Double Gold for Team USA at FINA Intercontinental Tournament

Photo Courtesy: USA Water Polo

Both the Men and Women’s teams from the U.S. claimed the gold medals at stake yesterday in Auckland (NZL) where the Intern-Continental Cups of the FINA Water Polo World League were taking place since Tuesday April 3.

The USA men’s team were too fit and fast for Australia with a 9-6 victory in the final.

Japan won the bronze match 12-7 with an impressive half that saw them out score Kazakhstan 7-2, and Canada dominated New Zealand to win 12-6 and finish fifth.

In the women’s competition, the USA clinched the gold medal after defeating Australia 10-7. The win came with a huge second half effort that saw the USA go from 3-5 down at half time to score four unanswered goals in the second half and carry on to win 10-7.

Canada beat China 9-8 to win the bronze medal and Japan, who finished fifth with an 11-9 win against Kazakhstan, will go to the Super Final because China are the hosts.

2018 Inter-Continental Cups rankings:

MEN: 1. USA, 2. Australia, 3. Japan, 4. Kazakhstan, 5. Canada, 6. New Zealand, 7. Argentina, 8. China, 9. Saudi Arabia

WOMEN: 1. USA, 2. Australia, 3. Canada, 4. China, 5. Japan, 6. Kazakhstan, 7. New Zealand

The World League Super Finals which gather the best European teams and the best teams from the Inter-Continental Cups will be played in Russia (city tbc) from June 18-23 for the men, while the women will meet in Kunshan (CHN) from May 28- June 2.

USA Men’s Match Details

Auckland, New Zealand – April 8 – The USA Men’s National Team capped an undefeated run at the FINA Intercontinental Tournament defeating Australia 9-6 to claim gold. Max Irving (Long Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC) led the way with three goals on offense with Alex Wolf (Huntington Beach, CA/UCLA/Bruin) and Drew Holland (Orinda, CA/Stanford/Lamorinda) combining for 10 saves in net. For more information on the event, visit Watch a full replay of the USA-Australia game by clicking here.

Team USA took the advantage early building a 3-2 lead after the first quarter. The two teams were even in the second with just one goal apiece, leaving the United States up 4-3 at intermission. In the third quarter the United States again found the edge, outscoring Australia 3-2 for a 7-5 advantage. In the fourth, Team USA was one goal better than Australia to earn the three goal victory.

Both sides struggled on the advantage with Team USA going 1/6 on power plays and Australia going just 2/10. Both teams connected on their only penalty shot attempts. Team USA finishes the tournament at 5-0 with victories over Japan, China, Saudia Arabia and two wins over Australia. The win marks Team USA’s third gold medal in FINA Intercontinental Tournament play joining titles in 2014 and 2016.

USA – 9 (3, 1, 3, 2) M. Irving 3, A. Bowen 2, M. Vavic 2, J. Hooper 1, H. Daube 1
AUS – 6 (2, 1, 2, 1)
Saves – USA – A. Wolf 6, D. Holland 4
6×5 – USA 1/6 – AUS 2/10
Penalties – USA – 1/1 – AUS 1/1

USA Women’s Match Details

Auckland, New Zealand – April 8 – After a loss to open play at the FINA Intercontinental Tournament the USA Women’s National Team went undefeated the rest of the way, claiming gold with a 10-7 win over Australia. Stephania Haralabidis (Athens, Greece/USC/NYAC) and Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/NYAC) scored three goals each in the win with Gabby Stone (La Jolla, CA/Stanford/San Diego Shores) adding six saves in net. For more information on the event, visit Watch a full replay of the USA-Australia game by clicking here.

Team USA and Australia were even after the first quarter tied at 2-2. In the second quarter Australia pushed ahead to grab a 4-3 lead at halftime. Team USA turned the tables in the third quarter outscoring Australia 4-1 to go ahead 7-5. They kept up the offensive energy in fourth adding three more goals to pull away for a 10-7 victory.

The United States went 7/13 on power plays while Australia was 3/6 with neither side attempting a penalty shot. Team USA ends the tournament at 5-1 with wins over Australia, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Japan and Canada. Their lone loss came to Australia in a 9-8 decision on April 3. The win marks Team USA’s third gold medal at the FINA Intercontinental Tournament joining titles in 2015 and 2016.

USA 10 (2, 1, 4, 3) M. Seidemann 2, R. Fattal 1, S. Haralabidis 3, R. Neushul 1, K. Gilchrist 3
AUS 7 (2, 2, 1, 1)
Saves – USA – G. Stone 6
6×5 – USA – 7/13 – AUS – 3/6
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – AUS – 0/0

Above press releases courtesy of FINA and USA Water Polo.