US Women’s Jr. Water Polo Team Takes Third in Russian Tourney

KIRISHI, Russia, May 30. U.S. women's head water polo coach Guy Baker and company battled through planes, trains, and automobiles for 32 hours to field a relatively inexperienced group of players against a tough lineup of teams in last week's International Water Polo Tournament in Kirishi, Russia.

The Russia A team won the tournament, while Australia was second.

The tournament, which was the first major international women's water polo tourney to be held in Russia, featured two Russia teams, the Netherlands, Germany, and 2000 gold medalist Australia. When it was all over, the U.S. had captured third place, despite its team members not having played a single game together this year.

Team USA 2 2 4 3 — 11
Russia B 2 3 2 3 — 10

Game One
Russia B broke free from a 2-2 tie in the second quarter, scoring the first three goals to go up 5-2. Goals by Anne-Marie Keenan and Courtney Johnson brought the U.S. to within one at the half. A goal by Kate Pettit with 1:05 to play in the third gave the U.S. the lead for good, a lead secured by a Bernice Orwig save in the waning seconds of the game.

"Thank goodness for our six-on-five," U.S. head coach Guy Baker said. "Because we scored eight of our 11 goals that way. I'm particularly pleased considering this was the first time we'd played together this year and that we had traveled for 32 total hours with a lot of new faces."

Individual Scoring
Team USA: Johnson 3, Villa 2, Petri 1, Keenan 1, Estes 1, Pettit 1, Dingledein 1, Munro 1

Man Advantage Scoring
Team USA: 8 for 15
Russia B: 2 for 5

Goal Saves
Team USA: Payne 5, Orwig 3

Team USA 3 2 4 2 — 11
Netherlands 1 1 2 0 — 4
Game Two
The U.S. came out on the up end of a very physical contest against the Netherlands, 11-4. Team USA scored six of its 11 goals in the second half and posted a zero on the board for the Netherlands in the fourth quarter.

Individual Scoring
Team USA: Pettit 3, Petri 2, Villa 2, Dingledein 1, von Schwarz 1, Domanic 1, Johnson 1

Man Advantage Scoring
Team USA: 4 for 6
Netherlands: 2 for 6

Goal Saves
Team USA: Orwig 5, Frank 4

Team USA 1 0 2 1 — 4
Australia 2 1 2 1 — 6
Game Three
Team USA failed to capitalize on several first half opportunities and could not rebound from a 3-1 halftime deficit against the 2000 Olympic gold medalists. "We played a good game," said Baker. "But we just couldn't get the ball in the goal. It was one of those days where everything hits the cross bar or their goalie makes a great save." Catherine von Schwarz and Heather Petri missed the game due to an illness picked up in Russia.

Individual Scoring
Team USA: Estes 2, Villa 1, Dingledein 1

Man Advantage Scoring
Team USA: 4 for 9
Netherlands: 4 for 6

Goal Saves
Team USA: Frank 5, Payne 9

Team USA 1 1 4 1 — 7
Netherlands 0 1 4 1 — 6
Game Four (Third-Place Game)
The Netherlands matched the U.S. goal for goal in every quarter.except one. A 1-0 first quarter edge wound up playing a big role in Team USA's 7-6 win over Holland in the third place game. Brenda Villa tossed in three goals and was named tournament MVP at day's end. "This was an important game for us to win," said Baker. "We never trailed and were able to win, despite not playing our best."

Individual Scoring
Team USA: Villa 3, Pettit 1, Munro 1, Domanic 1, Johnson 1

Man Advantage Scoring
Team USA: 4 for 11
Netherlands: 2 for 6

Goal Saves
Team USA: Payne 4, Orwig 2

Final Standings:
1. Russia A
2. Australia
3. USA
4. Netherlands
5. Germany
6. Russia B

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