USA, Russia, Spain, Italy Punch Ticket to Women’s WP Quarterfinals at Worlds

World Aquatics Championships – Women’s Water Polo

The United States, Russia, Spain and Italy claimed the first four spots in the women’s water polo quarterfinals at the World Championships by winning their respective groups on Thursday.

Meanwhile, South Africa, South Korea, Cuba and Japan were sent to the 13th to 16th place bracket after going winless in group play.

Top Scorers

5 Maddie Musselman, USA vs. South Africa, 7/18
5 Maud Megens, Netherlands vs. New Zealand, 7/18
4 Beatriz Ortiz Munoz, Spain vs. Cuba, 7/18
4 Maica Garcia Godoy, Spain vs. Cuba, 7/18
4 Aria Fischer, USA vs. South Africa, 7/18
4 Vanda Valyi, Hungary vs. Russia, 7/18
4 Maria Bersneva, Russia vs. Hungary, 7/18
3 Judith Forca Ariza, Spain vs. Cuba, 7/18
3 Paula Crespi Barriga, Spain vs. Cuba, 7/18
3 Mayelin Bernal Villa, Cuba vs. Spain, 7/18
3 Eleni Xenaki, Greece vs. Kazakhstan, 7/18
3 Kamila Zakirova, Kazakhstan vs. Greece, 7/18
3 Hannah Buckling, Australia vs. Japan, 7/18
3 Chiara Tabani, Italy vs. China, 7/18
3 Arianna Garibotti, Italy vs. China, 7/18
3 Melissa Seidemann, USA vs. South Africa, 7/18
3 Paige Hauschild, USA vs. South Africa, 7/18
3 Stephanie Haralabidis, USA vs. South Africa, 7/18
3 Kiley Neushul, USA vs. South Africa, 7/18
3 Morgan McDowall, New Zealand vs. Netherlands, 7/18
3 Sabrina Van Der Sloot, Netherlands vs. New Zealand, 7/18
3 Emma Wright, Canada vs. Korea, 7/18
3 Kyra Christmas, Canada vs. Korea, 7/18
3 Rita Keszthelyi, Hungary vs. Russia, 7/18
3 Daria Ryzhkova, Russia vs. Hungary, 7/18

Thursday Results

July 18. Matchup Results
Group A USA vs. South Africa USA 26-1
New Zealand vs. Netherlands Netherlands 15-6
Group B Canada vs. South Korea Canada 22-2
Hungary vs. Russia Russia 17-12
Group C Cuba vs. Spain Spain 19-6
Greece vs. Kazakhstan Greece 13-7
Group D Japan vs. Australia Australia 9-7
Italy vs. China Italy 14-6

Thursday Recaps

Group A

The United States punched its ticket to the quarterfinals with a third straight Group A win, topping South Africa 26-1, while the Netherlands finished second in the group at 2-1 with a 15-6 victory over New Zealand.

The USA rattled off nine goals over the first 10:12 of the game and never looked back in a 26-1 win over South Africa to clinch first place in the group and send South Africa home in fourth place.

Chloe Meecham scored the lone goal of the game for South Africa with an action shot with 5:23 left in the second quarter, only to see the Americans pour it on with 17 more goals in the final 20 minutes. The United States scored on three penalties, four extra-player tries, three counter attacks and three center shots down the stretch.

Maddie Musselman turned in five goals, including three extra-player chances, while Aria Fischer added four and Melissa Seidemann, Paige Hauschild, Stephanie Haralabidis and Kiley Neushul notched hat tricks. Nine Americans scored, including eight multi-goal efforts. The team hit 26 of 41 shots, including five of eight extra-player tries and all three of its penalties.

Meecham made good on her lone shot of the game, while South Africa scored on just one of its 12 shots.

Maud Megens found the back of the net five times and Sabrina Van Der Sloot added three scores as the Dutch bested New Zealand. The game saw just four goals scored in the first 11 minutes, all by the Dutch, before the floodgates opened over the final two periods. A penalty and an extra-player goal by Megens kicked off a 4-0 run in the third quarter. The Netherlands then finished off the game on a 5-2 run, including three goals by Van Der Sloot.

The Dutch made 15 of their 37 shots, including 3 of 7 extra-player tries and all three penalty attempts.

Morgan McDowall turned in a hat trick for New Zealand, while Bernadette Doyle chipped in two goals. The Kiwis managed just 6 goals in 25 shots and 2 of 6 in extra-player situations.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  United States 3 3 0 0 60 13 +47 6 Quarterfinals
2  Netherlands 3 2 0 1 57 18 +39 4 Playoffs
3  New Zealand 3 1 0 2 26 41 -15 2
4  South Africa 3 0 0 3 5 76 -71 0 13th to 16th place bracket

Group B

Canada picked up its first win of the tournament and earned a spot in the playoffs with a 22-2 win over South Korea, while Russia pushed past Hungary 17-12 for the top spot in the group.

Canada cruised to a 17-0 lead over the first three quarters, before allowing South Korea its first goal, an extra player shot by Daseul Kyung with 6:04 to play in the game. Eight center shots, five action shots, two extra player shots, a counter attack and a penalty accounted for the Canadian goals over the first 24 minutes. Kyra Christmas scored three goals in the stretch, while Kelly McKee and Elyse Lemay-Lavoie added two apiece.

The two Korean goals came in a 30 seconds span, 6:04 and 5:07 in the fourth quarter, and were followed by four more Canadian scores, including a 6-meter shot with three seconds to play.

13 players scored for Canada, seven with multi-goal efforts, as Emma Wright and Christmas led the way with hat tricks. Goalkeeper Claire Wright even scored one goal (an action shot to make it 18-1) to go with her 11 saves (in 13 shots faced). The victors converted 22 of 31 shots, including all three extra-player tries and a penalty.

Kyung and Jungeun Lee accounted for the Korean goals as the team put in just 2 of 24 shots, including its lone extra-player shot.

Russia built an 11-7 lead in the first half, including a 4-0 run to start the game, and held on for the 17-12 win over Hungary.

Hungary cut the margin to one at 5-4 including two extra-player goals by Vanda Valyi, but that just sparked a 6-3 run for Russia, including three extra-player goals, to close out the first half.

Hungary trailed 13-8 with eight minutes to go and both teams turned in four goals in the final stanza to wrap up the 17-12 Russian victory.
Maria Bersneva notched four goals to lead nine Russian scorers, while Daria Ryzhkova added a hat trick. Russia made 17 of its 36 shots, including 7 of 9 extra-player tries and its lone penalty.

Valyi scored four times, while Rita Keszthelyi added a hat trick for Hungary. The Hungarians managed 12 goals in 34 shots, including 4 of 8 extra-player tries and a 4-for-4 effort in penalty attempts.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Russia 3 3 0 0 65 23 +42 6 Quarterfinals
2  Hungary 3 2 0 1 91 31 +60 4 Playoffs
3  Canada 3 1 0 2 46 35 +11 2
4  South Korea(H) 3 0 0 3 3 116 -113 0 13th to 16th place bracket

Group C

Spain cruised to its third win by more than 10 goals, this time a 19-6 decision over Cuba, to win the group, while Greece claimed second place with a 13-7 victory over Kazakhstan.

Spain raced out to a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter, including penalty shots by Beatriz Ortiz Munoz (6:13) and Anna Espar I Llaquet (5:23), two action shots and two extra-player goals. Paula Crespi Barriga scored two goals in the opening stanza.

The Spaniards upped the advantage to 12 at 13-1 by halftime, giving up a penalty shot just 35 seconds into the second quarter and answering with six scores, including a penalty by Judith Forca Ariza (10-1).

Cuba outscored Spain 4-3 in the third quarter, but Spain closed out the game on a 3-1 run.

Ortiz Munoz and Maica Garcia Godoy put in four goals apiece for Spain, while Forca Ariza and Crespi Barriga added hat tricks. Spain scored on 19 of its 35 shots, including 4 of 5 extra-player tries and 3 of 4 penalties. Laura Ester stopped nine of the 10 shots she faced, the lone exception being a penalty, while Maria Elena Sanchez Gonzalez let in five of the six shots she faced.

Cuba got three goals from Mayelin Bernal Villa and two from Madonni Chavez Pena. The Cubans managed just six goals in 33 shots, including two extra-player goals and one penalty.

Each team managed a goal in the first three minutes of the game, but it was a Greek onslaught from there as the team rattled off eight of the next nine scores, including the first goal of the third quarter to go up 9-2 over Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan countered with four goals to pull within three at 9-6 (6:09 to play), hitting a center shot and three action shots. The Greeks turned it on from there with a counter attack, a center shot, an action shot and an extra-player goal to close out the game on a 4-1 run of its own.

Eleni Xenaki logged a hat trick for Greece, while four players – Nikoleta Eleftheriadou, Alexandra Asimaki, Ioanna Chydirioti and Eirini Ninou – added two goals apiece. The Greeks made 13 of 34 shots, including 3 of 10 extra-player tries and their lone penalty.

Kazakhstan got three goals from Kamila Zakirova and two from Zamira Myrzabekova among a 7 of 29 shooting effort. The team made good on just one of 11 extra-player tries and missed its lone penalty attempt.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Spain 3 3 0 0 51 16 +35 6 Quarterfinals
2  Greece 3 2 0 1 37 25 +12 4 Playoffs
3  Kazakhstan 3 1 0 2 22 37 −15 2
4  Cuba 3 0 0 3 16 48 −32 0 13th to 16th place bracket

Group D

Italy earned its free pass to the quarterfinals with its third win of group play, topping China 14-6. Meanwhile, Australia grabbed second place with a 9-7 victory over Japan.

Japan took its lone lead in the game at 2-1, after an extra-player shot by Akari Inaba and action shot by Yuki Niizawa in the opening four minutes. From there, a penalty by Rowie Webster and a center shot by Zoe Arancini put the Aussies on top 3-2.

The teams tied at 3, 4 and 6, before Australia pulled away for good with a final 3-1 push in the fourth quarter. Two center shots by Hannah Buckling (4:51, 2:01), and a counter attack by Iso Bishop (3:11) made it 9-6 Australia. Inaba managed an extra-player goal with 35 seconds left to round out the scoring for Japan.

Buckling led all scorers with a hat trick for Australia, while Bishop and Arancini added two goals apiece. The Aussies hit 9 of 24 shots, including 1 of 3 extra-player tries and their lone penalty.

Inaba, Niizawa and Yumi Arima each scored twice for Japan as the team made 7 of 19 shots. The Japanese converted 2 of 5 extra-player tries and their lone penalty.

Italy jumped ahead 5-1 in the opening stanza, led 9-2 just three minutes into the third quarter and held on from there for the 14-6 victory over China.

Chiara Tabani and Arianna Garibotti poured in three goals apiece, while Roberta Bianconi, Giulia Emmolo and Giulia Viacava added two scores each to lead the Italian charge. Italy scored on 14 of 31 shots, including 4 of 9 extra-player tries and both of its penalty attempts.

Dunhan Xiong was the lone multi-goal scorer for China, putting in two goals, while four others got on the scoreboard. China made just 6 of 32 shots, including 1 of 5 extra-player tries.

Three extra-player goals and a penalty highlighted the opening quarter for Italy, which included three goals by Garibotti. Emmolo tacked on her two goals to make it 8-2 with 1:01 left in the half.

Italy upped its advantage to eight at 12-4 on a Viacava counter attack with 1:08 remaining in the third quarter. The teams then split four goals in the fourth quarter to cap the 14-6 Italian win.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Italy 3 3 0 0 33 22 +11 6 Quarterfinals
2  Australia 3 2 0 1 32 29 +3 4 Playoffs
3  China 3 1 0 2 26 34 −8 2
4  Japan 3 0 0 3 20 26 −6 0 13th to 16th place bracket

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MIKE IN DALLAS

Just another significant milestone for TEAM USA and its women’s WP team!
What a superb set of athletes!

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