For the second straight night the USA Women’s National Team staged a second half rally coupled with some late game heroics. A day after beating Canada on a goal with just one second to play the United States battled back from a 4-1 third quarter deficit to score three goals in the fourth quarter and force a shootout. Ryann Neushul’s (Goleta, CA/Dos Pueblos HS/Santa Barbara 805) shootout goal in the fourth round capped the win for Team USA 9-7. Five different players scored in regulation for Team USA and Thea Walsh (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) recorded five saves including a stop in the shootout to pick up the win. Team USA advances to the gold medal match on Sunday where they will once again meet Australia, this time at 12:30pm pt. The match will be live streamed at Facebook.com/USAWP. To watch a replay of the first USA-Australia match, click here. For more information on the tournament, including live stat links, click here.
The game started slowly on offense for both sides with the first score coming at the3:34 mark on a Bayley Weber (Los Alamitos, CA/Los Alamitos HS/SET) follow for a 1-0 lead. Australian veteran Rowie Webster responded in a major way scoring the next four goals to give the Aussies a 3-1 lead at half and a 4-1 lead in the third. Team USA ran off three straight goals of their own on scores from Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC), Abbi Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/Dos Pueblos HS/Santa Barbara 805) and Aria Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) for a 4-4 game 5:50 left in regulation.
Australia returned fire with a score to grab a 5-4 lead only to see Paige Hauschild (Santa Barbara, CA/San Marcos HS/Santa Barbara 805) answer with a score with1:29 to play leading to the extra session. In the shootout Walsh blocked the first Australia putting Team USA in control. The United States wouldn’t miss a shot and after the Aussies hit the post in the fourth round Neushul converted to win the match.
Team USA and Australia both went 1/2 on power plays with neither side attempting a penalty shot in regulation. In other action Japan defeated China 11-6 and Canada downed Kazakhstan 8-3. That set up the final day of action with USA and Australia meeting for gold at 12:30pm. In third place Japan and Canada will meet at11am and Kazakhstan and China will square off for fifth place at 9:30am pt. All matches are streamed LIVE at Facebook.com/USAWP.
USA 9 (1, 0, 1, 3) (4) A. Fischer 1. M. Seidemann 1, P. Hauschild 1, B. Weber 1, A. Hill 1
AUS 7 (1, 2, 1, 1) (2) R. Webster 4, E. Armit 1
Saves – USA – T. Walsh 5 – AUS – G. Palm 9
6×5 – USA – 1/2 – AUS – 1/2
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – AUS 0/0
News courtesy of USA Water Polo.