Athens, Greece – The USA Women's National Water Polo Team fought back from a two goal deficit in the final minutes to earn a tie with Russia. The tie assured that the team advances to the Championship Game of the Thetis Cup Tournament Saturday at noon, Athens time.
It was a game of counter-punches and comebacks for the USA with Russia going up two in the first few minutes of the game and the USA tying the score at the end of the first quarter at 3-3. The two teams are evenly matched with both having strong swimmers and strong defensive fronts.
Russia threw in two goals early in the 4th quarter to take a 7-5 with 3:44
remaining in the game. But the second half of the 4th quarter belonged to
the USA as Brenda Villa (Commerce, CA) assisted Julie Swail (Irvine, CA) to
inch the USA to within one goal with 2:31 left to go in the game.
After earning an ejection with 1:30 left in the game, Coach Guy Baker (UCLA)
called time out to set up a play which was perfectly executed by the team as
Coralie Simmons (Hemet, CA) tied the game with 1:14 remaining. The tie means
the USA will advance at the top of their bracket and will play Australia
tomorrow (Saturday) for the Championship.
The Thetis Cup is the final competition before the Women's World Olympic
Qualification Tournament begins in Palermo, Sicily on April 22nd. At state
in that event is the three remaining spots for the six team field in the
Olympic Games. Already qualified are Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.