BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Cassie Wyckoff (Jr., Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos) recorded 12 saves to earn the tournament Most Valuable Player award as No. 13 Indiana University upset No. 6 University of Michigan 5-3 at home in Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center to take the 2011 CWPA Eastern Championship and the league's automatic bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship.
The win earns the Hoosiers the title of 2011 Eastern Champion and gives Indiana the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship to be hosted in two weeks, ironically, at the University of Michigan's Canham Natatorium on May 13-15. With seating for 1,200 people, Canham provided the setting for the 2005 NCAA Championship.
For Indiana, the story of the title tilt was the play of its defense as Cassie Wyckoff dominated the majority of the contest, to claim Player of the Game accolades for her outstanding play and also set a single-season school record for saves with 322 during her junior campaign.
In addition to Wyckoff, Jakie Kohli (Jr., Burnaby, B.C./Moscrop Secondary) did not score a point but played a more critical role than accounting for one of Indiana's goals as she terminated six Wolverines’ possessions by herself via a field block, a steal or forcing an offensive foul to give the Hoosiers the ball and ultimately the program’s second trip to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship after advancing in 2003.
Ranked among the Top 20 teams in the country for most of the season, the Hoosiers improved to 12-2 against the other Eastern Championship teams this year as the Red & White’s only losses came to No. 12 Hartwick College (8-5 L) and Michigan (9-8 L) during CWPA Western Division regular season play.
For the Hoosiers, the road to Ann Arbor was preordained to go through the Hawks and Wolverines as Indiana avenged both of its regular season Western Division losses by upsetting the Hawks 10-9 in the semifinals before upending the Wolverines in the title tilt in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.
The contest started with a pair of Indiana strikes as Shae Fournier (Fr., Winnipeg, Manitoba/Grant Park) and Kara Butler (Sr., Poway, Calif./Poway) beat Michigan goalie Alex Adamson (So., Coronado, Calif./Coronado) at 2:43 and 2:19 to put the Hoosiers in front 2-0 through eight minutes of action.
Fournier expanded the Wolverines' deficit to 3-0 with a successful five meter penalty shot at 7:25 of the second period before Michigan cracked the Indiana defense for a marker by Ryley Plunkett (Sr., Modesto, Calif./Johansen) at 5:48.
Michigan hacked the margin to a single score four minutes later as Lauren Colton (So., Tustin, Calif./Tesoro) worked her way down the tank and into the heart of Hoosier country for a blast with 1:38 remaining in the first half.
Keller Felt (Sr., La Jolla,
Calif./La Jolla) factored in the next two scores of the
game as she netted the equalizer with 24 seconds left in the half
to make it 3-3.
However, Indiana scored its third goal of the first half and the game-winner off another Michigan miscue as Felt was ejected with six seconds remaining in the half. Needing a stop to prevent Indiana from going up 4-3, the Wolverines defense collapsed in front of Adamson allowing Fournier to unleash a point blank shot into the right side of the cage to put Indiana back in front to stay.
From an offense dominated second period in which the two programs combined for five goals, the second half was all about field blocks, saves, steals and turnovers as an insurance goal by Lauren Wyckoff (Sr., Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos) with 6:02 left in the third period was the only damage inflicted by either the Wolverines or the Hoosiers.
Adamson finished with five saves in the game for Michigan as the Hoosiers converted on half their shots in the game, while holding the Wolverines to three-of-14 from the field.
The victory avenges a 7-5 victory by the Wolverines over Indiana in last year's Eastern title game contested at the University of Maryland as the Hoosiers are now 2-4 all-time agianst Michigan in the league's championship tournament. In their previous meetings, Michigan knocked off the Hoosiers in 2001 (8-2 W @ Brown University, fifth place game), 2002 (8-7 W @ Princeton University, semifinals), 2005 (8-7 W @ Indiana, Championship) and 2010. Indiana previously downed the Wolverines in 2007 when the Hoosiers stopped Michigan 5-3 in the third place game at Princeton University.
A home game for Indiana could be considered a neutral site game when these two teams meet as the Wolverines had not lost at Counsilman-Billingsley since the 2007 as Michigan is now 36-6 all-time when travelling the short distance from Ann Arbor, Mich. to Bloomington.
The Wolverines, who were seeking to become the first program since 1988-96 Slippery Rock University women's teams to win four consecutive Eastern crowns after previously taking the prize in 2002, 2005, 2008, 2008 and 2010, fall to 28-7 all-time at the Eastern Championship, including a 22-6 mark under head coach Matt Anderson.
The Hoosiers will now await their seeding on the NCAA Women’s Water Polo Selection Show, which will be shown live on NCAA.com on Monday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets for the NCAA Championship
are available for sale online at MGoBlue.com/tickets, in person at the U-M Athletic
Ticket Office or by calling (734) 764-0247 or toll-free at (866)
Cassie Wyckoff (Goalie), Indiana
Lauren Wyckoff, Indiana
Jakie Kohli, Indiana
Charlotte Mensink, Hartwick
Allison Campbell, Maryland
Devan Kennifer, Harvard
Kiki Golden, Michigan
Jessica Dorman (Goalie), Hartwick
Lauren Colton, Michigan
Alison Mantel, Michigan
Kandis Canonica, Bucknell
Shannon Leonard, Hartwick
Kate Rigler, Princeton
Kate Woods, Brown
MVP: Cassie Wyckoff, Indiana
Rookie of the Tournament: Charlotte Mensink, Hartwick
Doc Hunkler Coach of the Tournament: Carl Salyer, Maryland
|No. 6 University of Michigan||0||3||0||0||--||3|
|No. 13 Indiana University
Shae Fournier (3); Kara Butler; Lauren Wyckoff
Michigan Goals: Lauren Colton; Keller Felt; Ryley Plunkett
Saves: Indiana - Cassie Wyckoff (11) ; Michigan - Alex Adamson (5)
Exclusions: Indiana - 3 ; Michigan - 6
Advantage Opportunities: Indiana - 3-for-6 ; Michigan - 0-for-3
Sprints: Indiana - 1-for-4 ; Michigan - 3-for-4
Officials: Alex Stankevitch, Humberto Navarro
Indiana University head coach & the Hoosiers hug it out
Barry King raises his hands in victory
2011 CWPA Eastern Champion -