USA Wins FINA Junior Women’s World Championships in Perth – Summary

PERTH, AUS, January 30. THE U.S. Junior Women’s Water Polo team took their game to the Russian team with an 11-9 win and the first place title at the FINA Junior Women’s World Championships today (Sunday), reports USA Water Polo.

USA Water Polo reports on games back to the 01-24-05 tournament start also follow.

This became the first repeat championship when the USA defended their title. A tough game began when Russia took a 6-4 lead at halftime in the final game. USA only took the lead with two minutes left in the third period. The U.S. played tough defense and managed to step it up in order to score big in the second half with Domanic scoring a total of 5, Hayes with 2, Craig with 1, Figge 1, Hansen 1, and Stachowski 1. USA head coach Kyle Utsumi, dripping wet after the customary dipping, said: "It was a fantastic game. We were nervous early on but the professionalism in the team came out. They played well all week. What more could a coach ask for?" Domanic ran the clock down for the Americans, giving them a well-deserved gold medal.

Final placings:
1. United States
2. Russia
3. Australia
4. Greece
5. Netherlands
6. Canada
7. Spain
8. New Zealand
9. Italy
10. Germany
11. Hungary
12. Puerto Rico
13. Japan
14. China
15. Brazil

Leading goal-scorers:
HUN, Fruzsina Bravik – 20
ESP, Laura Lopez – 20
AUS, Gemma Beadsworth – 17
CAN, Krystina Alogbo – 15
USA, Gabrielle Domanic – 15
RUS, Natalia Ryzhova-Alenicheva – 13
GER, Barbara Bujka – 13
RUS, Oleksandra Karpovich – 13
NED, Meike Cabout – 12
HUN, Alexandra Kiss – 12
GER, Monika Kruszona – 12
NED, Lana Mandjes – 11
AUS, Taniele Gofers – 11
AUS, Patrice O'Neill – 11
JPN, Misa Konaka – 11
ITA, Jessica Masi – 11
ESP, Yurema Sabio – 10
GER, Claudia Blomenkamp – 10
NZL, Anna Sieprath – 10
ESP, Carolina Lopez – 10
RUS, Evgenia Soboleva – 10
CAN, Joelle Bekhazi – 10

Goalkeeper saves
ITA, Valentina Ayale – 1
NZL, Kirsten Hudson – 1
ESP, Irene Carrasco – 1
ESP, Nuria Casas – 38
BRA, Manuela Canetti – 21
AUS, Helen North – 2
CHN, Yang Jun – 27
CAN, Nadia Kvakic – 17
USA, Meredith McColl – 7
CAN, Jessica Wagner – 19
RUS, Aleksandra Vorob'eva – 26
NED, Isle Van Der Meijden – 49
JPN, Aoi Matsukawa – 26
GRE, Maria Tsouri – 30
PUR, Estefania Laboy Gonzalez – 16
NZL, Alice Sharpe – 24
NZL, Nichola Ingoe – 22
GRE, Marie-Danel Gouna – 3
GER, Vanessa Lehmann – 37
ITA, Elena Gigli – 49
USA, Emily Feher – 40
HUN, Timea Papp – 15
HUN, Eszter Jankovics – 26
AUS, Victoria Brown – 25

The U.S. finished second to Canada at the 2003 Junior Worlds.

Box Score

United States 1 3 4 3 – 11
Russia 2 4 0 3 – 9

Individual Scoring
United States Domanic 5, Hayes 2, Craig 1, Figge 1, Hansen 1, Stachowski 1
Russia Ryzhova-Alenicheva 4, Soboleva 3, Fomicheva 1, Karpovich 1

Goal Saves
United States N/A
Russia N/A

Player Advantage Scoring
United States N/A
Russia N/A

Perth, Australia, January 29, 2005—The U.S. Junior Women’s Water Polo team took their game to the Australian team with a 5-4 win at the FINA Junior Women’s World Championships today (Saturday). The sixth installment of this tournament marks the first FINA sanctioned event of the new quad and is taking place at Challenge Stadium in Perth, Australia through January 30. A tough game began when Australia took a 3-1 lead in the semifinal. The USA fought back in the final quarter and took the lead for the first time (Figge 2, Craig 1, Domanic 1, Hewko 1). The USA managed to keep the Australians from scoring in the second half of the big game, in which either team could have won the game. The Australians piled on the pressure in the closing stages but were unable to penetrate the strong USA defense led by goalkeeper and captain Emily Feher (10 saves). The game played was of the highest caliber, according to Australian head coach Bruce Falson, “We played our best but we were beaten by a better team. It was a fast game with some high quality play. I can’t blame anyone or any particular thing. “The girls will bounce back for the bronze medal,” he said. This loss was only the 10th in 150 internationals for the Australian team since 1995, including three World Championship finals. Russia and 2001 champion the United States of America will clash in the gold-medal final tomorrow. Playing at Challenge Stadium, Russia earned its place with a crushing 9-3 victory over Greece and the USA managed to pull off the win from the Australian’s 5-4.

Box Score

United States 1 2 1 1 – 5
Australia 3 1 0 0 – 4

Individual Scoring
United States Figge 2, Domanic 1, Craig 1, Hewko 1
Australia Beadsworth 2, Smith 1, Dyson 1

Perth, Australia, January 28, 2005—The U.S. Junior Women’s Water Polo team beat New Zealand 8-6 at the FINA Junior Women’s World Championships today (Friday). The sixth installment of this tournament marks the first FINA sanctioned event of the new quad and is taking place at Challenge Stadium in Perth, Australia through January 30.
The United States played a tight match against New Zealand, before winning 8-6. New Zealand scored first but the USA had a 2-1 lead at the quarter. The Kiwis had trouble adjusting to Domanic’s outside shooting, allowing her to score from the same position each time. The 6-4 margin did not dim the spirits of the Kiwis’ with Snell scoring her second after a timeout in the fourth quarter. While the clock ticked down, Jillian Kraus scored on extra from right-hand catch for 8-5. New Zealand narrowed the gap on extra for 8-6 but it was not enough to get them the win. Host Nation Australia will take on The United States of America while Russia and Greece will play it out in the medal semifinals.

The U.S. finished second to Canada at the 2003 Junior Worlds.

Box Score

United States 2 1 3 2 – 8
New Zealand 1 2 1 2 – 6

Individual Scoring
United States Domanic 3, Hayes 3, Figge 1, Kraus 1
New Zealand Snell 2, Smith 2, Mason 1, Sieprath 1,

January 25, 2005

USA Junior Women Breeze by China, 19-1
Team USA Gets Goals from Eight Different Players in Lopsided Win

Perth, Australia, January 25, 2005-The U.S. Junior Women's Water Polo
team went to 2-0 at the FINA Junior Women's World Championships today
(Tuesday) with a 19-1 win over China. The sixth installment of this
tournament marks the first FINA sanctioned event of the new quad and is
taking place at Challenge Stadium in Perth, Australia through January
30.

Katie Hansen (Coronado, CA/Stanford/Coronado WP) had the hottest hand
for the U.S. against a lesser-conditioned Chinese team, pouring in five
goals in the win, four of them coming in the third quarter alone. Kami
Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/Santa Barbara HS/Santa Barbara WP) and Gabbie
Domanic (Santa Ana, CA/UCLA/SoCal) followed close behind with four goals
and three, respectively.

The U.S. outscored the depleted Chinese 12-0 in the second half, using
its speed, strength and stamina to dictate the pace of the game. Team
USA earned eight ejections on the day, compared to one yesterday,
hitting on six of the chances. The U.S. defense refused to let China
back into the game, only allowing seven shots on goal over the course of
the contest.

The win takes Team USA to 2-0 and first place in its group with four
points. Russia is 2-0 after a decisive 13-6 win over Hungary today,
bringing up a battle for first when it collides with the U.S. tomorrow
(Wednesday) in the final day of round robin play. The U.S. and Russia
are slated for a 10:15 a.m. (local Perth time) opening sprint. A U.S.
win would give it first place in the group and a bye on Thursday, while
a loss puts the U.S. in second place where it will meet the third place
finisher in Group B on Thursday.

The U.S. finished second to Canada at the 2003 Junior Worlds.

Perth, Australia, January 24, 2005—The U.S. Junior Women’s Water Polo team started off the FINA Junior Women’s World Championships on a high note, coming back to top Hungary, 9-8. The sixth installment of this tournament marks the first FINA sanctioned event of the new quad and is taking place at Challenge Stadium in Perth, Australia from January 24-30.

The U.S. jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Jillian Kraus (Tustin, CA/UCLA/SoCal) and Aimee Stachowski (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/UC Santa Barbara/SoCal) but Fruszina Bravik scored the first of her game-high four goals to cut the lead in half early in the first. Hungary went ahead in the second quarter on Bravik’s second goal and managed to keep the U.S. off of the board to hold a 3-2 lead at halftime.

The U.S. netted the first two goals of the third quarter to take a 4-3 lead, but Hungary notched the next three to go ahead 6-4 heading into the final frame. The U.S., who was ejected eight times to Hungary’s once, came out firing in the fourth. Early goals by Erika Figge (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/USC/SD Shores) and Elsie Windes (Portland, OR/Cal Berkeley/Tualatin Hills) set the tone for the U.S. early in the quarter. Katie Hansen (Coronado, CA/Stanford/Coronado WP) tied things at 7-7 with a score at 2:29 but Bravik’s fourth goal gave Hungary the lead again on the next possession. After coach Kyle Utsumi’s timeout, the U.S. got a goal from lefty Brittany Hayes (Santa Ana, CA/USC/SoCal) to knot things up at 8-8. It was Gabbie Domanic’s (Santa Ana, CA/UCLA/SoCal) score with 1:18 left that proved to be the game-winner, capping off a 5-2 fourth quarter for the U.S.

“We were excited for today’s game,” said Utsumi. “It was good to be able to test ourselves. We have our toughest games early, so it was good for us to get a hit right out of the gate.”

Team USA will take on China in a 1:45 p.m. game (local Perth time) on Tuesday, January 25.

Box Score

United States 2 0 2 5 – 9
Hungary 2 1 3 2 – 8

Individual Scoring
United States: Figge 2, Windes 2, Domanic 1, Hansen 1, Hayes 1, Kraus 1, Stachowski 1
Hungary: Bravik 4, Kiss 2, Tomaskovics 2

Goal Saves
United States: McColl 6
Hungary: Jankovics 5

Player Advantage Scoring
United States: 0 for 1
Hungary: 4 for 8

Perth, Australia, January 24, 2005—The U.S. Junior Women’s Water Polo team opens play today at the 2005 FINA Junior Women’s Water Polo World Championships. The sixth installment of this tournament marks the first FINA sanctioned event of the new quad and is taking place at Challenge Stadium in Perth, Australia from January 24-30. Team USA opens play on Monday against Hungary. The U.S. finished second to Canada at the 2003 Junior Worlds.

Utsumi narrowed his roster down to a tournament-ready 13 in late November and the team has been in high gear ever since. Thinning down to his tournament roster, however, wasn’t an easy task.

“This hasn’t been easy,” he said. “But I believe we have an experienced team capable of fighting through tough situations and I think we’re going to be very competitive. We’ve been working together for a while so now with the roster finalized, we can start to focus on our roles on the team.”

Experience will definitely be a key for Utsumi’s 13. Six players will be playing in their second Junior World Championships, with one—Emily Feher (Santa Ana, CA/UCLA/SoCal)—heading for her third. Gabbie Domanic (Santa Ana, CA/UCLA/SoCal), the lefthander that competed with the 2003 World Champion team in Barcelona and was later named as the Olympic alternate for the Athens Games, will be playing in her second. Feher and Domanic were both members of the team that captured gold at the 2001 Junior Worlds, also held in Perth.

Also keeping a close eye on the team and its progress will be U.S. National Team head coach Guy Baker.

“The first Junior Worlds of the quad is extremely important,” said Baker. “We want to see who can compete at the senior level and possibly make the leap as we look ahead to Beijing 2008.”

The team features two players from outside of California in Alison Gregorka (Ann Arbor, MI/Stanford) and Elsie Windes (Portland, OR/Cal Berkeley/Tualatin Hills). Windes selection to the team is also a benchmark in the progress of the Women’s National Team for Baker and company in that she is the first player selected to a National Team after being identified at a P.A.C.E. (Programs for Athletes and Coaches Education) Clinic. Windes was pegged for the National Team level for her performance at the Corvallis clinic in October in 2002.

The U.S. will have a tough bracket to contend with when play opens there. In addition to 2008 Olympic host China, the U.S. will have to contend with historical provens Russia and Hungary.

U.S. Junior National Team Roster – Alphabetical
Name Position Ht. Hometown Club Education
Molly Cahill ^ Attacker 5-9 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara UCLA ‘08
Kami Craig Center 5-11 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Santa Barbara HS ‘05
Gabbie Domanic Attacker 5-6 Santa Ana, CA SoCal UCLA ‘08
Emily Feher Goalkeeper 5-9 Santa Ana, CA SoCal UCLA ‘07
Erika Figge Attacker 5-10 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA SD Shores USC ‘07
Alison Gregorka Attacker 5-9 Ann Arbor, MI Stanford ‘07
Katie Hansen Attacker 5-7 Coronado, CA Coronado Stanford ‘07
Brittany Hayes Attacker 5-6 Tustin, CA SoCal USC ‘07
Christina Hewko Center 5-10 Newport Beach, CA Stanford ‘07
Jillian Kraus Attacker 5-9 Tustin, CA SoCal UCLA ‘08
Kacy Kunkel Center 6-0 Laguna Beach, CA SoCal UCLA ‘08
Marina Mayer # Defender 6-0 Irvine, CA USC ‘07
Meridith McColl Goalkeeper 5-11 Mission Viejo, CA Stanford ‘07
Aimee Stachowski Defender 6-1 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA SoCal UC Santa Barbara ‘07
Elsie Windes Defender 5-10 Portland, OR Tualatin Hills Cal Berkeley ‘07
Head Coach Kyle Utsumi (Mountain View, CA)
Assistant Coach Bernice Orwig (Anaheim, CA)
Assistant Coach Kim Everist (Pleasant Hill, CA)
Team Manager Alan Cima (Santa Cruz, CA)
^ 1st Alternate
# 2nd Alternate

Tournament Brackets
Group A Group B Group C Group D
USA Australia Netherlands Greece
Russia Brazil Germany Canada
Hungary Italy New Zealand Puerto Rico
China Spain Japan —

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