USA Junior Women Claim Second Straight FINA Junior World Championship

Volos, Greece – August 23 – The USA Water Polo Women’s Junior National Team has repeated as FINA Junior World Champions. Team USA defeated Spain 13-10 to cap an undefeated run to the title in Volos, Greece.
Aria Fischer scored four goals to lead the United States on offense and was named tournament Most Valuable Player.Mary Brooks also added four goals. Amanda Longan went the distance in net stopping 13 shots and was named Top Goalkeeper of the tournament.
The victory maintains the USA Water Polo Women’s National Team program status as reigning Olympic, FINA World, FINA Junior World, FINA Youth World, FINA World Cup, and FINA World League Champions.
The coaching staff of Olympians Coralie Simmons (Head Coach), Natalie Benson (Assistant Coach), and Betsey Armstrong (Assistant Coach) are also believed to be the first all-female staff to win a major championship in USA Water Polo history.

The match was tight in the first period with Spain scoring the opening goal to go ahead 1-0. Fischer quickly responded with a score to even the match at 1-1. Makenzie Barr followed with a goal to put Team USA up 2-1. That lead was short lived as Spain came back with two goals to go up 3-2. Fischer and Mary Brooks scored the next two goals to put the United States ahead 4-3. Spain’s Beatriz Ortiz connected with four seconds left in the quarter to create a 4-4 tie after one period.

Team USA took control in the second period outscoring Spain 3-1 to take a 7-5 lead at intermission. Fischer, Brooks, and Jamie Neushul scored in the second to help take the lead. The United States added to their lead in the third thanks to two goals each from Brooks and Alexis Liebowtiz for an 11-7 advantage.

Spain looked to rally in the fourth as they mounted three goals including two from Ortiz. Team USA countered with two goals early from Fischer and Emily Loughlin to secure the lead on the way to the 13-10 win.

Team USA went 5/8 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot while Spain was 4/8 and 1/1 on penalty shots.

“I think that we got together a cohesive group of talented girls and we were given the challenge of becoming a team in a short period of time, which is no easy feat. We knew the only way we could win was to win together. Rather than a relying on talent alone, we were able to rely on one another and play for each other through every possession. It is a staple of USA water polo, and a staple of champions.” Jamie Neushul, Team USA Captain

“The dedication, trust, and teamwork that went into this World Championships has allowed for these athletes to become a part of the USA Water Polo legacy. This team believed we could form the best team in the world and proved it today in the final. My staff and I are very proud to be a part of this special group.” Coralie Simmons, Head Coach

Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 13 (4, 3, 4, 2) A. Fischer 4, M. Brooks 4, A. Liebowtiz 2, J. Neushul 1, E. Loughlin 1, M. Barr 1
ESP 10 (4, 1, 2, 3) B. Ortiz 3, M. Cordobes 2, I. Gonzalez 2, P. Leiton 2, J. Forca 1
Saves – USA – A. Longan 13
5×4 – USA – 5/8 – ESP – 4/8
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – ESP – 1/1
Swimming news courtesy of USA Water Polo.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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