In a rematch of the gold medal final from the 2014 FINA Women’s Intercontinental Tournament this time the result was different. The USA Women’s National Team outlasted Australia 12-10 in a shootout to pick up their first major championship of 2015. Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC) and Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) each scored three goals in regulation, and a goal in the shootout to lead the way on offense. Carlee Kapana (Newport Beach, CA/Newport Harbor HS/Newport) earned the win in net with six saves. Defense was a huge factor for the United States holding Australia to 0/10 on power plays and 0/1 on penalty shots. The victory marks the first gold medal for the USA Women’s National Team program at the FINA Intercontinental Tournament.
The match was even throughout regulation with the two teams tied at 3-3 after the first quarter and 5-5 at halftime. Team USA went ahead 8-7 after three quarters only to see each sides defense clamp down in the fourth. Australia scored the only goal of the final eight minutes, tying the match at 8-8 and leading to the shootout. The extra session was dominated by Team USA as they outscored Australia 4-2 in the shootout with goals coming from Mathewson, Fischer, Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara) and Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/Trojan) to pick up the win.
Team USA went 4/7 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots while Australia to 0/10 on power plays and 0/1 on penalty shots.
“We made some critical stops when we were down early in the game. Our five-on-six defense was superb. Overall it was a great experience for us and left us going home with much to improve on as well.”
— USA Head Coach Adam Krikorian
Craig and Fischer were named to the All-Tournament Team. Next up for Team USA will be the FINA World League Super Final.
USA 12 (3, 2, 3, 0) (4) C. Mathewson 3 (1), M. Fischer 3 (1), M. Seidemann 1, A. Fischer 1, K. Craig (1), K. Gilchrist (1)
AUS 10 (3, 2, 2, 1) (2)
Saves – USA – C. Kapana 6
6×5 – USA – 4/7 – AUS – 0/10
Penalties – USA – 1/1 – AUS 0/1
Water Polo News is courtesy of USA Water Polo.