Stars and Stripes Clip Canada, 12-11, in Women’s Water Polo Shootout

RIVERSIDE, California, May 23. RIVALS Canada and the United States met in the final match of day three at the FINA Intercontinental Tournament with Group A on the line. A thrilling match resulted with Team USA topping Canada 12-11 in a shootout. The victory gives Team USA first place in Group A and sets up a match with Venezuela in Friday’s quarterfinal round at 7:30pm. Other results from today saw Australia blank Venezuela 17-0, China slipped past Brazil 8-6, and Japan toppled Kazakhstan 11-10 in a shootout.

As for the day’s final match, a back and forth game ensued with Canada taking the early advantage going up 2-0 early in the match. Team USA scored late in the period on a score from Colleen O’Donnell (Palos Verdes, CA/USC/LAWPC) to draw within one after the first at 2-1. In the second Canada continued their surge going ahead 4-1 and 5-2 thanks to three goals in the period from Joelle Bekhazi. Priscilla Orozco (Commerce, CA/UCLA/Commerce) cashed in on a penalty shot to draw the United States to within 5-4 at halftime. In the third quarter Bekhazi scored again to put Canada up 6-4. KK Clark (Menlo Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) would score two of the next three goals to keep Team USA close as they trailed 7-6 after three periods.

In the fourth Shae Fournier scored to open things for Canada to take an 8-6 lead. Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Harbor, CA/USC/Trojan) and Orozco answered with two straight goals to even the match at 8-8 with 3:47 remaining. Gilchrist hit again moments later to put Team USA up for the first time at 9-8. That didn’t last long as Bekhazi scored her first goal with 2:39 left to tie the game at 9-9 and force the shootout. In the shootout Bekhazi and Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/SBWPF) each connected first to make it 10-10. Monika Eggens followed and missed wide and Orozco was blocked to keep it even at 10-10. EB Keeve (Naperville, IL/Arizona State/West Suburban) halted Fournier on her next attempt and Gilchrist followed with a goal for an 11-10 lead. Emma Wright scored next for Canada to even the match at 11-11. Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) followed in round four with a goal. The final shooter for Canada, Christine Robinson, has to score to keep the match alive only to be blocked by Keeve who would finish with 20 saves on the night.

Team USA Scorers

Kaleigh Gilchrist – 3 goals
KK Clark – 2 goals
Priscilla Orozco – 2 goals
Makenzie Fischer – 1 goal
Colleen O’Donnell – 1 goal
Team Canada Scorers

Joelle Bekhazi- 5 goals
Monika Eggens – 1 goal
Shae Fournier – 1 goal
Katrina Monton – 1 goal
Krystina Alogbo – 1 goal

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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