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Thursday, June 13
The Indiana Daily Student

sports water polo

Late goals guide Indiana water polo to 2-2 weekend against tough competition at Kalbus Invite


No. 17 Indiana water polo went 2-2 at the Kalbus Invite this past weekend in Irvine, California. The Hoosiers beat No. 18 Loyola Marymount University and No. 11 University of California-San Diego, but fell to No. 6 Michigan and No. 9 Arizona State.

Indiana’s four-game weekend started Friday evening against No. 6 Michigan. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Greeven made her first start of the season in the net for the Hoosiers. Both teams struggled to pull away with the lead for the majority of the game. The Wolverines got out to an early 2-1 lead in the first quarter through sophomore center Elise Walker’s pair of goals. 

The Wolverines extended their lead to 3-1 in the second quarter. Freshman driver Grace Hathaway cut the Hoosiers’ deficit to 1 goal before freshman center Sophia Sollie tied things up with a buzzer-beater goal to end the half in a 3-3 tie. 

The back-and-forth play took a turn toward the Wolverines’ advantage in the third quarter, as they outscored the Hoosiers 2-1 in the period to take a 5-4 lead. Walker added another goal to her total in the third quarter to give herself a hat-trick on the day.

The fourth quarter started with back-to-back goals from the Wolverines. Senior utility Maddy Steere scored the first goal and assisted the second to extend the Wolverines’ lead to 7-4. 

Related: [No. 17 Indiana water polo looks to break out of recent slump at Kalbus Invite]

The Hoosiers continued to fight, though, countering and scoring a pair of goals in the final quarter. But their efforts weren’t enough as the Wolverines scored with under 90 seconds remaining to give themselves a two-goal lead before holding onto an 8-6 victory.

The Hoosiers’ faced No. 18 Loyola Marymount to start Saturday’s two-match slate. The first quarter stayed on par with the Hoosiers’ previous game, and the Lions led 4-3 going into the second quarter. Several Hoosiers, including junior utility Zoe Crouch, freshman attacker Skylar Kidd and freshman utility Portia Sasser, all found the back of the net in the first.

The Hoosiers held a 6-5 lead in the middle of the second quarter before the Lions gained momentum. Loyola Marymount mounted a comeback and pulled away with four goals before the first half concluded. Six unanswered goals left the Hoosiers in an 11-6 hole. 

The Hoosiers have struggled this season coming back after falling behind early, but that changed against Loyola Marymount. A trio of goals from Skylar Kidd and senior center Izzy Mandema tied things up for the Hoosiers early in the fourth quarter.  

What seemed to be the game-clinching goal came from Debow, but the Hoosiers failed to hold on to their 15-14 as the Lions found an equalizer in the last five seconds of regulation.

Debow came through again in overtime with a last-minute goal to give the Hoosiers a 16-15 win, their first of the weekend.

Related: [No. 17 Indiana water polo goes winless in Fresno State Invite]

Later on Saturday evening, the Hoosiers took on No. 11 University of California-San Diego in another tight battle. The Hoosiers got off to a strong start in the first and outscored the Tritons 4-2, with a pair of goals from Mandema making the difference. 

The Hoosiers took a 6-3 lead going into the second half, and Mandema found the back of the net again for a first-half hat-trick.

After an early third-quarter Hoosiers goal, the Tritons outscored the Hoosier 5-0 to squash their lead and eventually retake it with an 8-7 advantage in the fourth quarter. 

Both teams traded goals towards the end of the fourth quarter, and it appeared as if the contest was destined for overtime. But with just over 90 seconds left, junior utility Katherine Hawkins gave the Hoosiers the lead and the team won another close match 10-9.

The last game of Indiana’s weekend came Sunday afternoon against No. 9 Arizona State. Back-and-forth scoring from both sides ended in  a 5-4 Sun Devils advantage after the first quarter despite Kidd’s two early goals for the Hoosiers. 

Related: [No. 10 Indiana water polo falls flat at Michigan Invitational]

The second period was just as competitive, as each team equaled the other's scoring total. Kidd earned a first-half hat trick, but Arizona State freshman Vanda Baksa tore the Hoosiers up with six first-half goals. At the end of the half, Arizona State held a 9-8 advantage. 

The Sun Devils controlled the pace in the second half with seven goals compared to the Hoosiers’ one. The Hoosiers lost the final game of the weekend, 16-9.

Baksa finished the weekend with a team-high eight goals for Indiana. Kidd and Mandema combined for five.

The Hoosiers split the Kalbus Invite 2-2 and are now 7-8 on the season ahead of the Harvard Invitational in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 5. 

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