Gouda, Netherlands – March 21 – The USA Water Polo Women’s National Team delivered a convincing victory to open play at the 2016 Olympic Qualification Tournament topping Japan 18-1 earlier today at Groenhovenbad in Gouda, Netherlands. Kiley Neushul(Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara) lead the scoring onslaught with four goals while Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/NYAC) and Sami Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/UCLA/Santa Barbara) combined to allow just one goal while stopping nine shots. Team USA will take on Canada next on Tuesday at 3:20pm local time/6:20am pt. Live streaming is expected to be available and can be accessed by clicking here. For official event information, visit Gouda2016.com. For the Team USA roster and schedule, click here. Be sure to follow @USAWP on Twitter for live scoring during each match.
The red, white, and blue charged out of the gates in this match against Japan as Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/NYAC) got the scoring started in the first thirty seconds with a goal inside. Moments later Craig was back at it dishing to Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) for a 2-0 lead. Neushul would follow with the first of her four goals on the day followed by Aria Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/NYAC) connecting on two straight goals for a 5-0 lead with a little over two minutes to go in the quarter. Neushul put a cap on the opening period blitz with another score and Team USA was in control 6-0 after the first eight minutes.
The second quarter saw more of the same with Neushul and Fattal adding goals following a penalty shot score fromMaggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/NYAC). Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) scored her second of the quarter with just 40 seconds left to push the lead to 11-0. Japan would break through moments later with their only goal of the match on a score from Mitsuki Hashiguchi leaving the score at 11-1 at the intermission.
Scoring slowed a bit in the second half but the United States maintained control of the match. The third period saw just two goals, both from Team USA’s Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) for a 13-1 lead going to the fourth. Craig resurfaced in the fourth with two of the first three goals in the period for a 16-1 lead with 3:50 left in the match. Aria Fischer and Neushul closed out the scoring and the United States took the match 18-1.
Team USA went 4/6 on power plays and 2/2 on penalty shots while Japan was 0/3 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty. This was the second meeting between Team USA and Japan in 2016, the two met in Lewisville, Texas back on February 18 where the United States won 19-2.
USA 18 (6, 5, 2, 5) K. Neushul 4, A. Fischer 3, K. Craig 3, R. Fattal 2, M. Steffens 2, M. Musselman 2, M. Fischer 2
JPN 1 (0, 1, 0, 0) M. Hashiguchi 1
Saves – USA – A. Johnson – 7, S. Hill 2 – JPN – R. Miura 6
6×5 – USA – 4/6 – JPN – 0/3
Penalties – USA – 2/2 – JPN – 0/0
Swimming news courtesy of USA Water Polo.