IU took the first step towards its goal of a conference title last weekend, knocking off St. Francis for its first Collegiate Water Polo Association win of the season.
Preceding that victory were wins over Bucknell and No. 22 Harvard, pushing the Hoosiers’ record to 20-5 on the season.
The Hoosiers opened the weekend against Harvard and knocked off the Crimson 11-10 in a back-and-forth contest. Senior center Jennifer Beadle and senior utility Sarah Young paced IU with four goals apiece, while senior attacker Sarah Myers racked up four steals.
After racing out to a 5-2 lead at halftime, IU had to withstand two comeback attempts from Harvard to pull out the one-goal victory. IU Coach Ryan Castle was pleased with his team’s ability to keep pushing through the adversity.
“We made mistakes, but we were able to recover from those mistakes, so we showed great resilience,” Castle said.
IU took on Bucknell in their second game Saturday and came out on top with an 11-8 victory.
The Hoosiers dominated the second quarter, scoring five unanswered goals headlined by junior defender Karrie Kozokar’s hat-trick. Senior goalkeeper Jessica Gaudreault was massive between the posts as she notched 13 saves in her performance. Kozokar led IU’s attack with five goals, while Young picked up her second hat-trick of the weekend.
The Hoosiers closed their weekend against St. Francis in their second conference game of the season. IU had started their CWPA slate in a frustrating manner, as they lost 13-11 at home to No. 13 Hartwick. IU had no such problems against the Red Flash, as it dominated from start to finish and came away with a 15-5 victory.
IU took a 7-2 lead into halftime and never took their foot off the gas, scoring five times in the third quarter and eight total in the second half, all while stifling the St. Francis attack on the other end. Beadle, Young and sophomore attacker Megan Abarta all notched hat-tricks, and senior defender Kelly Matthews chipped in with two goals of her own.
Despite the dominant performance against St. Francis and the solid weekend as a whole, Castle wanted his team to clean up some of the finer points of their game.
IU will return to action this Saturday as they take on conference rival Michigan at the Cousilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center at 11 a.m.
“We need to improve on the little things,” Castle said. “It all comes down to how focused we are throughout the game.”
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