Courtesy: USA Water Polo
BUDAPEST, Hungary – The USA Women’s National Team claimed the Group B title at the FINA World League Super Final following a 12-7 win over Russia. Team USA finished group play 3-0 with their latest victory powered by three goals from Jordan Raney (Manhattan Beach, CA/Stanford/Huntington Beach WP) and 10 saves from Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/NYAC). Team USA will now meet China in quarterfinal action on Friday at 2:15pm et/11:15am pt. Live streaming and replays are available of all matches on FINA TV at FINAtv.live (subscription required). This event also serves as an Olympic qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Games with the champion earning a spot at the Olympic Games next summer. For a complete Team USA roster at the World League Super Final, click here.
It was a back and forth first quarter with each team trading goals as Russia went in front 3-2. From there Team USA scored three unanswered goals from Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/UCLA/CdM Aquatics), Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) and Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) to go in front 5-3 after one period. Musselman opened the second with a goal, on her way to player of the match honors, while Fattal followed with a tally for a 7-3 advantage at halftime.
In the third quarter Russia’s offense returned with three goals but Team USA countered with three of their own to main their four goal advantage. Raney helped put the match away with two goals to open the scoring in the fourth quarter, a late score from Russia wouldn’t factor in the decision as Team USA earned the five goal victory. Extra player opportunities were limited with Team USA going 0/1 on power plays and 1/2 on penalties while Russia was 3/6 on power plays with no penalty attempts.
USA 12 (5, 2, 3, 2) J. Raney 3, R. Fattal 2, M. Musselman 2, M. Steffens 1, K. Neushul 1, A. Fischer 1, M. Fischer 1, K. Gilchrist 1
RUS 7 (3, 0, 3, 1) A. Serzhantova 2, M. Bersneva 1, E. Karimova 1, T. Tolkunova 1, O. Gorbunova 1, D. Gerzanich 1
Saves – USA – A. Johnson 10 – RUS – A. Verkhoglyadova 8
6×5 – USA – 0/1 – RUS 3/6
Penalties – USA – 1/2 – RUS – 0/0