No. 11 Indiana women’s water polo hosted No. 1 Stanford on Saturday at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center. The Hoosiers struggled to score against the reigning national champions and lost to the Cardinals 16-7.
In the first quarter, Indiana was able to sustain Stanford’s pace. The Cardinals scored the first goal of the game and three minutes later, Hoosiers’ sophomore attacker Grace Hathaway responded with a goal of her own.
Stanford’s redshirt senior center Aria Fischer scored two more goals in the first quarter, and Indiana’s freshman attacker Louisa Downes countered with two goals of her own. The Hoosiers entered the second quarter with the score tied 3-3.
In the second quarter, the Hoosiers were outscored 5-0 by the Cardinals. Fischer scored back-to-back goals late in the second quarter, and the Cardinals entered the break with an 8-3 lead.
“Their defense was so effective because they are so strong,” freshman utility Nicole Tyner said after the Standford matchup. “They just keep pushing and keep guarding and never hold back.”
The Hoosiers entered the third quarter looking to overcome a 5-point deficit. However, 15 seconds into the second half, Fischer scored her sixth goal of the game.
In the third period, the Cardinals scored three more goals while Indiana’s sole goal came from senior utility Zoe Crouch.
The Hoosiers started the final period trailing 12-4. With three minutes and 25 seconds left in the game, Indiana went on a 3-0 run. The 3 points came from back-to-back goals from Tyner and an additional goal from Downes.
Despite Indiana losing the game 16-7, head coach Taylor McInerney said she was proud of her team’s resilience in the fourth quarter.
“The goal is always to give them all we have,” McInerney said. "I am really proud that we did not quit and kept fighting.”
The Hoosiers begin a 12-day span of no games and will return to the pool on March 16. When Indiana returns from break, it will face No. 11 University of California, Davis and No. 3 University of California, Berkley on the road.
McInerney says the team will begin preparation for the matchup Sunday with hopes of increasing its chances of leaving California with two wins.