FINA Game Notes & Quotes on USA v. Russia Women’s Water Polo

ight: USA vs. RUSSIA

USA, 5 – RUSSIA, 10
( 1-4, 2-3, 1-1, 1-2 )

REFEREES: Stephane ROY (CAN) & Atilla NEMETH (HUN)

COMPOSITION OF TEAMS AND SCORERS:

USA: 5
Nicolle PAYNE, Jacqueline FRANK (GK), Heather PETRI, Ericka LORENZ (2), Brenda VILLA (1), Ellen ESTES, Natalie GOLDA, Margaret DINGELDEIN (2), Kelly RULON, Heather MOODY, Robin BEAUREGARD, Amber STACHOWSKI, Thalia MUNRO
HEAD COACH: Guy BAKER

RESULTS SINCE 2000: Silver medal 2000 Olympic Games, fourth place 2001 World Championships, second place 2002 World Cup, Gold Medal 2003 World Championships

RESULTS OF FINA WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS:

Day One: USA defeated KAZAKHSTAN, 10-4
TODAY: USA lost to RUSSIA, 5-10

RUSSIA: 10
Valentina VORONTSOVA (GK), Natalia SHEPELINA, Ekaterina SALIMOVA, Sofya
KONUKH, Elena SMUROVA, Galina ZLOTNIKOVA, Anastasia ZUBKOVA, Svetlana
BOGDANOVA, Tatiana PETROVA, Olga TUROVA, Ekaterina SHISHOVA, Ekaterina
VASIL'EVA, Maria YAINA, Natalia KUTUZOVA
HEAD COACH: Alexander KLEYMENOV

RESULTS SINCE 2000: Third place 2000 Olympic Games; sixth place 2001 World Championships; fourth place 2002 World Cup, third place 2003 World Championships

RESULTS OF THE FINA WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE SUPER FINALS:

Day One: RUSSIA defeated GREECE, 11-9
TODAY: RUSSIA defeated USA, 10-5

GAME NOTES:
Russia had too much firepower for the world champion United States of
America. The Russian steamroller stunned the huge crowd as Sofia Konukh rammed in the first two goals, one from well outside and the other with a backhand from two metres but halfway through the first period. Just inside the final minute, Elena Smurova rocketed in a long shot for a staggering 3-0 at 0:58. Ericka Lorenz had two thousand people on their feet when she scored 27 seconds from quarter time. But Russia had the last laugh with Ekaterina Vasileva pushed the ball in on an acute angle on deep left-hand catch, just four seconds from time.

Lorenz and Dingeldein breathed life into the game for the USA, the former
scoring from the top and the latter with a bounce shot from the side. At 4-3 USA was back in town. But then the clouds came over as Konoukh clinched a third from the top and Olga Turova, the highest goal-scorer at last year¹s World Championships in Barcelona, swam the length of the pool with a defender in her wake. She received the pass and screamed the ball past USA goalkeeper Jacqueline Frank. Then Vasileva converted from the penalty line for an amazing 7-3 lead at 0:57.

In the third period Russia was content to consolidate while the USA was
desperate. Turova helped herself to a second goal down the left and Brenda
Villa, the highest profile player in her country, took a superb pass from
captain Heather Moody to score at 5:44 and 8-4. USA coach Guy Baker drew a
yellow card inside the last five minutes. The period was then a shutout
despite some excellent USA shots.

The USA stepped up a notch in the final quarter Margaret Dingeldein lobbing
Valentina Vorontsova at 8:01. But Konoukh scored her fourth at 5:31 with an
eight-metre shot into the top corner. The home team took a timeout and the
resultant shot, point blank by Moody, was not cleanly on her hand and it
went over the top when totally clear. Villa and Lorenz combined well on
counter with three passes but Lorenz¹s shot hit wood.

FLASH QUOTES:
USA(5)
COACH: GUY BAKER

GAME: “We had some good opportunities. They just beat us. They were better defensively and offensively.”

PLAYER # 1: JACKIE FRANK (GOALIE)
PERFORMANCE: “Anytime they get double digits I’m not too happy.”
OFFENSE: “Our problems stemmed from offense.”
ON RUSSIA: “They came out shooting very well.”

RUSSIA (10)
#4: SOFYA KONUKH
ON THE GAME: “Since it’s 9 minute quarters, both teams went out to save energy. That was our strategy.”

ON THEIR SUCCESS: “We are really tied to each other, we help each other…for us, it’s fun.”

ON ATHENS: “We still have to take into account that many teams are still preparing. The real shape will come in August.”

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Author: Archive Team

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