo of Nicole Redder and Lauren Wyckoff had two scores apiece, while Kelsey Campbell, Shae Fournier, and Meghan Lappan added one each.
Cassie Wyckoff registered her 16th double-digit save performance of the season, making 12 stops and dishing out an assist. Wyckoff increased her single-season saves record to 341 during her junior campaign.
The Hoosiers got out of the gate slow, not getting on the scoreboard until the second period and allowing two UCSD power play goals in the first quarter.
Lauren Wyckoff scored the first Indiana marker with 6:03 to play in the second period on a power play after an assist by Lappan to pull the Hoosiers within one, but UCSD quickly responded with a goal to make it a 3-1 Triton advantage.
Wyckoff earned an exclusion with under three minutes left in the half, leading to a goal from inside two-meters by Redder after an assist by Köhli. The Hoosiers evened things up 26 seconds later, as Fournier earned a five-meter penalty and Wyckoff capped it with a strike.
A skip shot from the Tritons at the 1:43 mark of the first half gave UCSD a 4-3 lead heading into the break.
Indiana established momentum early in the third quarter with a two-goal burst on the Hoosiers' first two possessions of the half from Köhli and Lappan. Köhli scored on a lob after the assist by (Lauren) Wyckoff, followed by a Lappan counter-attack goal after the outlet from (Cassie) Wyckoff to give Indiana its first lead of the contest, 5-4.
The Tritons answered right back with a pair of goals, each coming on lobs to regain a 6-5 lead with six minutes left in the third stanza.
The Hoosiers matched that two-goal spurt with one of their own during the middle of the quarter to take a 7-6 lead after goals from Köhli and Fournier.
UCSD capitalized on another power play chance during the opening minute of the final period, firing a shot into Wyckoff that inched into the cage to tie the game at 7-7. The Tritons kept the pressure on 45 seconds later, scoring from six-meters to take a one-goal lead with 6:18 to play.
The final five minutes belonged to the Hoosiers, who were ignited by a long-range strike from Köhli to tie things up at 8-8 with 4:37 to play.
Indiana used precise ball-movement to thread the Triton defense on the following possession, as quick passes from (Lauren) Wyckoff and Köhli led to a Campbell goal from inside two-meters to give the Hoosiers a 9-8 lead with 4:04 remaining. Campbell also added five steals and an earned exclusion in the win.
The Hoosiers controlled the final minutes of the game, adding goals from Köhli and Redder as the Tritons scrambled to gain possessions. Indiana's four unanswered goals came in a span of 4:37 to put away UCSD 11-8.
Indiana, seeded No. 6 and rated No. 10 in the latest Varsity Top 20, will take on No. 5 seed (No. 7 nationally ranked) UC Irvine in the fifth place game at the NCAA Championship on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET. UCI defeated Iona 15-4 on Saturday to advance.