After getting its second win at home of the season last Wednesday against George Washington University, the Fresno State water polo team faced the visiting University of Michigan Wolverines at the Fresno State Aquatics center on March 15.
In their third game at home this season, the Bulldogs lost to the Wolverines 17-7, bringing their overall record to 8-10 and 2-1 at home.
The game started with Michigan scoring the first goal of the match due to a penalty committed by the Bulldogs. Fresno State would tie the game quickly, thanks to Emily Nicholson who scored the first one for the ‘Dogs.
Michigan maintained control of the game, scoring three more goals in the quarter and not allowing the Bulldogs to answer.
In the second quarter of the game, Michigan continued its domination over the Bulldogs, scoring first in the quarter.
The Bulldogs’ offense was active during this period, putting pressure on Michigan’s defense, which was able to hold the ‘Dogs to only three goals. However, the Bulldogs’ defense allowed the Wolverines to score five times, giving them a 9-4 lead at halftime.
In the second half of the game, the Bulldogs had a great opportunity to get points early and gather some momentum when the officials called a penalty in favor of the ‘Dogs.
Bulldogs freshman Daphne Guevremont took the penalty shot, but the shot was saved by Michigan’s goalie, keeping the score 9-4.
During the entire third period, the Bulldogs’ offense was unlucky, hitting the crossbar on several shots.
Nicholson had her second goal of the game just before the end of the third period when she took an acrobatic shot with her back to the Wolverines’ goal that got past the goalie.
The quarter ended with a score of 13-6 and Michigan taking the momentum into the last quarter of the game.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs continued their offensive struggles against a defense that didn’t allow the ‘Dogs any opportunities, and the shots that were taken were either stopped by the goalie or sent over the crossbar.
Michigan took a 10-point lead toward the end of the period. The Bulldogs did answer back with one goal by Claire Schade, which made the score 16-7.
However, the Wolverines scored one more time just before the end of the game, making the final score 17-7 and handing the first home loss of the season to the Bulldogs.
After the match, head coach Natalie Benson said that they had faced a very experienced team who knew her team very well, because this was the third time this season the teams had faced each other.
“It’s great practice for us to play a team of that caliber as we prepare to go into our conference play, “ Benson said. “Overall, I am happy with the team’s performance and their approach. Obviously, we are still a very young team, and we can learn a lot from games like this.”