BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The No. 9-ranked University of Michigan water polo team earned a hard-fought 9-7 win on Indiana University’s Senior Day to start conference play with a victory and give head coach Dr. Marcelo Leonardi his 100th win at Michigan.
Leonardi has a record of 100-37 (.730) in his four seasons in Ann Arbor. He has led the Wolverines to 20 straight regular-season conference wins and has won his last 27 games against conference opponents.
The Wolverines knew they needed to get out to a quick start with a pro-Hoosiers crowd amped up after a senior day presentation prior to the game. Freshman Maddy Johnston put U-M on the board first when she got open inside and finished 1:31 minutes into the game. A minute-and-a-half later, junior Julia Sellers got a fortunate bounce when her shot hit off the crossbar and bounced off the back of Indiana’s goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Indiana trailed, 2-1, after the first quarter but outscored the Wolverines, 3-0, in the second period to lead 4-2 at halftime.
Michigan came out firing in the second half. Within the first two minutes, U-M tied the game at 4 as Sellers scored her second from the outside and Maddy Steere collected a rebound in front of the goal and scored.
The two teams traded goals to make it 5-5, then Caroline Anderson converted a six-on-five opportunity with 31 seconds left to give Michigan a 6-5 advantage heading into the fourth.
The Wolverines built a three-goal lead in the fourth quarter as freshman Sofie Pontré, Johnston and Anderson all scored goals. Indiana cut into the lead with 2:23 to play, but sophomore Heidi Ritner kept them from getting any closer with a pair of clutch saves down the stretch.
Johnston finished with her sixth hat trick of the season, and both Anderson and Sellers tallied two goals and two assists each. Ritner notched five saves as Michigan has won its conference opener in all 18 seasons of program history.
Release courtesy University of Michigan Athletics Communications