PROVIDENCE, RI -- Madison Pepper (Fr., Baytown, Texas/Sterling) scored with 3:22 remaining in regulation for the deciding factor as the host Bears of Brown University shocked No. 12 Indiana University, 5-4, in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Eastern Championship at Brown's new Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center.
The victory advances Brown (21-15, 5-3 CWPA Southern Division) to a 6:00 p.m. meeting with a familiar foe in either Harvard University or Southern Division champion/No. 13-ranked Princeton University in the tournament semifinals. Brown went 1-1 against the Crimson this year with a 7-5 loss in the regular season and a 7-6 win at the Southern Division Championship tournament, while the Bears fell to the Tigers 18-8 in regular season competition before dropping a 9-8 game for the division championship.
In a defensive struggle that featured 15 saves between goalies Evan Cranston (Fr., Palo Alto, Calif./Castilleja) of Brown and Cassie Wyckoff (Sr., Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos) of Indiana, neither team could muster much offense in the early going.
Following a scoreless first period which saw the goalies stop five shots, including three point blank blasts against Cranston, Player of the Game Claudia Ruiz (Jr., Sacramento, Calif./Rio Americano) finally break the drought in the second quarter by raining a shot over the head of Wyckoff to stake her team to a 1-0 lead.
Indiana answered in the closing moment of the first half as Colleen McNaught (Fr., Dana Point, Calif./Dana Hills) lined a blast into the twine with 16 seconds on the clock to knot the contest at one-all prior to intermission.
After the halftime break, Brown's offense returned as Rebecca Zak (Fr., Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad) connected on a scoring shot with 6:35 showing on the clock. Shae Fournier (So., Winnipeg, Man./Grant Park) responded with the equalizer at 6:10 to begin a process of one team going in front before the other countered to balance the board.
Ruiz (5:46) and McNaught (5:22) continued the pattern prior to Fournier putting the Hoosiers in front at 4-3 with 2:22 left in the third period for Indiana's only lead of the evening.
However, the final run belonged to the Bears as Emily McNamara (So., Winters, Calif./St. Francis) converted on a man-up chance at 1:02 caused by the ejection of Indiana's Alexis Jones (Fr., Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) with 1:13 left in the third period.
Tied at four-all with eight minutes of play to decide which program advanced to the tournament semifilnals, Cranston and Pepper stepped up recording three saves and the game-winning goal, respectivley, to advance the Bears.
Overall, neither team was capable of managing much offense in the game as the two programs combined for a one-for-12 performance on man-up chances. The lone score on the power-play came from McNamara to equal Indiana and lead to the heroics of Pepepr in the waning moments.
Indiana will next be in action at 2:00 p.m. on April 28 as the Hoosiers will meet the loser of the Princeton-Harvard quarterfinal with a berth in the fifth place game on the line.
|No. 12 Indiana University||0||1
Brown Goals: Claudia Ruiz (2); Emily McNamara;
Madison Pepper; Rebecca Zak
Indiana Goals: Shae Fournier (2); Colleen
Saves: Brown - Evan Cranston (8) ; Indiana - Cassie Wyckoff (7)
Exclusions: Brown - 9 ; Indiana - 3
Advantage Opportunities: Brown - 1-for-3 ; Indiana - 0-for-9
Sprints: Brown - 3-for-4 (First, Second, Third) ; Indiana - 1-for-4 (Fourth)
Officials: Hadi Farid, Alex Stankevitch
Indiana University's Shae Fournier
Brown University fans