USA Women Suffer First Major Competition Loss of 2015 to Italy

Kazan, Russia – July 28 – For the first time in 2015 the USA Women’s National Team lost a match in a major competition, dropping a 10-9 decision to Italy at the FINA World Championship. Coincidentally, it was Italy that gave Team USA their last loss, 11-9 in a friendly played in Rome this past March. This one had much more on the line as Team USA now falls to 1-1 in group play and faces the likely prospect of having to compete in the elimination round on August 1.

 

Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) scored a game high five goals while Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/Miami Riptides) added eight saves in the defeat. The match will replay later today on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. 

Team USA closes out group play on Thursday when they take on Japan at 10:50am local time. The match will stream live on UniversalSports.com at 3:40am et/12:40am pt and air later the same day on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. For more streaming information, click here.

As for this match, it would be Italy that struck first with a goal from Roberta Bianconi to grab a quick 1-0 lead. The United States responded in a heartbeat with two consecutive strikes from Fattal to take a 2-1 lead. Italy took over from there answering with three straight goals to close out the period, including another from Bianconi, for a 4-2 advantage after the first.

Italy went ahead 5-2 midway through the second quarter on a goal from Giulia Emmolo only to see Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC) return fire with a tally for a 5-3 match. Italy found the back of the net once more in the second period and held a 6-3 lead going into halftime.

The third quarter witnessed the big push for Team USA. Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara) started things off with a goal to close within two at 6-4. After Bianconi came back with another tally for Italy to make it 7-4, Neushul hit again for a 7-5 match. Then Fattal used the counter attack to her advantage and racked up two more goals to tie the game at 7-7 with 2:49 remaining in the period. That would be as close as Team USA would get on this day. Italy battled back with a goal moments later, another from Bianconi, to go ahead 8-7 headed to the fourth.

In the final period Italy scored two straight to take a three goal lead once more, this time at 10-7. The United States looked to rally one last time as Fattal hit for her fifth with 1:09 to play but it would be too little too late. A penalty shot score from Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) would come with just four seconds left and not factor in the decision.

Team USA went 1/8 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots while Italy was 3/7 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots.

 

Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 9 (2, 1, 4, 2) R. Fattal 5, K. Neushul 2, M. Seidemann 1, M. Fischer 1
ITA 10 (4, 2, 2, 2) R. Bianconi 4, G. Emmolo 3, T. Di Mario 1, A. Garibotti 1, E. Quierolo 1
Saves – USA – A. Johnson 8 – ITA G. Gorlero 11
6×5 – USA – 1/8 – ITA – 3/7
Penalties – USA – 1/1 – ITA – 1/1 

 

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 working on her M.A. in …

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