Ryde Olympic Pool, Sydney, June 9 – The USA got off to a slow start in the first of a three game exhibition series in Ryde Olympic Pool. Team USA
managed to stay in the game and gained momentum in the 2nd period. However, in the 3rd quarter the same quickly got away from the USA with Australia
scoring the first three times they got the ball. The USA team is experimenting on this trip to work on line-ups in preparation for choosing the final Olympic team. Additionally, the team is playing a bit short-handed with Heather Moody, the 1999 USA Water Polo player-of-the year and Bernice Orwig, the starting goalie, out due to injuries. Leading scorer Coralie
Simmons, while playing, is limited due to a fractured ankle.
However, the game was a great starting point for the USA to begin to get back into shape in preparation for the final push towards Sydney.
"Our defense was off tonight," said Ericka Lorenz. "We weren't working well together. Australia played some awesome offense, they had some great shots from the outside."
" Australia played a great game and their shooting was on from the start," said Coralie Simmons.
"We managed to stay competitive in the first half although we were struggling defensively," said Brenda Villa. "But Australia capitalized and went to work
on their outside shooting. This was our first game since our qualification in Palermo, so the next few games will be better."
" Tonight, it was obvious that Australia has been in full-time training since the Thetis Cup in April," said Ellen Estes. "Overall, they seemed to be
playing really well together and took advantage of our mistakes. For us, this trip is a great jump-start to get us going after the qualification tournament. We are starting to work on a few tactics-like our counter-attack and I am confident we'll be a better team after this trip."
"The result of this game was not a surprise," said coach Guy Baker. "After qualifying it will take us some time before we are playing at a level that
meets our standards. Australia was impressive offensively, they have greatly improved since we last played them at the Thetis Cup in Greece in April."
1 2 3 4 F
USA 3 2 4 5 14
AUS 1 2 1 4 8
Scoring: USA: Ericka Lorenz 2, Heather Petri 1, Coralie Simmons 1, Ellen
Estes 1, Robin Beauregard 1, Rachel Scott 1
AUS: Gusterson 4, Castle 4, Higgins 2, Hankin 2, Mills 1, Fox 1
Goalie Saves: USA/Nicolle Payne 7 Saves AUS/Elizabeth Weekes 4 Saves
Power play (6×5) USA/4 / 6 AUS/ 3 / 6, plus one penalty shot 1 for 1