BY JEREMY SUMMITT
For the Daily
Published March 21, 2012
The Michigan water polo team suited up for its first-ever matchup against Notre Dame (Ohio) on Wednesday night, winning 15-6. This year, the Notre Dame (Ohio) Falcons joined the Western Division of the College Water Polo Association (CWPA) and were up for a challenging conference match with the 10th-ranked Wolverines coming to town.
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The Wolverines were riding an eight-game winning streak, with a bulky portion of those wins coming from their sterling 6-0 record in the Wolverine Invitational this past weekend. In an interview on Tuesday, Michigan coach Matt Anderson was asked if there has been much talk of the streak among the team.
“No, no. I mean, a couple years ago we had a 27-game winning streak," Anderson said, "We won the last game, we have not won our next game — that’s how I look at it.”
Michigan was looking to add another win to the hot streak. The struggling Falcons kept the score close for the first two minutes of the match, but that was about all Notre Dame could do. It was knotted up, 1-1, until junior attacker Kiki Golden scored two of the next three Michigan goals in less than two minutes.
The Wolverines never let off the gas pedal, coasting to a 7-1 lead by the end of the first quarter with goals from five different players.
Notre Dame came back strong to start the second quarter, scoring two quick goals. The short scoring burst from the Falcons, though, was not enough to shred Michigan’s large lead. The Wolverines' persistent offensive pressure resulted in two more goals in the second, capping a 9-4 lead heading into the break.
To start the third quarter, Anderson tweaked the Michigan lineup with a few substitutions. Nevertheless, the Wolverines rifled three more shots into the back of the cage to extend their lead to seven.
Michigan, with a 12-5 advantage heading into the final quarter, would surrender only one goal in the fourth. Strong defense led to more offense, as the team added three of its own to finish off a 15-6 victory in their fourth conference game of the season.
The Wolverines had ten players score in the lopsided match, as they push their conference record to a perfect 4-0 and an impressive overall record of 16-9. The Wolverines are looking forward to a 10-day break from action after a busy but successful month. Michigan will try to extend their nine-game winning streak on March 31, when they take on Indiana in their last home match of the season.