SANTA ANA, California, December 19. FINA World Cup qualification continued in Santa Ana, Calif., last night with Team USA’s women’s squad earning a spot into the big tournament, while the U.S. Men set up a qualification game today.
The following recaps were provided by USA Water Polo:
USA Women 15 – Canada 7
The USA Women’s Senior National Team clinched a berth to the 2014 FINA World Cup with a 15-7 victory over Canada earlier tonight at Foothill High School. The victory gave the United States a 2-0 victory in the best of three series. Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) led Team USA with three goals on offense while Betsey Armstrong (Ann Arbor, MI/Michigan/NYAC) and Sami Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/UCLA/SBWPF) combined for 11 saves in the win.
The United States was in control of this match from the start. Fischer started things off with a goal and Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo) followed right after with a score for a 2-0 lead. Canada broke through three minutes later with a goal for a 2-1 match but the United States had an answer. Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) scored with 2:46 left and then Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/SBWPF) scored on a counter attack for a 4-1 lead after one period.
Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/SBWPF) drew a penalty to open the second period and Fischer converted for a 5-1 lead. Steffens connected on an outside shot about a minute later for a 6-1 advantage. Canada scored to stop the run but the United States offense was just getting started. Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/Stanford) hit an outside shot,Jillian Kraus (Santa Ana, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) scored on the counter attack, and Craig hit on a power play in close for a 9-2 lead at halftime.
The offensive outburst continued into the second half as Alys Williams (Huntington Beach, CA/UCLA/HBWP) scored to open the period. Fischer scored her third of the night a minute later and Craig buried a rare outside shot for a 12-2 lead with 3:33 to go in the third. Canada stopped the six goal run with a goal at the 2:19 mark of the third but Annika Dries(Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) countered with a goal in close for a 13-3 lead after three periods.
Canada looked to rally in the fourth period scoring two straight to open the period, drawing to within 13-5 with 5:05 left. KK Clark (Menlo Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) and Fattal had answers for Canada to go up 15-5 with 3:53 to play. Canada would score two late goals but the win was already in hand for the United States as they took the match 15-7.
Team USA went 2/5 on power plays and 2/2 on penalties while Canada was 3/7 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot.
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 15 (4, 5, 4, 2) M. Fischer 3, R. Fattal 2, K. Craig 2, M. Steffens 2, A. Williams 1, A. Dries 1, J. Kraus 1, K. Neushul 1, K. Clark 1, M. Seidemann 1
CAN 7 (1, 1, 1, 4)
Saves – USA – B. Armstrong 8 – S. Hill 3
6×5 – USA – 2/5 – CAN 3/7
Penalties – USA – 2/2 – CAN 0/1
USA Men 9 Canada 10
A fourth quarter rally fell just short and the USA Men’s Senior National Team lost to Canada 10-9 in the second of a three game series at the FINA World Cup qualification. The decisive third game takes place tomorrow morning at 10:30am pt at the Santa Ana YMCA/Segerstrom HS with the winner earning a berth in next summer’s FINA World Cup. In this match, despite hat tricks from Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/Stanford) and Bret Bonanni (Huntington Beach, CA/Stanford/Stanford), the United States was unable to stop Canada a day after an 11-6 victory. Andy Stevens (Villa Park, CA/LMU/NYAC) and McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/Mater Dei HS/United) split time in goal combining for 10 saves in the loss.
Canada jumped out early in the first period, grabbing a 2-0 lead with 5:17 to go in the quarter. The United States quickly answered, rattling off three straight goals to close out the period. Bowen converted on a lob and then a power play score before Bonanni found the net with less than thirty seconds remaining.
Trailing 3-2 in the second period the Canadians battled back hitting on a counter attack score to even the match with 5:32 left in the first half. A few minutes later the United States had the lead back when Alex Obert (Stockton, CA/Pacific/Sac Polo) scored out of two meters for a 4-3 advantage. Less than a minute later Canada came back with the equalizer and the match was even at halftime, 4-4.
The scoring ramped up in the third period for the Canadians as they built their largest lead of the match. After a Bonanni goal on a penalty shot gave the United States a 5-4 lead, Canada scored two straight to go ahead 6-5 with 4:37 remaining in the third. Bonanni hit again for a score on the next USA possession but Canada followed with three straight goals to take a 9-6 lead. The final Canada goal came from John Conway who delivered a bar-in shot with just one second remaining in the period.
In the fourth the United States started to battle back immediately. Bowen connected on a power play goal in close to draw within 9-7. Two minutes later it was John Mann (Newport Beach, CA/California/NYAC) scoring on a power play of his own for a 9-8 game with 4:54 remaining. Canada halted the run momentarily with a penalty shot score at the 3:19 mark butJosh Samuels (Villa Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) scored on a beauitful pass from Bowen for a 10-9 match with 2:09 to go. The last chance for Team USA to tie the game would result in a turnover at the 20 second mark and Canada would run out the clock for the victory.
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 9 (3, 1, 2, 3) A. Bowen 3, B. Bonanni 3, A. Obert 1, J. Mann 1, J. Samuels 1
CAN 10 (2, 2, 5, 1)
Saves – USA – A. Stevens 6 – M. Baron 4