UM opens season 2021, invite to Michigan with victories over Indiana, Salem
20-2-2021 4:39:00 PM
// Brad Rudner
Michigan opened the 2021 season with an 8-5 win over No. 13 Indiana and a 12-7 win over Salem at the Micigan Invitational.
Between the two wins, 16 Wolverines scored at least one point. Utassy said and Anne Rankin each scored three goals while Sophie Tovani and Sammi Monroe had two each.
All three keepers saw action. Heidi Ritner played the entire game vs. Indiana, while Alex Brown and Sophie Jackson meantime in the win over Salem.
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Canham Natatorium)
Event: Michigan Invitational (Day 1 of 2)
Scores: # 6 Michigan 8, # 13 Indiana 5; # 6 Michigan 12, Salem 7
Records: UM (2-0), IU (4-1), SU (0-5)
Next UM event: Sunday, February 21 – vs. St. Francis (Pa.) – Michigan Invitational, Day 2 (Canham Natatorium), 9am
PDF Box scores: # 13 Indiana | Salem
Photo gallery | Tournament Central
ANN ARBOR, me. – The University of Michigan’s No. 6-ranked water polo team returned to the league for the first time in nearly a year, sweeping No. 13 Indiana, 8-5 and Salem, 12-7 on Saturday (Feb. 20). during the first day of the Michigan Invitational at Canham Natatorium.
Game 1: # 6 Michigan 8, # 13 Indiana 5
The Wolverines jumped to an early lead and never gave in. Junior Erin Neustrom opened the score, but Indiana’s Kallie White answered 80 seconds later to even the score. Extra goals from senior Sofie Pontr and freshmen Libby Alsemgeest gave Michigan a 3-1 lead after the first quarter.
The defense held Indiana winless for most of the second quarter, as the Hoosiers found the back of the net only once with 15 seconds to go before halftime. Freshmen Utassy said scored two goals in the second – one from a penalty and one with an extra forward – while he was a sophomore Anne Rankin also found the back of the net. The Wolverines led 6-3 at half time.
The visitors beat the lead in the third quarter, but a nice save for the graduate Heidi Ritner retained Michigan’s advantage of two goals on the way to fourth.
The Hoosiers came to within one, 6-5, with 7:15 over to an exclusion goal from Tina Doherty, but Rankin answered right back 21 seconds later to make it 7-5. Senior Maddie O’Reilly put the game on ice with a penalty goal with 3:24 over, and the Wolverines killed the rest of the game for the win.
Ritner was busy in the net, making five saves, four steals and chipping an assist. Pontré had two assists in addition to her goal.
Match 2: Michigan 12, Salem 7
The Wolverines found themselves back in the water right after the morning win, and wasted little time getting the game’s first three goals underway through O’Reilly, Rankin and Utassy.
A turning point came in the second quarter. With a 4-2 lead, sophomore Alex Brown, who started the game, turned back a penalty kick from Erin Zappia. That momentum translated into an insult on the other side, as freshmen Sammi Monroe converted her own penalty shot. Freshmen Elise Walker, sophomore Ella Abbott and freshmen Alison Lock followed with own goals to give Michigan an 8-3 lead at the break.
Junior Sophie Jackson replaced Brown in goal for the second half and made a great save on Salem’s Margherita Garibbo in the leading group. Jackson made seven saves in goal.
Ten different Wolverines scored in the win, led by Monroe and sophomores Sophie Tovani, each of which scored twice. Jackson and Brown combined for 12 saves and Michigan hit a perfect 8-for-8 on sprints in their two games on Saturday.
UM will be back in Canham on Sunday (February 21) for two more games, where they will face Saint Francis (Pa.) At 9am and No. 13 Indiana at 6pm to close the Wolverine Invitational.
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