With a senior class as accomplished and talented as the one that steps into the pool for IU’s water polo team, the accolades and milestones are plentiful.
This weekend, it was Sarah Myers’ turn, as the senior attacker scored her 100th career goal in IU’s last game of the weekend against Marist.
IU Coach Ryan Castle attributed Myers’ success to her relentless work ethic and desire to get better every day.
“She’s always trying to gain that extra edge around the pool,” Castle said. “She doesn’t believe in swimming 70 percent. It’s 100 percent, all-out, every single time. It’s just her quiet edge and her constant motion.”
Myers thanked the new regime that came when Castle took over as head coach the previous year. She credited the quality of practices as a massive reason why she was able to become a key contributor for the Hoosiers.
“I think things changed a lot when Ryan came here,” said Myers. “Practices became more intense, more competitive, and we’ve been focusing a lot on making our practices as game-like as possible, so we can transfer that same intensity into our games.”
Myers’ goal was the last goal in a 10-3 victory over Marist in the last game of the weekend’s tournament. Senior center Jennifer Beadle scored a hat-trick in the first quarter, and IU overcame a slightly shaky start to come away with a solid win. Senior goalkeeper Jessica Gaudreault was reliable as usual in the cage, posting five saves and eight steals as part of an impressive defensive effort.
In Sunday’s opener, IU took on VMI in a back-and-forth, offense heavy contest that ended in a 14-9 Hoosier victory. Freshman driver Juli Hilovsky led IU’s attack with five goals, a new career high. Joining Hilovsky on the score sheet was Myers, sophomore attacker Megan Abarta and senior utility Sarah Young, each of whom scored two goals. Myers had a big game on both ends of the pool, adding two assists and three steals to her scoring exploits.
In IU’s first game on Saturday, the Hoosiers welcomed conference opponent and tenth-ranked Hartwick to the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center for their first CWPA game of the season. IU struggled to gain a foothold in the game, but they fellp 13-11 in an exciting contest. A five-goal game from Hartwick’s Lena Kotanchyan was enough to offset Sarah Young’s hat-trick and Megan Abarta's two goals.
Castle said he thought his team played a solid game, but the performance was lacking a bit during crunch time.
“I thought we played well for 28 minutes, but we have to develop into a 32-minute team,” Castle said. “That comes with people on the bench being able to jump in in crucial moments and contribute in little ways so we can keep our momentum going.”
IU looked like a 32-minute team in Saturday’s second game, where the Hoosiers dominated from the opening whistle on their way to a 10-3 victory over Santa Clara. Sophomore driver Emily Powell and sophomore attacker Joelle Nacouzi each scored two goals in the first half as IU took a commanding 5-1 lead into the break. The onslaught continued in the second half, as five different Hoosiers scored to close out a decisive win.
IU improves to 15-4 on the season and will travel to Tempe, Arizona next weekend to play in the Sun Devil Invitational. IU will take on Arizona State in their first game of the weekend at 12:30 p.m. next Saturday.