U.S. Women’s Water Polo Sweeps Australia in Three-Game Exhibition Series

Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

U.S. Women’s Water Polo Sweeps Australia in Three-Game Exhibition Series

The U.S. Women’s Water Polo team swept Australia in a three-game exhibition series in California this week.

The U.S. used 15 saves from Ashleigh Johnson to start it with a 10-4 win last Sunday at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta. Tuesday brought a 14-8 decision behind four goals each from Maddie Musselman and Tara Prentice at Long Beach City College. And the series wrapped with Musselman rifling home four times in a 14-6 win at Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine on Saturday.

Both teams have qualified for the Paris Olympics this summer and are drawn into separate groups. The three-time reigning Olympic champion Americans regained their world title at the 2024 World Championships in Doha, including a 10-9 win over Australia in the quarterfinals. The Aussie finished sixth in Doha.

Maggie Steffens scored four times in the first game, helping the U.S.to a 7-2 halftime lead. Jordan Raney scored twice, and Ryann Neushul scored at her alma mater. The U.S. was blanked in the third quarter, Australia getting within 7-4, but then the U.S. pitched a fourth-quarter shutout thanks to Johnson.

Amanda Longan did the job in goal in Game 2 with 13 saves. The U.S. led 3-0 in that affair. Neushul and Jewel Roemer scored twice each.

Steffens scored twice in Game 3, with Johnson making 13 saves. It allowed the U.S. to lead 6-2 after three quarters, then erupt for eight goals in a fun final frame. Raney and Roemer scored twice each, while Rachel Fattal had a goal in each game.

Dani Jakovich scored in all three games for Australia, leading the way with five total goals. Charlize Andrews scored twice. Alice Williams had three goals, including two in Game 3.

The U.S. Women’s Water Polo team will have its next Olympic tune-up in a three-game series with China, which starts April 20. Like Australia, China is qualified for the Paris Olympics, drawn into the same Group A as Australia.

Notify of

Welcome to our community. We invite you to join our discussion. Our community guidelines are simple: be respectful and constructive, keep on topic, and support your fellow commenters. Commenting signifies that you agree to our Terms of Use

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x