Women's Water Polo: USA Wins Holiday Cup -- July 10, 2000
2000 Holiday Cup - July 9, 2000
If this year’s Holiday Cup is truly a preview of things to come in Sydney, then stars-and-stripers everywhere will have something to hold their heads higher for come September.
Team USA capped off this week’s pre-Olympic tournament in Los Alamitos with a nail-biting, down-to-the-wire 5-4 win against Canada. Brenda Villa netted the game-winner with 2:37 to play in the game before a capacity crowd of 2,200 at the National Aquatic Center.
The win gives the U.S. the tourney crown, as well as gold-medal-favorite billing heading into Sydney this summer.
“We worked hard to get to this point,” said U.S. coach Guy Baker. “But we still have a long way to go before September.”
The U.S. led, 4-3, heading into the final quarter, but Johanne Begin’s goal with 4:33 to play tied it up at 4-4. Villa’s shot from about five meters out on the right side gave the U.S. the lead in the game’s final minutes, and the defense held on for the duration.
USA finished the tournament at 6-0, while Canada wrapped things up at 4-2.
USA’s Nicolle Payne, who had 13 saves on the night, was awarded the tournament’s most valuable goalkeeper, while teammate Coralie Simmons took home most valuable offensive player. Canada’s Cora Campbell was named as the tournament’s most valuable defensive player.
Third Place Game
Australia milked both of its fourth quarter goals for all they were worth on Sunday, using them to eek past the Netherlands, 5-4, in the third-place game of the Holiday Cup.
The score was tied at 3-3 heading into the fourth quarter of play. Yvette Higgins netted a goal with 5:02 to go, giving Australia a 4-3 lead. Just over a minute later, Melissa Mills provided an insurance goal for Australia.
Karen Kuipers buried her fourth goal of the day on a penalty shot with 1:36 to play, making the score 5-4. A penalty shot with 16 seconds left gave Kuipers a chance to tie the game at fives, but Elizabeth Weekes came up with the clutch save to preserve the win for Australia.
Australia takes home third place with a record of 4-2, while the Netherlands finishes at 2-4.
Fifth Place Game
Kazakhstan lost the battle for Asian bragging rights on Sunday, losing the fifth place game of the Holiday Cup to Russia, 10-6.
Russia, led by the Petrova duo, Tatiana and Joulia, were never seriously threatened by Kazakhstan, who finishes the tournament without a win.
Kazakhstan goalkeeper Svetlana Buravova had a huge day in the net, however, stopping 14 shots on goal, a tournament high.
Russia finishes up at 3-3, while Kazakhstan closes out at a dismal 0-6.