STANFORD, California, June 25. AFTER back to back losses to China, the USA Women's Senior National Team rebounded to take a 12-8 victory in the final match of the three game set in a game played at the Avery Aquatic Center on the campus of Stanford University. Behind four goals from Stanford grad Lolo Silver (Long Beach, CA/NYAC) Team USA erased an early deficit and would never trail again en route to the win.
China struck first scoring an early goal to grab a 1-0 lead but the United States bounced back in a hurry. Erika Figge (Santa Margarita, CA/SET) connected from outside for a 1-1 game and then after Betsey Armstrong (Ann Arbor, MI/NYAC) blocked a penalty shot, it was Tanya Gandy (San Diego, CA/SD Shores) skipping home a goal for a 2-1 lead. The red, white, and blue closed out the period in grand fashion using a player advantage as Juliet Moss (San Jose, CA/SJ Splash) redirected a pass into the cage for a 3-1 advantage going to the second.
Less than a minute into the second period China was back on the board to close within a goal at 3-2. That was short lived as Team USA would run off three straight goal headed into halftime. Annika Dries (Laguna Beach, CA/SET) turned out of two meters and delivered a goal, then Cardinal teammate Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford) found the cage, and Kelly Rulon (Point Loma, CA/NYAC) tallied on a counter attack. When the dust settled it was a 6-2 lead for the United States at halftime.
As has been custom in this series China came out fired up in the second half and scored an early goal to close within 6-3. Dries discarded three defenders moments later and powered inside for a goal for a 7-3 lead. China scored consecutive goals to get within 7-5 but Silver rang the bell again at the 4:09 mark for an 8-5 game. China wouldn't go away scoring two straight to come within 8-7 with less than a minute left in the third quarter. Silver was there again to respond with a shot from distance to have the last word in this period and with it a 9-7 advantage going to the fourth.
Unlike the last two evenings, on this night the fourth quarter belonged to the United States. Dries again worked inside for a score three minutes into the period and it was 10-7 in favor of the home team. Two minutes later it was back to Silver for an 11-7 lead. From there the game was largely decided. China added a late goal but that was countered by another Silver goal, this after a five meter drawn by Rulon. Armstrong did the job in net turning aside 12 shots along with the blocked penalty shot.
The United States went 2-4 on power plays while China was 2-8, Team USA was 1-1 on penalty shots while China was 0-1. Next up for both teams is the FINA World League Super Final, starting Monday in La Jolla, CA at the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex.
USA 12 (3, 3, 3, 3) L. Silver 4, A. Dries 3, T. Gandy 1, K. Rulon 1, J. Moss 1, E. Figge 1, M. Seidemann 1
CHN 8 (1, 1, 5, 1)
Saves – USA – B. Armstrong 12
6×5 – USA 2-4 – CHN 2-8
Penalties – USA 1-1 – CHN 0-1
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