The USA Women’s National Team kept up their winning ways at the FINA World League Super Final winning their fourth straight gold medal at the event and 11th Super Final title in program history after a 12-6 triumph over Canada. Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) scored two goals in the victory and was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Gabby Stone (La Jolla, CA/Stanford/SD Shores) added nine saves in net while Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/NYAC) scored twice and was named to the media all-star team. Team USA now gears up for the FINA World Championship this July in Budapest, Hungary.
Match recap via Russell McKinnon/FINA
USA did what it does best and that’s win gold-medal finals. USA’s usual style is to go out from the front. Two goals was a good start. By halftime it was 6-4 with Canada failing to read the script and roll over. Canada desperately wanted to ruin USA’s day and did fine with some excellent attacks and solid defence. USA is so much sharper on attack than any other teams with every player looking for the slight edge and the more free person to slip the ball to. It worked well as Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/UCLA/CdM Aquatics), so good all week and unlucky not to make the Media All Star Team, taking USA to 7-4 at the start of the third quarter.
Monika Eggens pulled one back on extra and when 9-5 down, Hayley McKelvey, who did make the All Star team, drilled one from the top for 9-6. It proved Canada’s last hit as USA put away three more, including one from each of the Neushul sisters, Jamie and Kiley. The last three minutes saw no extra goal and USA had done the deed, setting itself up for the FINA World Championships in Budapest next month.
“The first year is always difficult with new, young players — only four or five — but it is a big difference backing up with speed. It was a great start and I was happy with the way we played this week. I must give praise to the Canadian team as it is much improved and it was great today as they were a good challenge,” said Adam Krikorian, USA Head Coach.
USA 12 (2, 4, 3, 3) M. Fischer 2, M. Musselman 2, J. Neushul 2, K. Neushul 2, J. Raney 2, M. Seidemann 1, M. Steffens 1
CAN 6 (1, 3, 2, 0)
Saves – USA – Stone 9
6×5 – USA – 3/6 – CAN – 3/6
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – CAN – 0/0
Press Release courtesy of USA Water Polo.