USA Women Suffer First Loss of 2016 Against Australia In Irvine

Irvine, CA – May 26 – A capacity crowd lined the pool deck at Beckman High School in Irvine, CA on Thursday night and were treated to a low scoring affair that saw the USA Water Polo Women’s National Team drop a 5-4 decision to Australia. The setback marked Team USA’s first loss in 2016 as they wrapped up a three game series with the Aussies, winning two of three matches. Nicola Zagame’s goal with 49 seconds left in the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner. A final attempt for Team USA resulted in a turnover. Four different scorers found the net for Team USA with Sami Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/UCLA/Santa Barbara) recording five saves in goal. The United States now prepares for a visit to China to compete in the Kunshan Cup and FINA World League Super Final in early June.

Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) opened the scoring with a goal roughly two minutes into the match to give Team USA a 1-0 advantage. Australia broke through with a score from Ash Southern with just one second left in the opening quarter to even the match at 1-1. Australia took their first lead midway through the second period on a Rowie Webster goal only to see Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC) counter with a power play goal to tie the game with 3:47 left in the half.

After Fattal failed on a penalty shot try, the United States kept the possession alive and found Maddie Musselman(Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) right in front of the cage for a goal and a 3-2 lead. The advantage was short-lived as Australia cashed in a power play goal from Bronwen Knox on their next possession for a 3-3 game at halftime. Neither side could find the back of the net in the third as both keepers pitched a shutout, leaving the match at 3-3 going to the fourth.

Gemma Beadsworth put Australia in front early in the fourth quarter before Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/NYAC) responded with a tally at the 3:46 mark to tie the game at 4-4. That set the stage for the final moments and the winning goal from Zagame.

Team USA went 2/8 on power plays and 0/1 on penalty shots while Australia was 2/7 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty.

USA 4 (1, 2, 0, 1) M. Musselman 1, M. Steffens 1, M. Seidemann 1, R. Fattal 1
AUS 5 (1, 2, 0, 2) G. Beadsworth 1, B. Knox 1, R. Webster 1, N. Zagame 1, A. Southern
Saves – USA – S. Hill 5 – AUS – L. Yanitsas 9
6×5 – USA – 2/8 – AUS – 2/7
Penalties – USA – 0/1 – AUS – 0/0

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 and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently a coach at Loggerhead Aquatics …

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