No. 19 Indiana women’s water polo earned its first conference win after beating No. 15 Arizona State this weekend. The Hoosiers end an 18-year losing streak against the Sun Devils and improve to a 1-4 record in conference play.
The Hoosiers were led by sophomore center Sophia Sollie who scored a team-high four goals against the Sun Devils. She scored her first two goals in the first quarter and by halftime she had a hat trick. Sollie’s first half performance helped Indiana to a 6-3 lead at halftime.
“After Sophia had a really strong first half, the rest of the team really picked it up in the second half to keep us going,” head coach McInerney said after the game.
Sollie made the first move in the second half and scored her fourth goal with five minutes and 34 seconds left in the third quarter. However, the Sun Devils responded with a 3-0 run and cut Indiana’s lead to 7-6. The Sun Devils trailed by one point as they entered the final quarter.
Sophomore attacker Grace Hathaway extended Indiana’s lead to 8-6 with a goal in the fourth quarter. McInerney called a timeout on Indiana’s next possession and regrouped her team for the final minutes of the game.
“Keep attacking on offense and make them play defense for as long as possible,” McInerney said in the huddle. “Maintain our press and help each other on defense to keep getting stops.”
Directly after the timeout, senior utility Zoe Crouch scored a goal on a power play and extended Indiana’s lead to 9-6 with three minutes and 31 seconds remaining in the game. Indiana outscored Arizona State 4-1 in the fourth quarter and won the game 11-7.
Indiana’s win this weekend is huge, McInerney said. She is proud of the team’s effort this weekend as eight Hoosiers contributed to the scoring column. The win is great for the team's confidence after previously being winless in the conference.
“We take a lot of pride in the fact that we do things the hard way,” McInerney said. “We don't play in an easy conference, we travel a lot and we have a really tough non-conference schedule. We want to be the best we can be and playing the best competition is going to help us get there.”
Indiana returns to the pool next weekend as they host No. 13 Michigan at 1 p.m. on April 8 in the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center.