The USA Women’s Senior National Team won the 2014 Kirishi Cup, capping an undefeated week of action with a 6-5 victory over the Netherlands earlier today. Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/SBWPF) scored three goals to lead the offense while Sami Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/UCLA/SBWPF) and Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/Gulliver Riptides) combined for 12 saves in net. Team USA defeated Hungary, Russia, Italy and the Netherlands along with a tie against Spain in the five day competition.
It was a tight match in the first period with the United States leading 2-1 after eight minutes thanks to two goals from Neushul. Scoring dropped off in the second with just one goal scored on a shot from Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) with 3:25 left in the half. Team USA led 3-1 to start the third and went ahead 4-1 early in the period on a goal from Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC). The Netherlands responded with a goal late in the period making it a 4-2 match going to the fourth.
The United States started to pull away in the fourth on goals from Fattal and Neushul to go ahead 6-2 with 6:44 remaining in the match. The Netherlands rallied from there, scoring three straight goals, closing to within 6-5 with less than a minute to play. They would get no closer as the United States hung on for the one goal victory.
The United States went 2/7 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots while the Netherlands went 3/7 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot. “We struggled to execute offensively but thankfully our defense was sharp. It’s been a great combination of training and competition for us over these two weeks. We’ve made progress and I look forward to the journey ahead,” said USA Head Coach Adam Krikorian.
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 6 (2, 1, 1, 2) K. Neushul 3, R. Fattal 2, C. Mathewson 1
NED 5 (1, 0, 1, 3)
Saves – USA – S. Hill 6, A. Johnson 6
6×5 – USA – 2/7 – NED – 3/7
Penalties – USA 1/1 – NED 0/0
Water Polo News / Swimming News courtesy of USA Water Polo.