Italy, Hungary Move On to WUG Water Polo Women’s Final

World University Games Water Polo – Women

Australia secured fifth place with a win over Japan, while China topped the USA for seventh place in World University Games women’s water polo action on Friday. ‘

In other action, Italy and Hungary nabbed spots in the championship match with semifinal wins over Canada and Russia respectively.

Friday Results

  • 7th place – China def. USA 10-9
  • 5th place – Australia def. Japan 11-10
  • Semifinal – Italy def. Canada 15-7
  • Semifinal – Hungary def. Russia 16-14

Friday Recaps

China def. USA 10-9

Down 9-3 at the half, the United States battled back, outscoring China 6-1 over the final 16 minutes, but the comeback fell just short.

Jiayu Huang put in five goals, while Jing Yan added a hat trick for China.

Savannah Fitzgerald and Bayley Weber put in two goals apiece for the Americans, while five other players also scored.

China jumped out to a 6-0 lead with two action shots, two center shot goals, a counter attack and an extra-player opportunity.

Val Ayala made good on an extra player try to put the USA on the board, but China answered with three more goals. The Americans ended the half with a penalty by Tara Prentice and an action shot by Fitzgerald.

The United States kicked off the third quarter with an action shot goal by Weber. After a Chinese extra-player score made it 10-4, the USA added five unanswered goals to close out the game. Denise Mammolito found the back of the net with a penalty and Abrielle Hill turned in an extra-player score to cut the margin to four at 10-6. Grace Tehaney, Weber and Fitzergerald  scored over the final three minutes to wrap up the scoring.

Australia def. Japan 11-10

Australia rallied from down 6-3, with eight second half goals to steal away the win over Japan to claim fifth place.

Jessica Zimmerman and Matlida Kearns scored hat tricks for the Aussies, while two other players registered multi-score efforts.

Fuka Nishiyama put in four goals and Yuri Kazama added a hat trick for Japan.

The teams traded goals in the opening quarter, but Japan broke the 2-2 tie with a four-goal second period. Nishiyama scored on a counter attack and a penalty, while Kaho Iwano and Chiyume Yamazaki added an action shot to put Japan up 6-3 at the half.

Australia began its comeback with four scores in the third quarter. Zimmerman and Alice Williams kicked things off with extra-player shots. Williams added an action shot and Brooke McClean put in a center shot goal. Japan leveled the score at 7-all on a penalty shot by Kazama with two minutes left in the third.

After a tie at 8-all, Kearns hit an action shot and Zimmerman made a center shot goal to put the Aussies up 10-8 with three minutes left. Nishiyama netted a counter attack and Kazama deposited a center shot goal with 1:25 to play to make it 10-all. Zimmerman put in the game winner with 47 seconds to go, while a final attempt by Kazama was saved with 18 seconds left to wrap up the game.

Italy def. Canada 15-7

Italy built an 11-3 lead in the first half and staved off Canada down the stretch to earn a spot in Saturday’s championship match.

Martina Gottardo, Chiara Ranalli and Agnese Cocchiere each scored three times, while Repetto and Centanni added two goals apiece for Italy.

Daphne Guevremont put in three goals to lead Canada, while Brianna Utas chipped in two scores.

Boasting a 4-2 lead after the first eight minutes, Italy poured it on in the second quarter, outscoring Canada 7-1 to lead 11-3 at the half. Each team made a penalty and a five-meter shot in the first half.

The teams each scored four goals in the second half, two in each period to close out the game. A penalty by Elena Borg made it 15-5, while Utas hit a five-meter shot and Verica Bakoc made an extra-player goal with five seconds to play to fill out the scoresheet.

Hungary def. Russia 16-14

Hungary and Russia traded blows throughout the game, leading to a 12-all score after regulation, setting up a penalty shootout for a place in the gold medal match. Hungary came up victorious, hitting four of its shots to two by the Russians.

Zsuzsanna Mathe scored four times for Hungary, while Vivien Kovesdi and Krisztina Garda chipped in three scores apiece.

Daria Chagochkina netted four goals for Russia while Elizaveta Zaplatina and Margarita Pystina notched hat tricks.

Russia scored the first two goals of the game, but it was quickly tie at 2, 3 and 4 in the opening stanza. Hungary outscored Russia 4-3 in the second quarter to bring it to an 8-all tie at half time. Hungary made a penalty shot by Mathe and a 5-meter shot by Garda to spur the rally.

Hungary scored the lone goal of the third quarter with a penalty by Mathe with 1:19 on the clock.

Russia countered with two extra-player goals to start the fourth quarter. Hungary scored three of the next four to go up 12-11, including an extra player shot, a penalty by Garda and a center shot. Liubov Mekhteleva scored with 40 seconds to play and the final two Hungarian shots were saved or blocked to close out regulation.

In the penalty shootout, both teams hit their first shot. The next Russian shot was saved. Hungary took the lead on an Alexa Gemes score. Mekhteleva equalled, then Orsolya Hertzka and Vivien Kovesdi made good on their chances sandwiching a Alexandra Kiss save to seal the win.

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