Toronto, Canada – July 11 – The U.S. Pan American Women’s Water Polo Team completed group play undefeated, topping Argentina 30-3 earlier today.
KK Clark (Menlo Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) led the attack on offense with seven goals while Sami Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/UCLA/Santa Barbara) did the job in net recording eight saves and holding Argentina to just three goals. Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) added five goals while Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC) tallied four on the morning.
Team USA returns to play tomorrow in the semifinal round when they will take on Canada or Brazil at 6pm et/3pm pt. You can follow live updates of the match by following USA Water Polo on Twitter @USAWP.
The United States wasted little time putting this match away as Mathewson started the scoring a little over a minute into the match for a 1-0 lead. Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/Trojan) got going after that scoring three straight, the last on a drawn penalty by Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo). Steffens followed with a goal of her own for a 5-0 lead with 3:25 remaining in the first. Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara), Fischer, and Ashley Grossman (Santa Monica, CA/Stanford/LAWPC) ended the period with goals and Team USA built a commanding 8-0 lead.
Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) got things going in the second with a goal roughly two minutes into the period for a 9-0 lead. Argentina finally broke through moments later on a goal from Florida native and Princeton water polo player Ashley Hatcher for a 9-1 match. They would get no closer as the United States set about putting the match to rest. Team USA would add five more goals in the period, the last two coming from Clark for a 14-1 halftime lead.
In the third the offensive onslaught continued. Grossman started it off with a power play, Steffens added an outside shot and Clark scored twice capping a six goal period for the United States. Leading 20-2 going into the final eight minutes the United States wasn’t done yet. Neushul scored on a lob to open the period. Lara Font hit on her second of the game for Argentina to cut the deficit to 21-3 but the United States responded with nothing but more offense. Ahead 23-3, Fischer scored twice in a row to grab a 25-3 lead. Clark finished off the game scoring three of the final five goals to push Team USA to a 30-3 victory.
Team USA went 6/7 on power plays and 2/2 on penalty shots while Argentina went 2/5 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty. The 30 goals scored by the United States marked the highest goal total by any team competing in the Pan American Games water polo tournament thus far.
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 30 (8, 6, 6, 10) K. Clark 7, M. Fischer 5, C. Mathewson 4, R. Fattal 3, K. Gilchrist 3, M. Musselman 2, K. Craig 2, K. Neushul 2, M. Steffens 1, A. Grossman 1
ARG 3 (0, 1, 1, 1) L. Font 2, A. Hatcher 1
Saves – USA – S. Hill – 8 – ARG – T. Canton 1
6×5 – USA – 6/7 – ARG – 2/5
Penalties – USA – 2/2 – ARG – 0/0
Swimming news courtesy of USA Water Polo.