ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan water polo team honored its four seniors with a pair of victories to start the Wolverine Invitational at Canham Natatorium.
U-M started the day with a 15-3 victory over Santa Clara University prior to upending No. 15 Long Beach State University, 12-9. Prior to the Long Beach State game to close out the day, seniors Cameron Cordial, Skyler Pyle, Heidi Ritner and Rachel Sodokoff were recognized in front of the home crowd and given flowers by the coaching staff.
In the day’s opener versus Santa Clara, the Wolverines were excited to be back at home for their second tournament of the season at Canham.
Sophomore goalkeeper Sophie Jackson earned her first career start in goal. She allowed just one goal and made nine saves in 16 minutes. She also earned her first career assist.
While Jackson kept Santa Clara off the scoreboard in the first half, her offense provided nine goals. U-M jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first 4:43 of the game, then outscored the Broncos, 4-0, in the second quarter to build a 9-1 lead.
Each team only scored one goal in the third period and for Michigan, that one score was the first collegiate goal for freshman Ella Abbott. Her high school teammate and longtime friend, freshman Carter Britt, made her collegiate debut against Santa Clara and later scored her first collegiate goal with 1:14 left in the game.
The Wolverines added five fourth-quarter goals to finish off the victory.
Three of the four seniors made their marks in the game. Pyle and Sodokoff each scored a goal and Cordial entered the game at goalkeeper at halftime and made three saves in eight minutes before freshman Alex Brown finished off the game.
The three goalkeepers combined for 14 saves and just three goals allowed in the contest. The offense was led by sophomore Erin Neustrom, who matched a career high with four goals on four shots. Sophomore Ava Morrant doubled up her career-high assists total, dishing out four helpers in the contest. In all, 10 different Wolverines scored goals in the game.
In the nightcap versus Long Beach State, the Wolverines came out playing for the seniors in the nightcap and jumped out to a 4-1 lead over the first 6:06.
Long Beach State answered with a 4-0 run into the second quarter, but back-to-back goals by juniors Kathy Rogers and Maddie O’Reilly gave Michigan back the lead heading into halftime.
Back-and-forth in the third quarter, the game remained close with only one or two goals separating the teams. Late in the third quarter, O’Reilly scored her second of the game to spark a 4-0 U-M run. The five-goal deficit was too much to come back from and, despite two late goals by Long Beach State, the Wolverines came out victorious.
Senior goalkeeper Ritner earned her 87th career win with seven saves. Fellow senior goalkeeper Cordial replace her for the final 1:11. Both goalkeepers earned a round of applause when the switch was made.
Seniors Pyle and Sodokoff also contributed good minutes in the team’s win after scoring earlier in the day.
Rogers and O’Reilly gave their all to help earn the win for the seniors. Rogers notched her first hat trick of the season and O’Reilly finished with a career-high eight points and five assists to go with her fifth hat trick of the year.
The senior class is now 92-35 so far in four years at Michigan as U-M improves to 9-8 this season and 5-1 at Canham.
Release courtesy University of Michigan Athletics Communications