CHANGSHU, China, June 4. THE U.S. Olympic Women's Water Polo Team won their fourth straight FINA World League Super Final Gold Medal with a 6-4 defeat of Australia in Changshu, China. Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo) and Annika Dries (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) scored two goals each in the victory while Betsey Armstrong (Ann Arbor, MI/Michigan/NYAC) did the job in net stopping 15 shots.
The two rivals were close early on with Team USA grabbing a 2-1 lead after the first period. In the second, Australia battled back, outscoring the United States 3-1, to take a 4-3 lead at halftime. The United States dominated the second half, especially on the defensive end, where they held Australia without a goal over the final two periods. Team USA added a goal in the third period to tie the match at 4-4 and then in the fourth, tacked on two more scores to take the game, 6-4.
Other scorers for the red, white, and blue included Brenda Villa (Commerce, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club) and Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara WPF) who each scored once. Team USA went 1/4 on power plays while Australia went 1/10, neither team attempted a penalty shot.
“Similar to yesterday we played a great second half,” said USA Head Coach Adam Krikorian. “Defensively we played very well all tournament, but we certainly understand that this means nothing when we get to the Olympic Games.”
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