IU water polo defeated Salem University in both matches Saturday in Bloomington. The Hoosiers took wins with a 22-8 first match and a 19-3 second match.
The Hoosiers were expected to face University of California, Los Angeles at home this weekend, but because of scheduling conflicts in the UCLA program, the teams have rescheduled their matches to April 12-13. IU replaced its matchups against UCLA with two matches against Salem University at home.
Heading into her fourth and fifth games of the season against Salem, head coach Taylor Dodson said she would be focused on getting all of her players into the game this weekend.
“The weekend is definitely about mixing up our rotations once we’re in the game,” Dodson said. “It’ll be about meshing the whole team a little bit better.”
The Hoosiers won the first match 22-8 with eight players contributing goals and three players scoring four or more goals.
Sophomore utility Zoe Crouch led the team in scoring with seven goals — a career high which tied the record for most points in a game in school history.
“I thought it was great. Zoe is one of our smartest players,” Dodson said. “Today, she really took advantage of the opportunities that she had in front of her while also finding her teammates.”
IU’s defense also performed well as goalkeepers Mary Askew and Sarah Greenven saved a combined 15 of the 23 shots that came their way.
The Hoosiers finished their day undefeated by beating the Tigers 19-3 in their second match. Junior Tina Doherty led the team in scoring this match with seven goals, tying the single game scoring record after she scored no goals in the first match.
“When we figured out that Tina was two goals away from it, we put her back in the game,” Dodson said. “I almost like it better that they get to share it now. It speaks a little bit truer to the culture of our team.”
The Hoosiers have now outscored the Tigers 90-26 in five games this season.
IU improved its record against Salem University to 10-0 all time and 8-2 on the season overall — its best start since 2017. Dodson attributes IU’s great start to the team’s tenacity.
“They are so eager to improve,” Dodson said. “I love the mindset they have everyday that they take to training and competition because we’re trying to do really big things.”
IU won’t play again until March 13. Dodson said the team will use this time to practice hard before it faces tougher opponents such as No. 6 Michigan and No. 3 University of California, Los Angeles.
“We’ve got a saying with the team that we’re all gas, no breaks, so right now we’re just keeping our foot on the gas,” Dodson said.
IU’s next set of matches will be against Michigan at home on March 13-14, starting at 11 a.m. both days.