Print Friendly, PDF & Email

PALO ALTO, Calif. The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan water polo team fell to No. 10 Arizona State University, 7-6, and defeated No. 17 San Jose State University, 6-4, on the final day of the Stanford University Invitational at the Avery Aquatics Center.

Kata Utassy led Michigan offensively on the day with four goals, while Alex Brown collected 19 saves including 12 in the win over San Jose State.

Facing Arizona State for the second time in 2023 after previously claiming an 11-10 victory in overtime on January 15 in Tempe, Ariz., the Wolverines came storming out of the gate with two goals in the first minute of play. Utassy struck first by converting a penalty shot and Sammi Monroe took advantage of a counterattack and found the back of the net. Utassy scored her second penalty shot of the game to give Michigan a 3-0 lead with three-and-a-half minutes left in the quarter. The Sun Devils found their offensive stride and scored three goals in three minutes to tie it up heading into the second quarter.

Ava Morrant kicked off the second quarter for the Wolverines with a bullet to the back of the net to give Michigan the lead back. Arizona State took advantage of a six-on-five power play and a counterattack to earn its first lead of the game at 5-4.

The Sun Devils struck first in the third quarter, finding the back of the net on a power play. Elise Walker netted her first goal of the game with the assist from Riley Chapple to pull the Wolverines within one heading into the final quarter.

Arizona State netted a goal just nine seconds into the final quarter to extend its lead back to two. Morrant swished a  counterattack chance to bring the Maize and Blue back within one with two minutes and 50 seconds left, but the Wolverines could not complete the rally.

Facing San Jose State for the first time this year, the first quarter of play was back and forth with both teams showing out defensively until the Spartans struck first with two minutes and 40 seconds left in the quarter. Thirty-four seconds later, Utassy took advantage of a six-on-five power play and found the back of the net to even it up.

Morrant put Michigan out in front for its first lead of the game after a skip shot to the top right corner of the net to start the second. In the first half of play, the Maize and Blue defense had nine steals, five blocks and forced eight turnovers — led by Brown in goal with all five saves. Chapple and Issy Jackson also combined for four steals.

Monroe kicked off the second half with a counterattack goal to give Michigan a 3-1 lead just one minute in. Utassy connected for her second goal of the game thanks to a pass from Lola Ciruli, and 30 seconds later Monroe added another to the stat page, pushing U-M to a 5-1 lead. The Spartans found their offensive stride with four minutes left in the third quarter, scoring three back-to-back goals to pull within one goal of the Wolverines.

It took Michigan four minutes to create a lane for Ciriuli to fire a shot into the back of the net for its next goal. The defense then continued to hold strong, holding the Spartans in check over the final eight minutes to give Michigan the two-goal win.

Release courtesy University of Michigan Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association