Courtesy: USA Water Polo
SURGUT, Russia – The USA Women’s National Team won the FINA World Cup title for the third straight time and maintained their hold on all major FINA championships following an 8-5 win over Russia. The World Cup gold joins titles in 1979, 2010 and 2014.
Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/NYAC) scored three goals in the final and was named Most Valuable Player. Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/NYAC) did the job in net making 11 saves and was named top goalkeeper. To watch a full replay of the match click here to visit FINA TV (subscription required). For all other match replays, click here.
Aria Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) got Team USA off to a 1-0 lead in the first before Russia tied the game moments later at 1-1. Paige Hauschild (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara 805) found the back of the net with just four seconds left in the quarter to put the United States back in front 2-1.
In the second quarter Team USA expanded their lead to 5-2 by outscoring Russia 3-1. Steffens started the scoring followed by a Jamie Neushul (Isla Vista, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara 805) tally for a 4-1 lead. Following a goal from Russia, Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) closed out the scoring in the half with a goal with 2:35 left.
Steffens scored in the first two minutes of third quarter and came back with another goal in the final two minutes of the quarter to give the United States a 7-3 lead going to the fourth. Jamie Neushul delivered on the counter attack in the fourth to push the USA advantage to 8-3. Russia would add two more goals, including one with less than a minute left, but it would not factor in the decision.
Team USA went 3/5 on power plays while Russia went 3/10 with neither side attempting a penalty.
With the victory the USA Water Polo Women’s National Team maintains their status as current champions of the Olympic Games, FINA World Championship, FINA World Cup and FINA World League.
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 8 (2, 3, 2, 1) M. Steffens 3, J. Neushul 2, P. Hauschild 1, A. Fischer 1, M. Fischer 1
RUS 5 (1, 1, 1, 2) O. Gorbunova 2, E. Ivanova 1, M. Bersneva 1, T. Zubkova 1
Saves – USA – A. Johnson 11
6×5 – USA – 3/5 – RUS – 3/10
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – RUS – 0/0