USA Women’s Water Polo Earns Spot in Pan American Games Semifinal With 19-3 Defeat of Cuba

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, October 26. THE USA Water Polo Women's National Team advanced into the semifinals of the Pan American Games with a 19-3 defeat of Cuba at the Scotiabank Aquatics Center. A game-high five goals from Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, Calif./Stanford/Stanford) led nine different scorers for the United States. Betsey Armstrong (Ann Arbor, Mich./Michigan/NYAC) went three quarters in net posting eight saves while Tumua Anae (Newport Beach, Calif./USC/SoCal) closed out the match with one save in the fourth. The victory gives Team USA a 3-0 record in Group B and assures them of a meeting with Brazil in the crossover semi-final round at 3:30pm cst on Wednesday.

Team USA opened up with a 5-0 lead in the first quarter and led 8-0 in the second period before Cuba got on the board with 1:07 to play in the half. A Seidemann skip shot goal just before intermission pushed the USA lead to 9-1 at the break. The third quarter was more of the same as three straight USA goals ballooned the lead to 12-1. Cuba scored two straight goals to get to 12-3 early in the fourth quarter but the United States closed out the match with a flurry of scores including a tally by Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, Calif./USC/Santa Barbara WPF) as time expired to take the 19-3 victory.

Craig scored four times with Brenda Villa (Commerce, Calif.), Elsie Windes (Portland, Ore.), and Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) scoring twice. Kelly Rulon (San Diego, Calif.), Heather Petri (Orinda, Calif.), Lauren Wenger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Maggie Steffens (Danville, Calif.) each added a goal. Team USA went 2-4 on power plays and 1-1 on penalties while Cuba was 0-2 on power plays and 2-2 on penalty shots.

The United States hosted Brazil in two exhibition matches last month winning both contests by double figures.

Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 19 (5, 4, 3, 7) M. Seidemann 5, K. Craig 4, B. Villa 2, C. Mathewson 2, E. Windes 2, K. Rulon 1, H. Petri 1, M. Steffens 1, L. Wenger 1
CUB 3 (0, 1, 1, 1)

Saves – USA – B. Armstrong 8, T. Anae 1
6×5 – USA 2/4 – CUB – 0/2
Penalties – USA 1/1 – CUB – 2/2

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