Canada, Hungary, Italy, Russia Move on to WUG Women’s Water Polo Semifinals

World University Games Water Polo – Women

Canada, Hungary, Italy and Russia are in the hunt for podium spots in women’s water polo at the World University Games after quarterfinal wins on Wednesday.

Canada bested the United States 10-9 (5-4 in a penalty shootout), Hungary topped Australia 7-4, Russia moved past China 12-8 and host Italy registered a 12-8 win over Japan.

Wednesday’s winners advanced to Friday’s semifinal matches. Hungary is set to battle Russia, while Italy and Canada will face off on the other side of the bracket.

Ahead on Thursday are the 9th/10th place match between France and the Czech Republic as well as two seeding matches for spots in the 5th/6th place and 7th/8th place contests. Japan will play the USA in the first 5-8 semifinal, while Australia will take on China in the other.

Wednesday’s Results

Canada def. USA 10-9 (5-4 penalty shootout)

The United States jumped out to a 2-0 lead and boasted a 4-3 advantage at halftime. Abrielle Hill scored twice, while Val Ayala and Denise Mammolito added the other two goals for the Americans.

Down 5-3 with 2:28 left in the third period, Canada managed the final two goals of regulation with an extra-player goal by Erica Hardy (1:30) and an action shot by Peggy Allin (6:37) to knot the score at 5.

The USA had eight shots missed, blocked or saved down the stretch, while Canada had seven more tries.

In the penalty shootout, each team made its first three attempts. Mammolito had her shot saved, opening the door for Canada. Floranne Carroll and Valeria Rojas each converted their attempts to seal the win.

Hill scored a game-high three goals for the United States, but could not lift the Americans to victory. Allin, Hardy, Rojas and Daphne Guevremont chipped in two goals apiece for the Canadians.

Hungary def. Australia 7-4

Three goals in the final quarter cemented Hungary’s spot in the semifinals, snapping a 4-all tie.

Australia built a 3-1 lead in the first half, including two goals by Matilda Kearns. Hungary outscored the Aussies 6-1 in the final two periods to steal away the win.

After three quarters, it was 4-all, when Krisztina Garda netted a penalty shot (4:56) and added an extra-player goal (2:41). Tamara Farkas put the icing on the cake with an extra-player score with 1:14 to play. Australia was denied on its final four shots, including a penalty shot off the post (1:54) and a 5-meter shot saved with 29 seconds left.

Garda netted four of Hungary’s seven goals, including two penalties. Kearns paced Australia with two scores.

Russia def. China 12-8

Russia led 8-3 at the half and never looked back in the quarterfinal victory over China.

Margarita Pystina led the way with five goals, while Polina Kempe added a hat trick for the Russians.

Yanan Bi chipped in three goals for China, while Sanfeng Nong added two scores.

Russia scored the first three goals of the game, including two by Pystina, and soon ran the tally up to 8-2 before conceding a goal just before halftime.

The Russians pushed the margin to seven at 11-4, before China began chipping away, scoring four of the final five goals.

Italy def. Japan 12-8

A 5-1 second period broke the game open for Italy and the team held on for the win over Japan to earn the semifinal berth for the host country.

Martina Gottardo and Agnese Cocchiere notched hat tricks, while Chiara Ranalli and Giulia Millo made good on penalty attempts for the Italians.

Moeka Hasumi led Japan with three scores.

With the game tied at two after the opening period, Japan struck first on an action shot by Hasumi less than a minute into the second stanza. From there, Italy notched five straight goals to close out the half. Gottardo hit two center shot goals, while the hosts also benefited from an extra player opportunity, a counter attack and an action shot to go up 7-3.

Italy poured on two more goals, both by Cocchiere, within the first two minutes of the third quarter to make it 9-3. Hasumi scored twice after that but could get Japan no closer than five.

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