2023 World Championships Women’s Water Polo: Day 2 Recap

World Aquatics Championships – Fukuoka 2023

Women’s Pool Play – Day 2

The women’s water polo tournament at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships, which began on Sunday, July 16, has completed the first two rounds of round-robin play. With 16 national teams divided into four pools (Group A, Group B, Group C, and Group D), the teams have one more round to go, at which time they will have met each of the other three teams in their group. At the conclusion of the pool play, the standings in each group will determine seedings for the elimination round of the tournament.

Group A

  • Australia
  • China
  • France
  • United States

Group B

  • Israel
  • Kazakhstan
  • Netherlands
  • Spain

Group C

  • Argentina
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • South Africa

Group D

  • Canada
  • Hungary
  • Japan
  • New Zealand

Day 2 Results – Women

Group A

Rank Country Matches Won Lost Tied GF GA GD Points
1 USA 2 2 0 24 11 13 6
2 AUS 2 1 1 15 17 -2 3
2 FRA 2 1 1 20 21 -1 3
4 CHN 2 0 2 17 27 -10 0

The defending champions, United States of America, won the battle of the defenses, downing Australia, 9-5, to remain undefeated at the top of Group A. USA scored first but quickly gave up two goals to the Aussies, before equalizing at 2-2. The Americans went up 5-3 at the first break. The second period was a display of defense at 0-0. After a 10-minute scoring drought, USA began the third period with 2 straight goals before the Aussies earned one back again. The Americans were up 8-4 headed into the fourth period. Both teams scored once to finish up at 9-5 in USA’s favor. Tara Prentice, Jenna Flynn and Ryann Neushul all scored two goals, while goalkeeper Amanda Longan logged 12 saves. Australia’s Alice Williams netted three.

France picked up its first win of the tournament – and its first win at a World Championships – with a 12-11 squeaker over China. The match went back and forth, with China leading early on, 2-1, then France going ahead 3-2, and China pulling away with 5-3. France then scored three more goals to lead 6-5 at the half. China had a strong third quarter, outscoring the French, 4-1. France scored 4 successive goals to go up, 11-9. China scored again to narrow the French lead to 11-10, but France scored again to put victory just out of reach for the Chinese, who scored a final goal in the last 2 seconds. Juliette Dhalluin led the French with 4 goals, while Wang Huan put 3 in for China. French goalkeeper Mia Rycraw staved off 11 Chinese shots.

Group B

Rank Country Matches Won Lost Tied GF GA GD Points
1 NED 2 2 0 37 8 29 6
2 ESP 2 1 1 28 12 16 3
2 ISR 2 1 1 22 28 -6 3
4 KAZ 2 0 2 8 47 -39 0

Group B featured two very lopsided matches. In the first, Netherlands beat Kazakhstan, 30-2, to remain undefeated at the top of the standings. Netherlands pummeled Kazakhstan with 10 goals in the first period and went up 17-1 at the half. They added 9 more in the third and 4 in the final period. Simone van de Kraats led the Dutch effort with 8 goals on 9 attempts; teammate Maxine Schaap netted 5. Darya Pochinok and Anastassiya Mirshina each scored for Kazakhstan.

Spain overwhelmed Israel, 22-5, in the second matchup of the group. Israel began on even footing with Spain, matching each of Spain’s first two goals. Spain broke away to lead 5-2 at the first break and 10-3 at halftime. Spain dominated the second half, outscoring Israel 12-2. Paula Camus and Ariadne Ruiz had 4 each for Spain. Five different players scored for Israel.

Group C

Rank Country Matches Won Lost Tied GF GA GD Points
1 ITA 2 2 0 51 3 48 6
1 GRE 2 2 0 45 4 41 6
3 RSA 2 0 2 4 48 -44 0
3 ARG 2 0 2 3 48 -45 0

Greece and Italy continued their drubbing of the competition in Group C. Greece took down Argentina, 21-2, and Italy beat South Africa, 24-2. In the latter match, Italy opened the score, South Africa equalized, and Italy scored once again before the first break. That was the last time the score would be close, however, as Italy went on to outscore RSA by 7-0, 7-1, and 8-0 in each of the next three quarters. Sofia Giustini and Dafne Bettini led Italy with four goals apiece.

Greece got off to a dominant start, scoring 6 goals in the first period and allowing only one. The Greeks mad it 11-1 at the half and 21-2 at full time. Foteini Tricha, Vasiliki Plevritou, and Maria Myriokefalitaki topped the Greek side with 3 goals each.

Group D

Rank Country Matches Won Lost Tied GF GA GD Points
1 HUN 2 2 0 37 31 6 6
2 CAN 2 1 1 23 22 1 3
2 NZL 2 1 1 28 29 -1 3
4 JPN 2 0 2 37 43 -6 0

Hungary remained undefeated in pool play in Group D with a 26-21 win over Japan. Hungary scored the first three goals, then went up 4-1, but Japan soon equalized. Hungary scored the 9th goal of the period and led 5-4 at the break. There was more back-and forth in the second period before Hungary went off at the half with a 13-10 advantage. Japan cut the lead to 2 points, trailing 14-12 in the third, before Hungary fired off five unanswered goals to lead 19-12. Japan cut the lead to 20-15 by the end of the quarter. Both teams added six goals in the fourth period for a final score of 26-21. Japan’s Yumi Arima had 7 goals to lead all scorers. Kata Hajdu scored 5 for Hungary, while teammates Dorottya Szilagyi, Vanda Valyi, and Greta Gurisatti each had 4. Japan’s Fuka Nishiyama also scored 4.

After a narrow round-1 defeat at the hands of Hungary, Canada came back to beat New Zealand, 13-11. Canada got off to a strong start, leading 2-1, then 4-1, and finally 7-4 at the end of the first period. New Zealand fought back with a second period that saw them outscore the Canadians, 3-1. Canada shut out New Zealand, 3-0, in the third period and just hung on in the fourth, even though they were outscored 4-2. Shae la Roche had 3 goals for Canada, while goalkeeper Jessica Gaudreault made 10 saves. Kaitlin Howarth put 4 in the net for New Zealand.


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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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