2024 U.S. Olympic Women’s Water Polo Roster Announced

Courtesy: USA Water Polo

Los Angeles, CA – May 30, 2024 — U.S. Olympic Women’s Water Polo Team Head Coach Adam Krikorian announced the 13 athletes selected to represent Team USA at the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024, earlier today at a press conference at Republique in Los Angeles. The USOPC will confirm the full Team USA roster for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in July. The roster for the three-time defending Olympic champions and current World Champions features six returners from the Tokyo Olympic Games, five of which also earned gold at the Rio Olympic Games. Three-time Olympic champion Maggie Steffens (captain) builds on her legendary career after golds in London, Rio and Tokyo.

Considered the best water polo player on the planet, Steffens is back for an unprecedented fourth straight attempt at gold, a feat no men’s or women’s water polo nation has ever accomplished. She’s bolstered by a solid mix of Olympic returners and rising stars.

Two-time gold medalist Ashleigh Johnson is back in goal for Team USA, at a position where Team USA has serious depth. Her colleague in the cage is Tokyo Olympic gold medalist and fellow Cutino Award winner, Amanda Longan. Stability is a theme at the attacker spot as well as a trio of two-time gold medalists power that group including Rachel FattalKaleigh Gilchrist and Tokyo MVP Maddie Musselman. These three are the total package with a large arsenal of shots and passes plus years of delivering in the biggest moments as the group has a combined 14 World Championship titles.

Returners from Tokyo. Photo: Jonathan Moore/USA Water Polo

Defender Jordan Raney is no stranger to Team USA, a winner of multiple World Championship she breaks through in 2024 to her first Olympic Team after being the final cut for the Tokyo roster. She’ll lead a re-tooled group of defenders including the youngest member of the squad in 18-year-old Emily Ausmus. The standout from Riverside’s King High School deferred her first year of college water polo at USC to train with Team USA and the decision paid off.

Other first-timers include a completely new center tandem following pivotal retirements after the Tokyo Olympics. Former UC Irvine standout Tara Prentice joins forces with current Princeton star Jovana Sekulic to provide a stellar combo at two meters for Team USA.

A trio of Stanford Cardinal attackers complete the newcomers. 2023 NCAA Champions Ryann NeushulJewel Roemer and Jenna Flynn bring some critical offensive firepower to the USA attack. The nomination marks a special moment for the Neushul family as for the third straight Olympic Games, a Neushul will cap up for Team USA following Kiley in Rio and Jamie in Tokyo.

This USA squad heads to Paris as the top-ranked team in the world returning to form at the World Championships in Doha earlier this year with a gold medal finish. They had finished off the podium at the 2023 event in Japan, ending a run of four straight world titles. Team USA earned their Olympic berth with a gold medal at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

The roster format returns to the prior Olympic Games – 13 athletes rostered for each match, with no need to select a gameday active roster as seen during the Tokyo Games.

Team USA is the only nation to medal in every Olympic Games featuring women’s water polo. They’ve won gold three times (2012, 2016 & 2020), silver twice (2000 & 2008) and bronze once (2004).

2024 U.S. Olympic Women’s Water Polo Team – Olympic Games Paris 2024 (Hometown/College/USA Water Polo Club)

Coaching Staff

  • Head Coach: Adam Krikorian
  • Assistant Coaches: Molly Cahill and Chris Oeding
  • Sports Medicine Manager: Larnie Boquiren
  • Team Manager: Ally Beck

QUOTES

Head Coach Adam Krikorian:

“This journey has been really different than any one of the journeys that we have taken. This team has taken thirteen different journeys to get to this moment. Obviously through this journey, we’ve always been a team, but this one more than ever…We have a healthy mix, I believe, of experience with youth. For those that have been here before at the Olympic Games, it’s taken its toll and I think the path had to be a little different this time to get to this journey…Ultimately we find ourselves here today where we get to meet together and represent Team USA. I’m excited to see what this team can do moving forward. I think we’ve grown a tremendous amount since last summer. This team knows they have grown a lot but also know that they need to continue to improve. Similar to what the late great Bill Walton would use in his texts and emails, this day does not end with a period, it ends with a comma because I know this team can get a lot better over the next two months and I look forward to being a part of this journey with them.”

“With such a disparity between the experience and youth on this team, we really relied on the leadership from the experienced players, probably more so than ever before. When you have an eighteen-year-old and a nineteen-year-old going through this for the very first time, it’s intimidating, it’s really hard, and there’s a lot of anxiety and pressure that comes with it. Being able to have experienced leaders who handle themselves professionally, with maturity and competitiveness, and care and compassion literally every day makes it so much easier for me and our entire staff. On the other end of it is the young ones – you’re only as good of a leader as the people who follow. The energy and the willingness to learn from the experiences of the past and bring that into this journey has been remarkable. Shout out to the young athletes for putting themselves in those vulnerable places to be able to be great learners. It has been fascinating watching this team come together.”

Captain Maggie Steffens:

“It has been a really unique journey, only three years coming out of Tokyo so it was a shortened [Olympic] quad. We have seven women making their Olympic debut along with experience from the past and I think a lot of that has come with resilience, courage, and heart – that’s really what this team is about. We are very excited to showcase that to the world and show all the hard work we have put in. Since we were all little girls, this has been our dream and every single one of these amazing women have demonstrated that through their dedication…Although this day is very special and we are very grateful, I know this team better than anybody and we’re not here to be Olympians – we’re here to be Olympic champions. The journey has just begun on this day and we want to bring home a gold medal for you and the team behind the team.”

“[The team] is a perfect balance. The recipe we have with youth and first-timers brings a new perspective – that passion, that heart, that drive helps the veterans reignite that fire. And those who have been through this before can share their experience and give a different perspective. That recipe creates what we’re looking for, which is teamwork. [There are] thirteen different personalities and backgrounds on this team so it doesn’t happen in one day. It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes the dedication and commitment to putting the team first…We had to put in extra work during the shortened quad and I think that shows how committed every single woman is on this team and how much they care about the common goal. That makes this team really, really special.”

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han qihao
10 days ago

How many people here were at the last Olympics in Tokyo?

Swammer
11 days ago

Flavor Flav!!!!

Coach DL2
12 days ago

NYAC represent! Much is expected of the Winged Foot.

Viking Steve
12 days ago

Team USA or just Team California 🙂

hambone
12 days ago

That’s probably not an easy underwater photo to coordinate with all those people and flag….and no bubbles. Impressive.

joannietheswimmer
Reply to  hambone
12 days ago

photoshop

owen
12 days ago

one of the great sports dynasties. let’s make it 4 in a row!!

cynthia curran
13 days ago

One of those players had 3 of her medals stolen. Not certain if she got it back or she is playing in this olympics.