The USA Women’s National Team suffered their first loss in FINA Intercontinental Tournament action when they fell to Australia 7-5 in the gold medal match. In the third place game, China topped Canada 10-8 and Brazil edged Japan 11-10 in a shootout. With the victory Brazil joined Team USA, Australia, Canada, and China as qualifiers for the FINA World League Super Final next month in China. In seventh place Kazakhstan topped Venezuela 17-9. For complete tournament details, click here.
The championship final featured a stingy defensive battle between the two longtime rivals. Australia got off to a strong start with two straight goals from Gemma Beadsworth before the United States got on the board with a score from Colleen O’Donnell (Palos Verdes, CA/USC/LAWPC) for a 2-1 match. Australia managed to draw a penalty and converted towards the end of the first for a 3-1 advantage headed to the second.
The second quarter started off with a goal by Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/Trojan) to bring the score to 3-2. USA and Australia both played solid defense throughout the first half. Near the end of the first half Ashleigh Southern of Australia managed to get past EB Keeve (Naperville, IL/Arizona State/West Suburban) giving the Aussies a 4-3 lead at the end of the first half. Only a few minutes into the third quarter Sophie Smith, playing in her final international match, made a connection with the back of the net to give Australia a 5-3 lead over Team USA. Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/SBWPF) added a goal late in the third period to draw Team USA to within one at 5-4.
With two minutes left in the third period Jillian Kraus (Santa Ana, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) was able to score another goal for USA to tie up the game. With only a few seconds left in the third Rowie Webster of Australia scored to give Australia a 6-5 lead going into the last and final quarter. With the USA unable to score in the fourth, Beadsworth hit for Australia late in the match to build a 7-5 lead. Team USA would be unable to battle back and lost the match by two. Keeve went the distance in net for the United States posting 10 saves.
The USA offense was led by Colleen O’Donnell(1), Kaleigh Gilchrist(1), Priscilla Orozco(1), Kami Craig (1), and Jillian Kraus(1).
The Australian offense was led by Gemma Beadsworth with three goals. Other scorers include: Rowie Webster (2), Ashleigh Southern(1), and Sophie Smith(1).
Here the scoresheet.
Team U.S. Scorers
Colleen O’Donnell 1 goal
Kaleigh Gilchrist 1 goal
Priscilla Orozco 1 goal
Kami Craig 1 goal
Jillian Kraus 1 goal
Team Australia Scorers
Gemma Beadsworth 3 goals
Rowie Webster 2 goals
Ashleigh Southern 1 goal
Sophie Smith 1 goal
Swimming news is courtesy of USA Water Polo.