No. 14 IU water polo concluded its 2021 season with a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament match against No. 4 University of California, Berkeley. The Hoosiers lost a tight match to the Golden Bears, 13-11.
The Hoosiers fell to 10-17 this season and 2-13 in the conference with the loss.
IU head coach Taylor Dodson applauded the team’s fight during this weekend of play.
“Going into it, I wasn’t sure if we had three games in us,” Dodson said. “Knowing that we came to play on the last day and made the most out of the opportunity that we had to play one of the best teams in the country was a really good thing to see.”
The two teams were evenly matched throughout, and Berkeley entered the final period with an 8-7 lead. At the end of the match, the teams only had a .026 difference in shot efficiency.
Dodson said he believes the deciding factor on the game was the team’s inability to execute, as well as allowing junior center Kitty Lynn Joustra to score six goals.
“We let their center, who is their best player, score two late goals on us one-on-one,” Dodson said. “They capitalized on our mistakes more frequently than we capitalized on their’s, and we had some looks that didn’t go, and at this level that’s the difference.”
For the Hoosiers, junior attacker Lanna Debow and sophomore utility Katherine Hawkins both scored three or more goals as well as steals — one for Hawkins and three for Debow.
Junior goalkeeper Mary Askew recorded a career-high 14 saves in the match, which moves her to eighth all-time for saves in program history.
Dodson said he believes the team ultimately achieved its goal of playing its best game in the end, but said he knows there is much more work to do.
“We’ve talked all year about always being on the hunt for our best game, and I do think that today was our best game of the season,” Dodson said. “Next year starts now and we have to keep this loss fresh in our mind and not just be happy with the fact that we played well.”