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Still Dancin! Water Polo Advances to the Final Four

May 14, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIF.-- Sun Devil Water Polo picked up their first NCAA Tournament win since the NCAA's single elimination format was established, with a 9-5 win over the Michigan Wolverines to advance to the semifinal round where four teams remain. The Sun Devils had a bit of a slow start to the game but an offensive surge in the second period was highlighted by career milestones for both Bente Rogge and Amira Van Buren.

Head Coach Todd Clapper noted this historic win, "The team came together and it was nice to have a comfortable lead at the end of that game. I am just really proud of the team's effort… this is nice icing on the cake to get our win and be in the final four."

The game started off slow with both teams tied at the end of the first frame which was no surprise after a couple weeks off, but ASU bounced back with an 8-2 run in the second and third periods to provide some insurance in the fourth period. Rogge's second goal came in the second period, to notch the 150th goal of her career and put her on a list with all-time Sun Devils. The career day didn't end there, as Amira Van Buren's second goal of the game punched her a ticket into the century club, marking her 100th career goal in the Maroon and Gold. 

Chelsea Karimazondo started in goal for the Sun Devils and held Michigan to a 0.208 shooting percentage with just five goals on 28 shots. Karimazondo was helped out by her defense, who recorded seven field blocks to stop Michigan's shots early. Both teams were called for five exclusions, which was one of the lowest marks of the season for the team.

Coming into today's game, ASU has been one of the top defensive teams in the NCAA and they added to that claim with a stellar defensive showing against Michigan. Lara Kiss and Bente Rogge each tallied four steals, Blaire McDowell tacked on three more for the team, and Luca Petovary and Amira Van Buren each added steals of their own. 

UP NEXT: The Sun Devils will face a familiar opponent in No. 1 Seed USC on Saturday at 3 PM MST back at Spieker Aquatics Center in Los Angeles, California. This will be the sixth time seeing the Trojans this season after most recently playing them in the MPSF tournament. In the earlier games this season, ASU has held USC to one of their lowest scoring games of the season and headed into two games tied at the half.

Live Stream:
Live Stats: 

ASU 9, Michigan 5

  • Michigan got on the board first with 4:13 left in the first period. 
  • Bente Rogge got the Sun Devils on the board with 1:35 remaining in the first. 
  • The two teams were even at one headed into the second period.
  • Luca Petovary scored in the opening minutes of the second period to give ASU a 2-1 lead. 
  • Kiss recorded a goal at the 6:03 mark to extend the ASU lead.
  • Rogge's second goal of the game with 5:05 remaining in the second period put ASU up 3-1.
  • Van Buren scored in the final seconds of the second period to give ASU a 5-1 lead going into the half. 
  • McDowell scored on the Sun Devil's opening possession of the third period to extend the lead 6-1. 
  • Michigan picked up two goals in the third with Kiss tacking on one for ASU to keep a 6-3 lead. 
  • Van Buren's second goal of the game came with 2:53 remaining in the third to put the ASU lead back up to 5.
  • Bori Kekesi got on the board in the final seconds of the third to give ASU the largest lead of the game at six.
  • Michigan picked up two goals in the fourth quarter, but still fell short of a comeback.