Worlds Water Polo: Ashleigh Johnson Backstops American Rout of France

Photo Courtesy: MARIANA BAZO

Worlds Water Polo: Ashleigh Johnson Backstops American Rout of France

Ashleigh Johnson made 14 saves, holding France to just two goals in the first three quarters, as the U.S. completed an unbeaten run through Group A with a 16-5 on Thursday at the World Championships.

The Americans led by a 13-2 score after three quarters. France needed 34 shots to get five goals past Johnson, the most outstanding goalie at each of the last two Olympics.

That defensive prowess gave the U.S. offense time to get going. Tara Pentice scored two of her game-high four goals in the first quarter as the Americans ran out to a 5-1 lead. Maddie Musselman, Rachel Fattal, Jordan Raney and Ryann Neushul scored twice each. The Americans top Group A with three wins from three and a plus-24 goal differential.

Camelia Bouloukbachi led France with two goals.

At the end of group play, the Netherlands, Greece and Hungary all lead their groups. The Dutch capped Group B play by handling Israel, 24-8, behind five goals from Kitty-Lynn Joustra. Hungary routed New Zealand, 23-5, behind eight multi-goal scorers, Dorottya Szilagyi and Rebecca Parkes scoring four times each.

The other group-winner had to work for it, Greece battling out a 16-12 win over Italy. The Greeks led 10-5 at half and held off the Italian advances late. Vasiliki Plevritou, Eirini Ninou and Nicoleta Eleftheraidou each tallied hat tricks.

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