Courtesy: USA Water Polo
KUNSHAN, China – The USA Women’s National Team will play for a medal once more at the FINA World League Super Final after advancing to the semifinal round with a 12-1 win over Australia. Four different players scored two goals apiece with Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/NYAC) piling up 15 saves in net. Team USA will take on Russia in the semifinals on Friday at 6am et/3am pt. The match will stream live on FINA TV (subscription required) and can be accessed by clicking here. For more information on day three of the FINA World League Super Final, click here.
It was a low scoring affair to start with Team USA scoring the lone goal of the first quarter to take a 1-0 lead. In the second the United States defense again held Australia at bay while tacking on two more goals to grab a 3-0 advantage at intermission. In the third the Team USA offense started to click. While Australia would get on the board with a tally, Team USA delivered five goals to take control of the match at 8-1 going to the fourth. In the final eight minutes they peppered the cage with four more scores to take the game 12-1.
Eight different scorers found the net for the United States who went 3/6 on power plays with no penalties attempted. Australia was 0/4 on power plays without attempting a penalty.
“Australia plays a strong, physical game and zoned pretty early and we struggled against this,” said Natalie Benson, Team USA Assistant Coach. “We were indecisive and passive and passed up on some good opportunities to get the ball into center and from the perimeter. Their goalie (Gabriella Palm) was reading the shots well. Our defense held it down in the first half, especially in the first quarter, and in the second half we capitalized on offense.”
Team USA will take on Russia just days after a meeting in group play where the United States was victorious 10-7. USA Captain Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/NYAC) will take part in an Instagram Stories Takeover on the Team USA account starting Friday in China. Follow along by visiting Instagram.com/TeamUSA or following @TeamUSA on Instagram.
USA 12 (1, 2, 5, 4) M. Steffens 2, A. Fischer 2, J. Neushul 2, S. Haralabidis 2, M. Seidemann 1, P. Hauschild 1, K. Gilchrist 1, A. Williams 1
AUS 1 (0, 0, 1, 0) M. Baxter 1
Saves – USA – A. Johnson 15
6 x 5 – USA – 3/6 – AUS – 0/4
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – AUS – 0/0