The USA Women’s National Team finished group play at the FINA World League Super Final undefeated after topping Spain 8-5. Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/Trojan) and Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/SBWPF) scored two goals in victory while Sami Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/UCLA/SBWPF) went the distance in net. Team USA moves on to the quarterfinal round where they will meet Brazil on Friday at 6pm local time/3am pacific time. The semifinals and finals of the tournament will be streamed courtesy of FINA TV. To access the stream, click here.
The defending World Champions came out on fire scoring the first two goals of the match for a 2-0 lead before Gilchrist stopped the run with a score. Trailing 2-1 in the second, the United States evened the match at 2-2 with a score from Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL). The two teams then traded goals over the remainder of the period before an Annika Dries (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) goal put the United States in the lead 5-4. Spain’s Jennifer Pareja scored to close the half, leaving the two teams tied at 5-5 at intermission.
Team USA’s defense was rock solid from that point forward holding Spain scoreless over the final two periods. Even when Fattal failed to get a shot off on a penalty attempt the United States had an answer moments later with a goal from Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/Stanford). Gilchrist added her second after that and the United States built their largest lead at 7-5 going to the final eight minutes.
In the fourth Neushul had the final word, scoring the last goal of the match to put the United States up 8-5 en route to the victory. Team USA went 2/5 on power plays and 0/1 on penalty shots while Spain was 3/7 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots.
USA 8 (1, 4, 2, 1) K. Gilchrist 2, K. Neushul 2, M. Seidemann 1, A. Dries 1, R. Fattal 1, K. Clark 1
ESP 5 (2, 3, 0, 0)
6×5 – USA – 2/5 – ESP – 3/7
Penalties – USA – 0/1 – ESP – 1/1
Swimming News / Water Polo News courtesy of USA Water Polo.