USA Women Advance to Water Polo Final in Budapest

2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships – Water Polo

The United States women will have the opportunity to defend their world title, having advanced to the final of the 2017 FINA World Championships with a win over Russia on Wednesday. Seeking to win their fifth FINA world championship, the Americans will face Spain in the final on Friday.

The USA-Russia match took place in the rain on Wednesday. Russia jumped to an early lead, scoring at 6:36 and again at 4:42 to go in the first period. Maddie Musselman got the USA on the board with 4:11 left, the Rachel Fattal evened the score on a power play with 3:21 on the clock. Russia went back up with another two goals, but Maggie Steffens and Fattal evened the score at 4-4. Fattal scored her third goal at the end of the first period and the USA led Russia 5-4.

Musselman opened the second period with a goal, but Russia answered quickly for 6-5 to the USA. Musselman earned a hat trick with 6:30 left in the half, and the Americans now led 7-5. Steffens skipped one in at 5:44. Her goal was followed first by Musselman’s fourth, then by Fattal’s fourth. And just like that the US led 10-5. Steffens then scored on a power play and increased the lead to 11-5.

The second half began with a fifth Fattal goal which was answered by a Russian goal for 12-6 with 4:30 left in the third. Kiley Neushul lobbed one in on a power play and sent the Americans ahead, 13-6. Russia scored on a power play counter attack, and the third quarter ended with USA leading 13-7.

The Russians opened the fourth with a goal in the first minute. Alys Williams struck back and the USA led 14-8 with 5:52 left. A minute later Russia skipped one in and narrowed the lead to 14-9 with 4:51 left. But that was the last of the goals, and the USA earned their spot in the final, aiming to claim an historic fifth world championship title.

USA 14 (5, 6, 2, 1) R. Fattal 5, M. Musselman 4, M. Steffens 3, A. Williams 1, K. Neushul 1

RUS 9 (4, 1, 2, 2) Prokofyeva 3, Borisova 2, Simanovich 2, Ivanova 1, Rhyzkova 1

Saves – USA – G. Stone 11, A. Longan 2 – RUS – Karnauhkh 3

6×5 – USA – 3/7 – RUS – 1/9

Penalties – USA – 0/0 – RUS – 1/1

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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