World Championships Women’s Water Polo: U.S. Clinches Group A with Kazakhstan Rout

Italy's Giuditta Galardi; Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

World Championships Women’s Water Polo: U.S. Clinches Group A with Kazakhstan Rout

The United States clinched the Group A title at the World Championships Women’s Water Polo tournament Thursday with a 32-3 win over Kazakhstan.

Thursday was the final day of play in the group stage. Two of the groups came down to head-to-head affairs, with Hungary topping Australia, 13-9, to win Group C and Italy topping Canada, 12-8, for the Group D crown. Spain finished off their win of Group B by handling France, 14-7.

The U.S. led 16-0 at half and never looked back. The U.S. shot 32-for-41 (78 percent), including 7-for-7 on the power play.

Rachel Fattal shot 5-for-5 and added two assists. Ryann Neushul had four goals and four assists. Maggie Steffens added four goals and two helpers. Jenna Flynn scored four times. Tara Prentice, Jewel Roemer and Emily Ausmus scored three times each, with Kaleigh Gilchrist pairing two goals and five helpers. Ashleigh Johnson made 14 saves.

Netherlands took care of business in the other Group A match with a 27-5 win over Brazil. Bridgitte Sleeking and Simone van de Kraats supplied five goals and three assists each. Kitty-Lynn Joustra also scored five goals, and Lieke Rogge added four goals.

Hungary took control against Australia with the final three goals of the first quarter. Two were provided by Dorottya Szilagyi, who tallied a hat trick. Rita Keszthelyi scored four goals. Dora Leimeter paired two goals with four assists.

Alice Williams led Australia with a hat trick. The Aussies were just 3-for-9 on the power play.

Italy didn’t pull away from the Canadians until blanking them in the fourth quarter. Emma Wright’s second goal of the game with 4:01 left in the third quarter would prove to be the last one for Canada. That was due largely to 13 saves from Caterina Banchelli.

Claudia Marletta scored four goals and two assists for Italy. Roberta Bianconi and Chiara Tabani notched hat tricks, Tabani adding two assists.

Wright and Verica Bakoc scored twice each for Canada.

Laura Ester’s six saves backstopped Spain’s win over France. Cristina Nogue shot 3-for-3 and added two assists. Anni Espar scored two goals and three assists. Camelia Bouloukbachi and Ema Vernoux had two goals and an assist each for France.

Greece finished second in Group B with a 22-9 handling of China, Eirini Ninou and Vasiliki Plevitrou scoring four goals each and combining for five assists. Morgan McDowell shot 9-for-9 and added three assists as New Zealand routed Singapore, 30-4. Sophie Jackson made eight saves for Great Britain in its 14-5 decision over South Africa. Toula Falvey registered a hat trick, and Kathy Rogers had two goals and three assists.

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