8 Women Score as USA Water Polo Downs Spain, 11-4, in 1st Round Match


  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Swimming: August 6-13
  • Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Barra Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro
  • Prelims – 9:00 a.m/12:00 p.m PST/EST (1:00 p.m local), Finals – 6:00 p.m/9:00 p.m PST/EST (10:00 p.m local)
  • Schedule & Results

Team USA began the quest to defend its title on Tuesday with a dominant 11-4 win over Spain in Group B pool play at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre. The Americans were dominant from the outset, with Kiley Neushul putting the first goal on the scoreboard after 25 second of play. Three minutes later Neushul scored again on a power play strike to build up a 2-0 lead. Spain answered with a center shot goal from Anna Espar, but USA’s Madeline Musselman scored 30 seconds later to make it 3-1 to the Americans. Kami Craig added another point to Team USA’s score less than a minute later, and the score was 4-1 at the end of the first quarter.

The second period began with a pair of goals in the first couple of minutes from Rachel Fattal and Courtney Mathewson. Spain’s Beatriz Ortiz made it 6-2, scoring with a minute left, but Makenzie Fischer scored on a penalty shot 30 seconds later and the scored stood at 7-2 at halftime.

Spain scored first in the third quarter as Maica Garcia got one past USA goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson on a power play. 15 seconds later the USA made it 8-3 on a goal from captain Maggie Steffens. Steffens scored again less than a minute later on a penalty shot to go up 9-3. Spain’s Garcia notched her second goal at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter the Americans doubled down on defense, holding Spain scoreless. Mathewson and KK Clark tallied two more goals and the final score read Spain 4 – 11 USA. Johnson made 11 saves, including 1 penalty, from 15 shots on goal.

The United States is tied with Hungary for first place in Group B after the first round of matches.

1 Hungary 2 1 1 0 0 13 11 2
1 United States 2 1 1 0 0 11 4 7
3 China 0 1 0 0 1 11 13 -2
3 Spain 0 1 0 0 1 4 11 -7


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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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