USA Women’s Water Polo Tops Australia 11-5 at Fresno State

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

Fresno, CA – May 24 – The first water polo match played at the Fresno State Aquatics Center was a good one for the home team. In front of a capacity crowd the USA Women’s National Team jumped out to a 5-0 lead on Australia and never looked back en route to an 11-5 victory. For Fresno State the match was a nice warm-up for the collegiate women’s varsity water polo program that has been added to the school’s lineup and will begin competition in the near future. Team USA’s Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) scored three goals to lead the offense while Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/NYAC) turned aside 13 shots in net. Watch a replay of the match by clicking here. Team USA returns to action on Thursday at Beckman High School in Irvine, CA to close out the series with Australia in a 7pm start. A limited number of tickets are still available and can be accessed by clicking here.

Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) scored in the opening minute to give Team USA a 1-0 lead and after the United States went up 2-0, Musselman scored her first for a 3-0 lead after one period. Fischer opened the scoring in the second quarter for a 4-0 lead followed by a Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara) penalty shot score to take a 5-0 advantage. Australia would get on the board with 2:11 to play in the first half on a strike from Nicola Zagame and that was the score at intermission.

Team USA built their lead in the third on two goals from Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/NYAC), the last coming with 4:06 in the period to make it 8-3 Team USA. Kodi Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/UCLA/Santa Barbara 805) and Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC) closed the third with scores to make it 10-3 with eight minutes to play.

Australia would score two late goals in the fourth and while they didn’t factor in the outcome, the final goal followed a bizarre sequence. Late in the match Johnson left the field of play to retrieve a ball for Team USA drawing an exclusion, only to discard the retrieved ball back out of play drawing a penalty. Isobel Bishop scored on temporary goalkeeper KK Clark (Menlo Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) making it 11-5 USA concluding the scoring for the match.

Team USA went 2/8 on power plays and 3/3 on penalty shots while Australia went 2/13 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots.

Scoring
USA 11 (3, 2, 5, 1) M. Musselman 3, M. Fischer 2, M. Steffens 2, M. Seidemann 1, K. Neushul 1, K. Gilchrist 1, K. Hill 1
AUS 5 (0, 1, 2, 2) R. Webster 1, G. McGhie 1, N. Zagame 1, A. Southern 1, I. Bishop 1
Saves – USA – A. Johnson 13 – AUS – K. Wakefield 4, L. Yanitsas 2
6×5 – USA – 2/8 – AUS – 2/13
Penalties – USA – 3/3 – AUS – 1/1

USA Water Polo contributed this report.
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Author: Cathleen Pruden

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Cathleen Pruden is a 2016 graduate of Mount Holyoke College and was a four time All-American and a three time Academic All-American for the Lyons. She grew up swimming in and has also coached in Raleigh, North Carolina. Currently she is the Assistant Coach at Bowdoin College.

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