PALO ALTO, Calif.
-- No. 10 nationally ranked the University of Michigan
used scoring from seven players, including a goal and two assists
from driver Mary Chatigny (Jr., Palm Springs, Calif./Palm
Springs), to outlast and overpower Metro Atlantic
Conference champion Marist College 7-4 in the second round of the
2008 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship
at Stanford University's Avery Stadium.
Michigan, the 2008 Collegiate Water Polo Association champion, will face-off with No. 5-ranked San Diego State University, an 11-4 winner over Division III No. 1-ranked Pomona-Pitzer College in the second round, in the fifth place game at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 11, while Marist will take on Pomona Pitzer at 12:30 p.m. in the seventh place game.
The game will mark the second meeting between the Wolverines and Aztecs this year as San Diego State recorded a 10-9 victory over Michigan earlier this season.
In a game of halves in which Michigan pulled away in the second half while being outshot 15-9, the Wolverines never trailed and took a 1-0 lead 14 seconds into the game as center Michelle Keeley (Sr., Rockford, Mich./Rockford) lobbed a shot into the left side of the cage for a 1-0 lead with 7:46 left in the first period.
Marist countered to knot the game for the final time as two-meter Katelin McCahill (Jr., East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids) lobbed a shot from seven meters out which sailed inside the right post and into the twine at the 2:39 mark to even the score at 1-1.
Drivers Carrie Frost (Jr., Saline, Mich./Saline) and Cara Reitz (Fr., Miami, Fla./Gulliver Preparatory) put the Wolverines in front to stay with 47 seconds left in the first period as Frost crossed a pass from the right side to Reitz who ripped a shot into the upper 90 of the cage on an exclusion opportunity to give Michigan a 2-1 lead.
The lead ballooned to 3-1 with 2:12 left in the second period as Frost slipped a pass to Chatigny in the center who backhanded a blast over the outstretched arm of Marist goalie Elizabeth Davis (Sr., Albuquerque, N.M./Valley). Marist responded with 1:06 left in the first half to pull to within 3-2 as Colleen Lischwe ripped a shot which deflected off the the left index finger of Michigan netminder Brittany May (Jr., Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) and into the back of the cage to put the Red Foxes within a score at the break.
Overall, the first half was evenly matched as both teams fired off 10 shots, both won a face-off and each goalie recorded four saves. The key to the half, however, was exclusions as Michigan drew seven, including four in the second period, to Marist's five.
Michigan began to pull away in the opening minutes of the third period as driver Sharayah Hernandez (Jr., Pico Rivera, Calif./El Rancho) drilled an even-strength goal as she blasted a shot inside the near post at 7:38, two seconds following the conclusion of an ejection on Marist's Rachel Sunday (So., Carlisle, Pa./Cumberland Valley) which occurred with two seconds left in the first period.
Driver Alison Mantel (Fr., Miami, Fla./Gulliver Preparatory) pushed the lead to 5-2 at the 6:38 mark as she registered a goal with a shot from five meters out which sailed into the upper right corner of the cage.
Two-meter Sarah Roberts (Fr., Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor) cushioned the margin with a score off an assist from center Julie Hyrne (Jr., Sunnyvale, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) as an ejection was whistled against Marist's Angie Rampton (So., Simi Valley, Calif./Royal) with 2:14 left in the third period as the first three shots taken by Michigan in the quarter found the back of the cage.
Marist sliced the lead back to 6-3 with a marker by utility-player Rosie Pauli (Fr., Sacramento, Calif./St. Francis) with 1:02 left in the third period and moved back to within a pair of scores at 6-4 wtih 6:01 left in the fourth period as utility-player Samantha Swartz (So., Harleysville, Pa./Souderton) finished a cross pass.
However, the Michigan offense and defense stepped up to preserve the win as two-meter defender Terri Bukofzer (So., Vernon Hills, Ill./Stevenson) broke away and converted on a scoring chance to set the final at 7-4.
Unlike the first half in which the two teams were evenly matched, the second half saw Marist outshoot Michigan 15-9. However, Michigan cashed in on their chances to score going three-for-three to open the third period and punching in their second shot of five in the fourth to hold on for the win.
Further, the teams nearly hit as many posts as goals were recorded as the teams combined to draw iron 10 times, including six shots that rang off the bar by Marist.
In cage, May and Davis finished with 11 and nine saves, respectively.
Coverage of all 12 games of the NCAA Championship is available at the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship site.
|University of Michigan||2||1||3||1||--||7|
Michigan Goals -- Alison Mantel; Terri Bukofzer; Carrie Frost; Michelle Keeley; Sharayah Hernandez; Sarah Roberts; Cara Reitz
Marist Goals -- Katelin McCahill; Colleen Lischwe; Rosie Pauli; Samantha Swartz
Michigan Assists -- Mary Chatigny (2); Carrie Frost; Julie Hyrne
Marist Assists -- Katelin McCahill
Saves: Michigan - Brittany May (11 / 1-3-3-4) ; Marist - (9 / 2-2-2-3)
Exclusions: Michigan - 10 (2-3-3-2) ; Marist - 12 (3-4-2-3)
Shots: Michigan - 19 (6-4-4-5) ; Marist - 25 (3-7-8-7)
Sprints: Michigan - 3 (1-0-1-1) / Marist - 1 (0-1-0-0)