Toronto, Canada – July 8 – The U.S. Pan American Women’s Water Polo Team picked up their second straight victory as they topped Cuba 18-3 earlier today.
Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo) and Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) led the offense with three goals each while Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/Miami Riptides) went the distance in net with five official saves.
Team USA now has two days off from competition before returning to action on Saturday morning where they will meet Argentina to close out group play. That match is set for 8am et/5am pt, with live match updates via Twitter by following @USAWP. For full Pan Am Games water polo results, click here.
Cuba was the aggressor early in this one, striking first on their opening possession with a power play goal from Adriana Garlobo to take a 1-0 advantage. Their lead was short lived as Team USA came back with four straight goals to close out the period. Steffens got things started for the United States with a goal at the 6:39 mark followed by scores from Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC), Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL), and Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara).
The second quarter was more of the same as Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC) found the net just nine seconds into the period for a 5-1 lead. The well balanced attack continued with goals from Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara), Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/Trojan), and Ashley Grossman (Santa Monica, CA/Stanford/LAWPC) to build an 8-1 halftime lead.
The third quarter started the same way the game did with a goal coming from Cuba as Dayana Morales delivered to cut the deficit to 8-2. Team USA responded with a vengeance running off five straight goals to close out the period. Steffens connected on a power play to start the run and Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) finished it off with a goal with just three seconds left. This left the United States in comfortable control going to the fourth leading 14-2.
Musselman added her second to open the fourth and Fischer capped the game with a hat trick in the final 3:30 to push Team USA to victory 18-3. Team USA went 7/9 on power plays while Cuba was 2/8 with neither team attempting a penalty shot.
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 18 (4, 4, 6, 4) M. Steffens 3, M. Fischer 3, M. Musselman 2, M. Seidemann 2, K. Craig 2, K. Gilchrist 2, R. Fattal 1, K. Clark 1, C. Mathewson 1, A. Grossman 1
CUB 3 (1, 0, 1, 1) A. Garlobo 1, M. Bernal 1, D. Morales 1
Saves – USA – A. Johnson 5 – CUB – M. Zunzunegui 6 A. Ramos 3
6×5 – USA – 7-9 – CUB 2-8
Penalties – USA – 0-0 – CUB 0-0
Swimming news courtesy of USA Water Polo.