The Wolverine

June-July 2013 - Wolverine

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  postseason: water polo Scoring Droughts Plague Michigan, But Freshmen Shine The stage was set for the Michigan water polo team April  28. The Wolverines had just defeated their bitter rivals, the Indiana Hoosiers, 6-5 the night before to earn a spot against Princeton in the CWPA Eastern championship game. Canham Natatorium, the Wolverines' home pool, was the venue, with a conference championship and a spot in the NCAA Championships on the line. The game, however, was a microThe freshman class accounted for 155 of cosm of the team's season: offensive the Wolverines' 373 goals this season (41.6 inadequacies, injuries and the surpercent), including 38 by Presley Pender prising rise of the freshmen. (shown, above). Michigan started the match with photo courtesy michigan athletic media relations an early 2‑0 advantage. The freshmen embraced the big-game pressure. CWPA Rookie of the Year Bryce Beckwith opened the scoring with a skip shot that found its way past Princeton goaltender Ashleigh Johnson. Later, freshman Ali Thomason lobbed a ball over Johnson's hands, and it trickled across the goal line. Merely five minutes in, things were looking good for the Maize and Blue. After Princeton evened the score with two lightning-quick goals, freshman Presley Pender gave Michigan the lead again with just 1:23 left in the first quarter. But, the Tigers responded to adversity in a hostile environment, tying the match at three. The second and third quarters passed, and Michigan was held scoreless. Conversely, Princeton went on a 6-1 run, finally conceding a U-M goal in the fourth, but by then it was too late for the Wolverines. Michigan was making its eighth CWPA title-game appearance in 11 years under head coach Matt Anderson. Four times they had won the championship game, but a fifth was not to be. For the majority of the season, the 10-member freshman class (non-goalies) was called upon to provide offense when many veterans struggled and suffered injuries. Only six Wolverines played every game, and in one stretch, Anderson was forced to insert three freshmen into the starting lineup. "It took us until the game against Brown [April 7] at the East Regional before

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