Performance of the Week: U.S.A. Women’s Water Polo

Photo Courtesy: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

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This week’s performance of the week goes to the entire U.S.A. Women’s Water Polo team, who put on an absolutely dominating display through the run to a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The U.S. started the knockout rounds by beating host team Brazil 13-3 in the quarterfinals before coming out on top of the Hungarian team 14-10 in the semifinals. Winning in a dominant 12-5 performance over Italy in the gold medal match, the U.S. team pushed their unbeaten streak to 22 matches and continued what is looking more and more like the beginning of a dynasty.

While the team’s collective achievement is impressive, what may be more impactful is how this group of women came together to make history. This was reiterated by Head Coach Adam Krikorian, whose brother had passed away just before the opening match of the Games. “It was hitting me pretty hard,” commented Coach Krikorian. “I was thinking about my brother and about how hard this journey has been. It would have been very selfish of me to let what happened to me personally affect this group. These girls have worked so hard for four years and some have worked their entire lives for this moment…It was very important that I stayed focused. I realised it’s not about me, it’s about the team.”

Goalie Ashleigh Johnson, who became the first African-American woman to play water polo in the Olympics, made nine saves in the final game to solidify her place as a rising star on Team USA and give a glimpse at a team that will be asked to carry on what is an emerging dynasty. “She’s incredible,” said team MVP Maggie Steffens. “She is a competitor at its finest. Doesn’t matter what the score is, she wants to get that block and do it for our team.” Steffens, for her part, led the team’s incredible offense throughout the tournament that saw the team outscore their opponents 73-32 throughout the Games. All in all, the women’s team was only behind for a collective 44 seconds across all of their matches. The U.S. Women’s Water Polo team can now count two Olympic gold medals (2012, 2016), the latest World Championship title, the World Cup title, and World League Super Final title to their credit.

Congratulations U.S.A Women’s Water Polo on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Roy Ridge

    The women’s us water polo Team without standing in the Olympics and they’re going to be outstanding for years to come what a dynasty

Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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