The USA Women’s Senior National Team moved to 4-0 in Holiday Cup play and is just one victory away from a championship. Annika Dries (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) lead a balanced offensive attack with two goals while Betsey Armstrong (Ann Arbor, MI/Michigan/NYAC) posted nine saves in net in the victory. Team USA will close out Holiday Cup action with Greece on Sunday morning at 11:30am pt. Greece enters the match with a 3-1 record thus far. For Holiday Cup schedules and results, click here.
In the first period it was Team USA striking first as Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/SBWPF) worked free for a goal and 1-0 lead. Australia came right back, drawing a penalty thirty seconds later, tying the game on the penalty shot. Minutes later the Aussies took their first lead of the match with a power play goal to go ahead 2-1 with 5:06 left in the first. With 1:22 remaining the United States evened the match as Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/Stanford) found Dries on the counter attack for a goal. Priscilla Orozco(Commerce, CA/UCLA/Commerce) put Team USA back in front with a goal from outside with less than a second to play in the period.
Leading 3-2 the USA offense got into a groove in the second period while the defense held Australia scoreless. Dries got loose inside two meters for a score with a 4-2 lead with six minutes to go. Jillian Kraus (Santa Ana, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) followed that up with a power play strike and then Lolo Silver(Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) ripped the net with less than a minute to play in the first half. When the dust settled the United States had built a 6-2 lead at intermission.
In the third period Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo) kept the pace for the USA offense with a goal at the 6:40 mark to grab a 7-2 lead. Australia scored on their next possession to cut into the lead at 7-3. The United States would have the last word in the period on a score from Alys Williams (Huntington Beach, CA/UCLA/HBWPC) with five minutes left to take an 8-3 lead to the fourth period.
Australia tried to battle back in the match, drawing a penalty early on and converting to close within 8-4. With less than three minutes to play Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/SBWPF) put the match away for the United States with a goal for a 9-4 lead. A late tally by Australia wouldn’t factor in the decision as the United States grabbed the 9-5 victory.
Team USA struggled on the power play going just 1/6 and did not attempt any penalties. Australia went 3/11 on the player advantage and 2/2 on penalties. In earlier Holiday Cup action, Netherlands defeated Canada 10-5 and Russia stopped Greece 13-9. For complete Holiday Cup results, click here.
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 9 (3, 3, 2, 1) A. Dries 2, K. Craig 1, P. Orozco 1, J. Kraus 1. L. Silver 1, M. Steffens 1, A. Williams 1, K. Neushul 1
AUS 5 (2, 0, 1, 2)
Saves – USA – B. Armstrong 9
6×5 – USA – 1/6 – AUS 3/11
Penalties – USA 0/0 – AUS 2/2
This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of USA Water Polo.