Palermo, Sicily – The USA Women's National Water Polo Team finished the first round of the World Women's Water Polo Olympic Qualification tournament with a 2-0 record after defeating the Czech Republic, 12 – 3 on Monday.
The Czech's posed a more serious test for the USA than thought going into the game and defensively held the USA to just one goal from five shots in the first quarter. The lone USA score coming from a counterattack goal by Heather Moody (Green River, WY).
Back-to-back goals by the Czech Republic resulted in a 2-1 deficit for Team
USA before the offense woke. Ericka Lorenz (San Diego, CA) fired in a power
play goal and goals by Ellen Estes (Novato, CA) and Coralie Simmons (Hemet,
CA) quickly turned the tide giving the USA a 4-2 lead, but a miscue in front
of the US goal allowed the Czech Republic to pull to within 4-3 at the
The second half was all USA as Moody and Maureen O'Toole (Piedmont, CA)
scored from 2 meters and Brenda Villa (Commerce, CA) and Courtney Johnson
(Salt Lake City, UT) added goals for an 8-3 USA advantage after three frames.
In the fourth period, Lorenz, Simmons and Johnson all netted their second
goals of the match to extend the lead to 11-3 and O'Toole finished off the
scoring with a strong move at two-meters. Meanwhile, Team USA's defense held
the Czech Republic scoreless in the second half and the USA came away with a
Standings at the end of the first round of play:
"A" bracket : Italy, Greece, Germany
"B" bracket: USA, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic
"C" bracket: Hungary, Spain, France
"D" bracket: Russia, Brazil, Japan
USA Schedule: April 25 OFF; April 26 USA vs. Germany; April 27 USA vs.
Greece; April 28 USA vs. Italy; April 29 semifinals; April 30 finals
1 2 3 4 F
USA 1 3 4 4 12
CZCH 0 3 0 0 3
USA: Simmons 2, Johnson 2, Moody 2, Lorenz 2, O'Toole 2, Villa, Estes
CZCH: Slajsova, Krizova, Sejkorova
Saves: USA Orwig 4; Payne 2 CZCH Buravova 2
Shots: USA 24, CZCH 15
Powerplay: USA 1/5, CZCH 1/9
Other Games: Greece 8 – Germany 7, Brazil 13 – Great Britain 3,