2015_KAzan_Logo 2015 FINA
Women's World Championships
Kazan, Russia
World

Womens World ChampionshipTeams

Group A Group B Group C Group D
       
CAN Canada AUS Australia Brazil Brazil HUN Hungry
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan South Africa South Africa Japan Japan RUS Russia
NZL New Zealand Greece Greece USA USA* China China
Spain Spain NED Netherlands ITA Italy France France

* Click any USA Flag for Women's roster

 

Day 1 - Sunday, July 26

Game #1 CAN CAN 15 vs. NZL NZL 6

Canada opens its campaign with a dominant performance

Game 1, Group A: Canada vs. New Zealand 15-6 (5-1, 2-3, 4-2, 4-0)
Referees: Fabio Toffoli (BRA), Tadao Tahara (JPN)

CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo 1, Katrina Monton 1, Emma Wright, Monika Eggens 3, Kelly McKee 1, Joelle Bekhazi 1, Shae Fournier 3, Carmen Eggens 1, Christine Robinson 2, Stephanie Valin 2, Dominique Perreault, Nicola Colterjohn. Head coach: Johanne Begin

NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis 1, Sarah Pattison, Danielle Lewis, Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry 1, Miranda Chase, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva, Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance 1, Kirsten Hudson 1, Jasmine Myles 2, Katherine Curnow. Head coach: Attila Biro

Extraman:
Canada: 3 for 6
New Zealand: 3 for 6

Penalties:
Canada: 2 for 2
New Zealand: none

It took 30 seconds to score the first goal of the championships, it was a fine action shot from the centre from Canada’s Christine Robinson – which also signalled the start of the Northern American’s march. A penalty and an extra-player goal followed shortly for a 3-0 lead, New Zealand got on the score-board after 6:42 minutes but in a span of 41 seconds two more action goals virtually settled the game by the end of the first period (5-1).

The New Zealanders had a better period in the second, cutting the margin to three goals at 7-4 and again deep in the third at 8-5, however, the remaining 12 minutes saw a 7-1 thrashing from the Canadians. The winning side posted a fine shooting percentage (15 for 33, 45%) in their opening game, as well as a fine team effort with eight players netting the goals.

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #2 Kazakhstan KAZ 7 vs. ESP ESP 14

Spain rolls over Kazakhstan in the first half

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva 1, Anna Turova, Kamila Zakirova 1, Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova 1, Oxana Saichuk 1, Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina 3, Assem Mussarova, Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head coach: Miroslav Trumbic

SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar 2, Paula Leiton, Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja 5, Clara Espar 2, Pilar Pena, Judith Forca, Roser Tarrago 3, Maria Garcia 2, Laura Lopez, Patricia Herrera. Head coach: Miguel Oca

Extraman:
Kazakhstan: 3 for 9
Spain: 2 for 8

Penatlies:
Kazakhstan: none
Spain: 1 for 1

The title-holder Spanish team began its campaign in style, leaving no chance for the Kazakhs to create any hot moment in this sunny morning. With three new members in their line-up (compared to Barcelona 2013), the Spaniards produced their highly effective game at both ends of the pool. In the middle of the second period they were 6-0 up and soon they earned an 8-1 advantage. This was the point where they laid back a bit and started to save energy as the tournament – their campaign to retain their crown – is quite long. The gap they built by half-time (9-2) remained the same at the end as the second half brought five goals apiece. Jennifer Pareja was outstanding in the match, the captain netted 5 goals

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #3 AUS AUS 8 vs. Greece GRE 7

The Aussies bettered the Greeks in a thrilling finish

Game 3, Group B: Australia vs. Greece 8-7 (2-1, 1-3, 2-1, 3-2)
Referees: Massimiliano Caputi (ITA), Sergey Naumov (RUS)

AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth 1, Hannah Buckling 1, Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers, Bronwen Knox, Rowie Webster 1, Glennie McGhie 1, Zoe Arancini 1, Ash Southern, Bronte Halligan, Nicola Zagame 2, Kelsey Wakefield. Head coach: Greg McFadden

GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala 4, Stefania Charalampidi, Christina Kotsia, Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki 1, Antigoni Roumpesi 1, Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, Eliftheria Plevritou 1, Eleni Xenaki, Chrysoula Diamantopolou. Head coach: Georgios Morfesis

Extramen:
Australia: 4 for 8
Greece: 1 for 5

Penalties:
Australia: none
Greece: 3 for 4

The Aussies had the better start in the first highlighted game of the opening day. They jumped to a 3-1 lead early in the second period, but two quick goals from the Greeks – both from penalties, courtesy of Alexandra Asimaki’s efforts in the centre – pushed the match to a different direction. The next minutes saw the Australians struggling to create any chance as the Greeks’ zonal defence worked pretty well. Antigoni Roumpesi’s fine shot 28 seconds before the buzzer even put the Greeks ahead by half-time. And their journey continued in the third, another penalty shot at 5:18 gave them a 3-5 lead.

Goddess Fortuna stepped in to help the Aussies, a shot from an extra got a wicked deflection and the ball fell in from the heights. This brought them back to the game, soon they got the equaliser, this time it was a clean finish from another extra by Rowie Webster for 5-5.

The final period was a thriller, the Aussies took the lead three times, the Greek levelled the score twice, at 7-6 Christina Tsoukala’s penalty was saved by Lea Yanitsas, however, after the corner-throw Tsoukala’s fine bouncing shot from the distance found the back of the net for 7-7. With just a minute to go, a great defending move earned the ball for the Aussies in the field and it resulted an easy one-on-one put-away for Nicola Zagame. Greece still had the chance to save a point but they couldn’t set up a clear shooting chance though they had two connecting 6 on 5s in the last 42 seconds.

Greg McFadden, head coach (AUS)
“In the first quarter we played pretty good though were a bit unlucky. In the second we tried to do too much by ourselves, we didn’t play as a team we couldn’t create any good chance as we didn’t leave enough space for our centre-forward. We talked about that in half-time, it’s got a little bit better then but this is in issue we have concentrate on next time

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #4 South Africa RSA 1 vs. NED NED 22

The Dutch hammer strikes hard

Game 4, Group B: South Africa vs. Netherlands 1-22 (1-6, 0-5, 0-3, 0-8)
Referees: German Moller (ARG), Ursula Wengenroth (SUI)

SOUTH AFRICA: Rebecca Thomas, Megan Parkes, Kieren Paley, Ruby Versfield 1, Megan Schooling, Amica Hallendorff, Kimberly Kay, Delaine Christien, Lindsay Killeen, Deborah O’Hanlon, Kelsey White, Alexandre Gascoigne. Head coach: Bradley Rowe

NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Miloushka Smit 3, Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot 4, Amarens Genee 1, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis 2, Vivian Sevenich 2, Maud Megens 1, Isabella van Toorn 1, Lieke Klaassen 6, Leonie van der Molen 2, Debby Willemsz. Head coach: Arno Havenga

Extramen:
South Africa: 0 f 3
Netherlands: 5 for 10

As it was expected, this encounter turned out to be a rather one-sided contest. The only surprise came in the beginning when the South Africans managed to score from the centre as the Dutch goalie, Laura Aarts rushed out to grab the ball but Ruby Versfield could lob it into the empty net. It happened after two minutes – in the remaining 26 only the Dutch scored, in fact, they seemed to be able to net a goal whenever they wanted. Still, some fine defending from the South Africans, especially in the third period kept the Dutch on three goals, however, their superiority did some damage again in the last quarter. Lieke Klaasen came up as the best scorer of the game with a session-high 6 hits.

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #5 Brazil BRA 2 vs.USA 13 USA

No headaches for the US

Game 5, Group C: Brazil vs. United States 2-13 (0-6, 0-3, 1-2, 1-2)
Referees: Dion Willis (RSA), Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ)

BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith, Mariana Duarte, Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini 1, Amanda Oliveira 1, Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias, Viviane Bahia, Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro. Head coach: Patrick Oaten

USA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman 1, Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal 2, Maggie Steffens 3, Courtney Mathewson 1, Kiley Neushul 2, Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist 1, Makenzie Fischer 2, Kami Craig 1, Ashleigh Johnson. Head coach: Adam Krikorian

Extramen:
Brazil: 0 for 5
USA: 3 for 4

Penalties:
Brazil: none
USA: 1 for 1

The Water Polo Arena went wild – though only in the second half of the game when the crowd, getting larger as the Russian’s game commenced, started to cheer for Brazil. Next year’s Olympic hosts found it hard to score against the reigning Olympic champions, they trailed 0-9 at half-time. The US team played really its hard pressing game and was ruthless in attacks, they simply outpowered the Brazilians. However, after 18:04 minutes it happened: the South Americans found the back of the net at 0-11, to the joy of the fans who could happily applaud the second goal later in the fourth. In the meantime the American girls didn’t push the pedal that much, netted only four goals in the second half.

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Kazan, Russia - July 26 - The USA Women's Senior National Team opened played at the 2015 FINA World Championship with a statement, downing Brazil 13-2. Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo) scored three goals to pace the offense and Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/Miami Riptides) stopped 14 shots in net. A replay of the match will air later today on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. Team USA returns to action on Tuesday when they meet Italy at 12:10pm local time. The match will stream live on UniversalSports.com at 5:10am est/2:10 am pt. A replay will air on Universal Sports at 6:00pm et/3:00pm pt. For more streaming information, click here

In the win over Brazil, the United States controlled things from the start leaping out to a 6-0 lead in the first period. Steffens and Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara) scored in the opening ninety seconds and Team USA never looked back. Ahead 2-0, Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) and Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) delivered, the latter coming via penalty. With just 1:05 to play in the period Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC) put a cap on the opening burst with a power play goal for a 6-0 advantage. 

The second period was more of the same with Fattal, Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics), and Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/Trojan) all hitting paydirt for a 9-0 lead headed into halftime. In the third quarter the USA attack continued with goals from Steffens and Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara) for an 11-0 lead. Brazil broke through with their first score moments later on an Amanda Oliveira goal and an 11-1 match. Both offenses remained quiet the rest of the way and Team USA held a 10 goal lead as play moved to the fourth. 

Neushul and Steffens teamed up again in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, adding two more goals to build a 13-1 lead. Brazil would tally one more goal late, but the damage had been done as Team USA cruised to victory. The United States went 3/5 on power plays and 1/1 on penalties while Brazil was 0/5 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty. 

Greg Mescall Director of Communications USA Water Polo

Game #6 Rus RUS 16 vs. France FRA 5

Russia stages a great start

Game 7, Group D: Russia vs. France 16-5 (5-1, 3-2, 4-1, 4-1)
Referees: Peter De Jong (NED), Stephane Roy (CAN)

RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova 1, Ekaterina Prokofyeva 3, Elvina Karimova 3, Ekaterina Zubacheva 1, Anastasia Simanovich 1, Ekaterina Lisunova 2, Evgeniia Abdriziakova, Anna Timofeeva 1, Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova 2, Nadezhda Iarondaikina 2, Anna Karnaukh. Head coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov

FRANCE: Lorene Derenty, Estelle Millot 1, Lea Bachelier, Aurore Sacre, Louise Guillet 3, Geraldine Mahieu, Marie Barbieux, Marion Tardy 1, Lucie Cesca, Sonia Bouloukbachi, Yaelle Deschampt, Michaela Jaskova, Morgane Chabrier. Head coach: Filippos Sakellis

Extramen:
Russia: 1 for 8
France: 0 for 5

Penalties:
Russia: 1 for 1
France: none

Russia did a clean job, to the joy of the spectators. It was almost capacity crowd in the Water Polo Arena and the host team guaranteed not only the satisfaction but the entertainment as well. With their sparkling attacking game they quickly broke the French side: it was a fine variety of fast counters, position game and swiftly created 6 on 5s. Of course, sometimes the system didn’t work absolutely properly but on an opening day of a tournament it’s not required at all. What mattered that the Russian win was never in danger as they held a four goals-per period scoring average.

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #7 Japan JPN 3 vs. ITA ITA 15

Italy downs Japan in two periods

Game 6, Group C: Japan vs. Italy 3-15 (0-5, 1-3, 2-2, 0-5)
Referees: Francesc Buch (ESP), Mark Koganov (AZE)

JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue 1, Yuri Kazama 1, Shino Magariyama, Moe Nakata, Ayaka Takahashi, Yumi Nakano, Mitsuki Hashiguchi, Kana Hosoya, Tsubasa Mori 1, Marina Tokumoto, Kotori Suzuki, Yuko Umeda. Head coach: Hideo Katoh

ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani 3, Arianna Garibotti 3, Elisa Queirolo 2, Federica Radicchi, Rosarie Aiello 1, Tania di Mario 1, Roberta Bianconi 2, Giulia Emmolo 1, Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon 2, Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head coach: Fabio Conti

Extramen:
Japan: 0 for 3
Italy: 4 for 4

Penalties:
Japan: 0 for 2
Italy: 1 for 1

Just as in the other games today played between a big gun and a weaker side, two periods were enough to decide the outcome. The Italians put away two 6 on 5s in two minutes and after Giulia Gorlero stopped a penalty they rushed away: three goals in 2:38 minutes gave them a 0-5 lead. Soon they went 1-8 up by half-time and got some relaxing moments in the third which saw two goals apiece. Then they geared up once more and produced another 0-5 downing in the last eight minutes.

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #8 HUN HUN 8 vs. CHN CHN 9

A lob from 12 metres won the game for China

The opening day of the women's tournament saw two fantastic fights, decided by a single goal: Australia edged out Greece and China staged an amazing finish against Hungary. The rest of the contests were rather one-sided.

Game 8, Group D: Hungary vs. China 8-9 (1-4, 4-1, 2-1, 1-3)
Referees: Daniel Flahive (AUS), Nenad Peris (CRO)

HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany 1, Dora Antal 2, Dora Kisteleki 1, Gabriella Szucs 1, Orsolya Takacs 1, Anna Illes, Rita Keszthelyi 1, Ildiko Toth 1, Barbara Bujka, Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head coach: Andras Meresz

CHINA: Yang Jun, Tian Jianing, Mei Xiaohan, Xiong Dunhan, Sun Yating, Song Donglun 2, Zhang Cong, Zhao Zihan 4, Zhang Weiwei, Wang Xinyan 2, Zhang Jing 1, Peng Lin. Head coach: Rick Azevedo

Extramen:
Hungary: 1 for 3
China: 3 for 10

Penalties:
Hungary: 2 for 2
China: 1 for 2

Just twenty days ago these two sides clashed in a friendly where the Hungarians, playing at home, were superiors in the entire game and won 11-5. Then they led 5-1 after eight minutes. This time only a missed penalty prevented the Chinese from gaining a 5-1 lead. But they staged a really strong opening period, with two quick man-up goals, a converted penalty and another one from a 6 on 5 put them well ahead (1-4). In the second they had another man-up for a 1-5 lead but couldn’t create any chance and that cost them a lot. The Hungarians started to find their rhythm both in defence and in attack and with three connecting action goals they levelled the score with 2:40 to go in the second. The closing minute before the middle break was eventful, the Chinese made good use of a Hungarian error in the back but the Hungarians equalised again from a penalty, called just before the buzzer went off.

In the third the Hungarians took the lead for the first time but the Chinese could level the score from a counter – however, their 6 on 5 didn’t click as well as in the first period, missed three in a row. And again, the Hungarians scored in the very last second, courtesy of Dora Czigany’s sneaking shot from six metres for a 7-6 lead.

And amidst tremendous fight it was doubled through a smart man-up play with five minutes remaining on the clock. But the two-goal lead disappeared quickly after Song Donglun’s fine one-timer and Zhao Zihan’s nice lob. First the Chinese then the Hungarians missed a 6 on 5, then Zihan noticed that the Hungarian goalie moved out to look for a possible centre feed and his 12m lob went in with 39 seconds remaining – and this turned out to be a spectacular game-winner.

Andras Meresz, head coach (HUN)
“Even though the number of exclusions showed a huge difference, I wanted the girls to stick to our hard pressing game till the end. However, they got a bit tired towards the end and didn’t mark the Chinese best shooter than forgot to press before the first lob. The second one came out of the blue, however losing a game by conceding a lob almost from the half-way mark is part of women’s water polo.”

Rick Azevedo, head coach (CHN)
“The two teams trained together a lot in the summer, we know each other, we are really aware of what to expect in the various situations. Today we scored a couple of goals in the beginning while the Hungarians didn’t score from chance they used to. They came back, though, but at the end my young leftie’s smart lobs brought as a great win.”

Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Day 2 - Tuesday, July 28

Game #9 NED NED 10 vs. Greece GRE 8

Quarters: 2-3, 2-2, 5-2, 1-2

Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Radoslaw Koryzna (POL).

Extra Man: NED: 1/7. GRE: 3/8

Pens: NED: 1/1. GRE: 0/1.

Teams:
NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit (3), Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot (4), Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst (1), Marloes Nijhuis (1), Vivian Sevenich, Maud Megens, Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (1), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (1), Stefania Charalampidi (1), Christina Kotsia (1), Margarita Plevritou (2), Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki, Antigoni Roumpesi (2), Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (1), Eleftheria Plevritou, (1) Eleni Xenaki, Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

Match Report:

A 5-2 third period and a blocked penalty shot inside the final three minutes gave the Netherlands a one-goal win over Greece. Greece held sway for much of the match and it was not until 2:12 remaining in the third period that the Dutch took the lead for the first time. Netherlands was behind 3-1, and 5-3 in the first half and drew the match at 1-1, 3-3, 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7 before scoring the go-ahead goal. It was Catharina Van Der Sloot who scored her team’s eighth, ninth and 10th goals that carried to team to 10-8, an unstoppable margin. Her second of the trio was from the penalty line and her third, and fourth of the match, from deep left through a narrow channel. Eleftheria Plevritou, one of the identical twins, had a chance to level the match at 2:36 but Greek goalkeeper Laura Aarts rose to the right and smacked the ball away. An unusual mistake by veteran Antigoni Roumpesi in the dying seconds after a timeout, proved the seal on the match for the Netherlands.

FLASH QUOTE:


Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach

“We started with high tension and had no structure at all. During the third quarter we arrived at our normal level of the last weeks and months. The team is really fit and in the third period it was a good moment when we changed the game (from one down to two ahead).”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #10 AUS AUS 19 vs. South Africa RSA

1

Quarters: 6-0, 3-1, 7-0, 3-0

Referees: Anne Grandin (FRA), Tadao Tahara (JPN).

Extra Man: AUS: 4/7. RSA: 0/0

Pens: AUS: 2/2.

Teams:
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth (2), Hannah Buckling (2), Holly Lincoln-Smith (3), Keesja Gofers (3), Bronwen Knox, Rowie Webster (1), Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini (1), Ashleigh Southern (5), Bronte Halligan, Nicola Zagame (1), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

SOUTH AFRICA: Rebecca Thomas, Megan Parkes, Kieren Paley, Ruby Versfield (1), Megan Schooling, Amica Hallendorff, Kimberly Kay, Delaine Christien, Lindsay Killeen, Deborah O’Hanlon, Kelsey White, Alexandre Gascoigne. Head coach: Bradley Rowe.

Match report:

The Aussie Stingers made sure of their second win, giving South Africa little room to move. When South Africa did get a chance it was an absolute delight with centre forward Ruby Versfeld sliding to the left post, rolling on her back and accepting the pass to steer the ball past the Aussie goalkeeper. It was not so wonderful at the other end as one of the best teams in the world was relentless, honing its attack and using every opportunity to further the scoreboard. Centre forward Holly Lincoln-Smith and big shooter Ash Southern fine-tuned their actions for the coming matches. Southern made the most of a wayward pass to halfway from the South African goalkeeper, stealing the ball and bouncing it into goal from 13 metres. For South Africa it was a second big loss following the opening day’s 22-1 loss to Netherlands.

FLASH QUOTE:

Ash Southern (AUS) — Five-goal scorer

“It was fun, it was nice to come out and try to build each game because we started a bit slow against the Greeks and I think we had a bit of a point to prove today, We went back to basics. We needed to sharpen up our passing; we needed to put our shots away and all of that individual stuff that needs to be good. I think we did that.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #11 ITA ITALY 10 vs.USA USA 9

Quarters: 4-2, 2-1, 2-4, 2-2

Referees: Georgios Stavridis (GRE), Cory Williams (NZL).

Extra Man: ITA: 2/7. USA: 0/8.

Pens: USA: 1/1.

Teams:
ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (1), Elisa Queirolo (1), Federica Radicchi, Rosarie Aiello, Tania di Mario (1), Roberta Bianconi (4), Giulia Emmolo (3), Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon, Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman, Melissa Seidemann (1), Rachel Fattal (5), Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson, Kiley Neushul (2), Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer (1), Kami Craig, Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

Match Report:

It is not often that the USA finds itself three goals down in a match, let alone lose one at this level. USA was three down at the halfway mark and again early in the third period before Italy strung together some excellent attacks and made it 10-7 inside the final three minutes. Italy had the control and the courage to make the big shots, none better than veteran star Tania Di Mario’s screamer for 9-7 at the top of the final period. It went top right from the left-hand-catch position. Roberta Bianconi nailed four goals for Italy in a crisp performance. USA’s Femme Fatale was Rachel Fattal, but even her five goals could not get USA into the match when it counted. She took USA to a 2-1 lead, scored at 7-6 and 7-7 in the third and pushed in a rebound for 10-8 when the match was already decided.  Makenzie Fischer made the most of a penalty call with four seconds left that flattered USA. As one commentator said (Italian, of course): “Italy will be world champion.” On the strength of today’s match, that could well be a possibility come late next week.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Kazan, Russia - July 28 - For the first time in 2015 the USA Women's National Team lost a match in a major competition, dropping a 10-9 decision to Italy at the FINA World Championship. Coincidentally, it was Italy that gave Team USA their last loss, 11-9 in a friendly played in Rome this past March. This one had much more on the line as Team USA now falls to 1-1 in group play and faces the likely prospect of having to compete in the elimination round on August 1. Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) scored a game high five goals while Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/Miami Riptides) added eight saves in the defeat. The match will replay later today on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. 

Team USA closes out group play on Thursday when they take on Japan at 10:50am local time. The match will stream live on UniversalSports.com at 3:40am et/12:40am pt and air later the same day on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. For more streaming information,click here

As for this match, it would be Italy that struck first with a goal from Roberta Bianconi to grab a quick 1-0 lead. The United States responded in a heartbeat with two consecutive strikes from Fattal to take a 2-1 lead. Italy took over from there answering with three straight goals to close out the period, including another from Bianconi, for a 4-2 advantage after the first.

Italy went ahead 5-2 midway through the second quarter on a goal from Giulia Emmolo only to see Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC) return fire with a tally for a 5-3 match. Italy found the back of the net once more in the second period and held a 6-3 lead going into halftime.

The third quarter witnessed the big push for Team USA. Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara) started things off with a goal to close within two at 6-4. After Bianconi came back with another tally for Italy to make it 7-4, Neushul hit again for a 7-5 match. Then Fattal used the counter attack to her advantage and racked up two more goals to tie the game at 7-7 with 2:49 remaining in the period. That would be as close as Team USA would get on this day. Italy battled back with a goal moments later, another from Bianconi, to go ahead 8-7 headed to the fourth.

In the final period Italy scored two straight to take a three goal lead once more, this time at 10-7. The United States looked to rally one last time as Fattal hit for her fifth with 1:09 to play but it would be too little too late. A penalty shot score from Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) would come with just four seconds left and not factor in the decision.

Team USA went 1/8 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots while Italy was 3/7 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots. 

Greg Mescall Director of Communications USA Water Polo

Game #12 BRA BRA 11 vs. Japan JPN 8

Group C, BRAZIL 11 JAPAN 8

Quarters:  4-2, 2-1, 4-3, 1-2, Referees: Stephane Roy (CAN), Viktor Salnichenko (KAZ).

Extra Man: BRA: 3/8. JPN: 0/4
Pens: BRA: 1/1. JPN: 1/1.

Teams:
BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith, Mariana Duarte, Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini (5), Amanda Oliveira (1), Luiza Carvalho (1), Melani Dias (3), Viviane Bahia, Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato (1), Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.

JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue, Yuri Kazama (2), Shino Magariyama (1), Moe Nakata, Ayaka Takahashi (1), Yumi Nakano (3), Mitsuki Hashiguchi, Kana Hosoya, Tsubasa Mori, Marina Tokumoto, Kotori Suzuki (1), Yuko Umeda. Head Coach: Hideo Katoh.

Match report:

Battling in the tough group with Italy and USA, Brazil secured its first victory in Kazan in what was a scrappy match with close defence at both ends upsetting set plays. Brazil had the advantage at quarter time and lifted further in the next two periods before settling in the fourth at 11-6. Japan had not yet succumbed and replied twice more with a counter-attack drive from Kotori Suzuki and outside shot from Yuri Kazama that dribbled across the line after hitting the goalkeeper’s arm. Izabella Chiappini showed her brilliant presence on counter and from the penalty line. Her skills are well needed as Brazil is without two of its starting line-up, injured in the recent World League Super Final — Mirella Coutinho and Marina Canetti.

FLASH QUOTE:

Pat Oaten (CAN) — Brazil  Head Coach
"I like the way the team started off. I know we can play better than that, but we are down two starters (injured players not in Kazan). This is a great opportunity for the team to grow. I was disappointed the way we played against the USA the other day. They are a great team. I told the girls it is a long process (to Rio 2015) and there will be a lot more heartaches than happiness in this process.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #13 FranceFRA 4 vs. CHN CHN 13

Quarters: 1-2, 1-0, 1-6, 1-5, Referees: Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Peter De Jong (NED).

Extra Man: FRA: 1/11. CHN: 1/10.

Pens: CHN: 1/1.

Teams:
FRANCE: Lorene Derenty, Estelle Millot, Lea Bachelier (1), Aurore Sacre (1), Louise Guillet (2), Geraldine Mahieu, Marie Barbieux, Marion Tardy, Lucie Cesca, Sonia Bouloukbachi, Yaelle Deschampt, Michaela Jaskova, Morgane Chabrier. Head Coach: Filippos Sakellis.

CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei (1), Dunhan Xiong (2), Guannan Niu (6), Yating Sun, Donglun Song (1), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (3), Weiwei Zhang, Xinyan Wang, Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo.

Match Report:

They say matches are won in the third quarter and this was definitely the case. After a stilted first half the match burst into an explosion of goals and frenetic activity, leaving China 8-3 ahead by the final break. While Zihan Zhao started the break with her third strike for 4-3 early in the third, it was relative newcomer Guannan Niu who kindled the fire with three straight goals from well outside for the 8-3 margin, the last coming five seconds from time. It was such a contrast where one of the best teams in the world was held by a nation that had not attended a FINA World Championship since 2003 in Barcelona when it finished 15th — its fourth appearance since 1991. The Chinese onslaught continued to 10-3 with Niu claiming the 10th with a vicious bouncer from deep left. When Dunhan Xiong scored for 11-3, two players clashed and the result was that France’s Geraldine Mahieu and China’s Donglun Song were red-carded, probably having to miss their next matches. Niu struck twice more — for her fifth and sixth goals — with bouncers to drag the score out to 13-4, much to the chagrin of French head coach Filippos Sakellis.

FLASH QUOTES:


Rick Azevedo (USA) — Head Coach of China “It didn’t look very pretty to start off with. We had a good game against Hungary and we knew we were going to win. In the first half we had four wide open shots that did not hit the mark or skipped over. The French did a good job on defence. Our defence was very good all game. At halftime I told the girls to calm down and take a deep breath and start over. Then we played more to our style.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #14 HUN HUN 11 vs. RUS RUS 13

Quarters: 3-1, 3-4, 4-3, 1-5

Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Joseph Peila (USA), Extra Man: HUN: 2/10. RUS: 6/12.
Pens: RUS: 1/1

Teams:
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany (2), Dora Antal (1), Dora Kisteleki (1), Gabriella Szucs, Orsolya Takacs (1), Anna Illes, Rita Keszthelyi (3), Ildiko Toth (1), Barbara Bujka (2), Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.

RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (1), Elvina Karimova (2), Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anastasia Simanovich (1), Ekaterina Lisunova (3), Evgeniia Abdriziakova (2), Anna Timofeeva (1), Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (2), Nadezhda Iarondaikina (1), Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.
Match report:

Scoring 5-1 in the final quarter after being behind all match is what champions are made of. Forget that the packed stadium only had eyes and ears for the host nation. The young Russians in the water were set to sparkle. It just took time to ignite. Russia was in for the long haul and stayed composed throughout as Hungary led by three goals at one stage and always kept Russia at bay. Watched by Russian swimming legend Vladimir Salnikov, someone who knows how to stay the distance, the Russians found the necessary spark to go the extra few metres with the most goals. When Russia levelled for the first time at 6-6 on the first attack of the third period, Hungary responded with three straight for 9-6. This became 10-7 before Elvina Karimova scored on extra from point blank for 10-8. It still looked like Hungary’s match. Goals were exchanged at the start of the fourth and Hungarian head coach Andras Meresz gained a yellow card soon after. Then the Russian juggernaut hit top gear and Karimova on counter; Evgeniya Ivanova on extra; Lisunova from 7m for the go-ahead goal and Lisunova again from deep left had the match in Russia’s favour at 13-11 by 1:03. The match was over and Russia had done the huge crowd proud. For Hungary it will a harrowing and microscopic investigation as to why it twice lost matches here in Kazan after leading by two goals in the final quarter.

FLASH QUOTES:

Mikhail Nakoryakov (RUS) — Head Coach
Our defence and the supporters helped us along and they supported us right until the end. Our best period was the fourth when we were two down and then scored four (unanswered) goals.

Andras Meresz (HUN) — Head Coach
“I’m not happy. I thought that after the third period, where we played very well, we had the game won. Right now I don’t understand what happened to my players in the fourth period.

Orsolya Takacs (HUN) — Captain
I have no idea (about the fourth quarter) as we had won the game in the third and lost it in the fourth.  It was mentally probably or technical probably. I don’t think so. We will check again. We have to go further into the game but this is the way it is and something we have to solve.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #15 ESPESP 23 vs. NZL NZL 2

Quarters: 3-0, 7-1, 5-1, 8-0.

Referees: Ursula Wengenroth (SUI), Fabio Toffoli (BRA).

Extra Man: ESP: 10/18. NZL: 2/13.

Pens: ESP: 2/2.

Teams:
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach (1), Anna Espar (1), Paula Leiton (2), Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja (2), Clara Espar (2), Pilar Pena, Judith Forca (3), Roser Tarrago (6), Maria Garcia (2), Laura Lopez (4), Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.

NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis, Sarah Pattison, Danielle Lewis (1), Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry, Miranda Chase, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (1), Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance, Kirsten Hudson, Jasmine Myles, Katherine Curnow. Head Coach: Attila Biro.

Match Report:

Defending world champion Spain was slow off the mark at 3-0 by the first quarter, but hit stride with long shots and on extra to have the game fully in its grasp by halftime, 10-1 ahead. Spain set alight the afterburners  in the final period with eight goals. Roser Tarrago had a wonderful night with six goals from all over the field, including a late penalty strike. New Zealand put in the effort, but experience was the difference between the teams. New Zealand’s goals came at 8-1 and 11-2.

MATCH QUOTES:

Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach

“The team was positive, especially with changing players very well and that was good. They maintained the rhythm from the beginning to the end.”

Emily Cox (NZL) — Assistant Coach

“It was a great start and the team was full of enthusiasm. We were ready for the game. The little things slipped and Spain came through. They are the defending champions. They all got water time, which was great; plenty of pool time, which was valuable experience for the younger girls on the team.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #16 CAN CAN 17 vs. Kazakhstan KAZ 4

Quarters: 4-1, 2-1, 3-2, 8-0.

Referees: Gyorgy Kun (HUN), Shi Wei Ni (CHN), Extra Man: CAN: 1/2. KAZ: 0/4.

Pens: CAN: 1/1. KAZ: 1/1.

Teams:
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (3), Katrina Monton, Emma Wright, Monika Eggens (5), Kelly McKee (2), Joelle Bekhazi (3), Shae Fournier (1), Carmen Eggens (1), Christine Robinson (2), Stephanie Valin, Dominique Perreault, Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova, Kamila Zakirova (1), Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk, Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga (1), Anastassiya Mirshina (2), Assem Mussarova, Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic.

Match report:

Canada was made to work for its victory and stout Kazakh defence made goals hard to come by. While won all the quarters, Kazakhstan was determined to get its attack working, succeeding with two scores in the third, the second and fourth of the match, coming from Kamila Zakirova from a 5m shot two seconds from the last break. Anastassiya Mirshina kept the Kazakh flag flying with goals in the first two periods with the second on one of the biggest counter-attacks seen at a world championship and the first from the penalty line. It was the third period where Canada seemed to take control, especially after Joelle Bekhazi converted a penalty and captain Krystina Alogbo scored on an easy counter attack for 9-3. Zakirova, narrowed the margin two minutes later. In the final period, Canada’s confidence soared with Christine Robinson from well outside; Alogbo with a centre-forward backhand; Monika Eggens on counter attack, from seven metres and again from a similar distance, had the match at 14-4. Monika Eggens continued the mudslide with a hopeful foul fake that fooled her opponent and yielded her fourth straight goal at 2:30.  Kelly McKee, a newcomer on the senior international scene, scored her second for 16-4 at 1:21, and Robinson lobbed from centre forward with three seconds left.

FLASH QUOTES:

Monika Eggens (CAN) — Four goals
We had a hard time finding our rhythm. I think we had to find the way to play together and execute our plans. Hopefully it will prepare us for the next game.” On scoring four goals in the final period: “I just found myself in open positions and my team-mates set me up with good passes.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Day 3 - Thursday, July 30

Game #17 Brazil BRA 6 vs. ITA ITA 15

Quarters: 0-3, 1-5, 3-3, 2-4

Referees: Cory Williams (NZL), Viktor Salnichecko (KAZ).

Extra Man: BRA: 0/4. ITA: 0/6.

Pens: ITA: 1/1.

Teams:
BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith (1), Mariana Duarte, Lucianne Barroncas (1), Izabella Chiappini (1), Amanda Oliveira (4), Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias (1), Viviane Bahia, Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.

ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (1), Elisa Queirolo (2), Federica Radicchi (3), Rosarie Aiello (1), Tania di Mario (1), Roberta Bianconi (3), Giulia Emmolo (2), Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon (1), Teresa Frassinetti (1), Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

Match Report:

Italy was far too good for Brazil and finished top of its group with three victories. Italy went to 4-0 up early in the second quarter and from there on in controlled the match in every aspect. Italy made space too often for Brazil to counter. The superior ball work and outside shooting of Italy was critical and sets the team up well for the knockout phases. Amanda Oliviera was the chief responder for Brazil with her team’s first four goals up until 4-8 midway through the third period. For Brazil, finishing the group with one win, it was another lesson on the harsh route to Rio 2016. Surprisingly, neither team converted an extra-man opportunity.

FLASH QUOTES:

Giulia Gorlero (ITA) — Goalkeeper

“It was very good, I think, but now we are starting the World Championships for real. We will have three days for rest and work for the finals group.” On if the three days’ rest is good: “Yes for rest but for the game not. It gives us a chance to regain our energy.” On the best thing about the match: “Roberta (Bianconi).”

Pat Oaten (CAN) — Brazil Head Coach

“Till the players are not scared to play against teams in the top level, we have trouble. When the stress is off they are not scared to shoot OK. Until we get used to these situations we are in trouble. Now we play China or Russia. We have to come to play or get killed. The girls are not used to the pressure situations. They have not been in enough situations with they need to convert.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #18 Japan JPN 2 vs.USA USA 17

Quarters: 0-4, 0-4, 1-6, 1-3

Referees: Dion Willis (RSA), Voijin Putnikovic (SRB).

Extra Man: JPN: 0/4. USA: 2/5.

Pens: Nil

Teams:
JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue, Yuri Kazama, Shino Magariyama, Moe Nakata, Ayaka Takahashi, Yumi Nakano (2), Mitsuki Hashiguchi, Kana Hosoya, Tsubasa Mori, Marina Tokumoto, Kotori Suzuki, Yuko Umeda. Head Coach: Hideo Katoh.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman (2), Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal (1), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens (4), Courtney Mathewson (1), Kiley Neushul (1), Ashley Grossman (3), Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer (2), Kami Craig (3), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

Match report:

Olympic champion USA secured second spot in the group and will have to go through the elimination round to advance later in the week. USA had no trouble with Japan, as expected, and managed to keep a clean sheet until Yumi Nakano slipped in a shot from wide right against Samantha Hill at 1:14 in the third period when USA had already amassed 14 goals. Nakano enjoyed it so much, the plucky left-hander drove and shot from the top for 2-14 at 4:46 in the fourth period — consecutive goals! The USA barrage saw goals coming from all areas of the pool, including several excellent centre-forward goals from Kami Craig. Maggie Steffens opened with two goals and collected two more, which were both off cross passes. USA needed to regroup after the shock loss to Italy and this it did well by proving that the derailment was only temporary.

FLASH QUOTES:

Adam Krikorian (USA) — Head Coach

“It was just another game for experience. We have to feel the World Championship experience. It’s important for such a young group and helps us a bit for the big match against Hungary (preliminary round).” On not having a three-day break, which group winners enjoy: “It’s good for us as we need to play. I still wish we had won (the group). It’s a good thing to play a tough match against one of the most talented teams in the world. It’s a gold-medal game to get into the quarters.”

Yumi Nakano (JPN) — two-goal scorer

On playing the Olympic champion: “We really felt much better in the water. Scoring two goal was a personal satisfaction, but team-wise we still need the ability to play against bigger-sized players.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Kazan, Russia - July 30 - The USA Women's Senior National Team finished group play 2-1 at the FINA World Championships following a 17-2 win over Japan. Maggie Steffens(Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo) scored four goals in the win while Ashleigh Johnson(Miami, FL/Princeton/Miami Riptides) and Sami Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/UCLA/Santa Barbara) split time in net recording five saves. Today's match can be viewed on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. Team USA now moves on to meet Hungary on Saturday in the second round. That match will decide whether Team USA advances to the top eight of the tournament. The game is currently set for 6:50pm local time/8:50am pt. As soon as updated streaming/television information is available it will be posted here. 

Team USA shrugged off a tough loss to Italy on Tuesday night and wasted little time dispatching Japan on Thursday morning. Steffens scored two straight goals to open the match with a 2-0 lead in the first three minutes. Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) followed with a score and Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara) capped the period with the first of her three goals for a 4-0 lead. 

The second quarter was more of the same with Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) and Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) building a 6-0 lead with 5:16 to go in the first half. Steffens and Craig came back with two more goals in the next two minutes to take an 8-0 lead into intermission.

In the third quarter the United States left no doubt in the result piling up six goals. Ahead 12-0 Ashley Grossman (Santa Monica, CA/Stanford/LAWPC) tacked on the final two USA goals of the period to go ahead 14-0 with 1:44 left. Japan broke through for their first goal moments later on a score from Yumi Nakano, trailing 14-1 after three.

Despite another goal from Nakano, Team USA would cruise to victory comfortably thanks to three more goals from Grossman, Fischer, and Musselman winning 17-2. Team USA went 3/5 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty while Japan was 0/4 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty. 

Greg Mescall Director of Communications USA Water Polo

Game #19 HUNHUN 18 vs. FranceFRA 3

Match 19: 12:10, Group A, HUNGARY 18 FRANCE 3

Quarters: 5-1, 1-1, 7-0, 5-1

Referees: German Moller (ARG), Stanko Ivanovski (MNE).

Extra Man: HUN: 4/8. FRA: 1/7.

Pens: Nil.

Teams:
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany, Dora Antal (1), Dora Kisteleki (3), Gabriella Szucs, Orsolya Takacs, Anna Illes (1), Rita Keszthelyi (5), Ildiko Toth (2), Barbara Bujka (6), Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.

FRANCE: Lorene Derenty, Estelle Millot, Lea Bachelier, Aurore Sacre, Louise Guillet (2), Geraldine Mahieu, Marie Barbieux, Marion Tardy, Lucie Cesca, Sonia Bouloukbachi, Yaelle Deschampt, Michaela Jaskova (1), Morgane Chabrier. Head Coach: Filippos Sakellis.

Match Report:

Hungary set itself up for the preliminary round with a strong victory over France. Hungary used many combinations with Rita Keszthelyi scoring three of her five in the opening quarter. France chimed in at 4-1, 6-2 and 14-3, the last two by captain Louise Guillet. Barbara Bujke top-scored with six goals, four from centre forward and two on extra-man attack.

 FLASH QUOTES:

Barbara Bujke (HUN) — six goals

“Finally we win a game. It was important after the two other games. Today we defended very well and had a good attack. We played our game and preparing for the next games. France and USA are very different (opponents).” On her dominance at centre forward and four goals from that position: “Perhaps they are less strong. Also my team-mates gave me good passes.”

Filippos Sakellis (FRA) — Head Coach

“It’s good experience to play high-class opponents. We kept our tempo of the game and we adjusted to the speed of thinking of Hungary. We prepare for the future. It is important that we want to participate more frequently in these major events. It was Barcelona in 2003 that we last competed at the World Championships. Slowly, slowly we take small steps and really return to this level. The second quarter we played very well.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #20 CAN CAN 6 vs. ESP ESP 12

Quarters: 1-5, 2-4, 2-2, 1-1

Referees: Gyorgy Kun (HUN), Mark Koganov (AZE).

Extra Man: CAN: 4/9. ESP: 5/10.

Pens: ESP: 1/2.

Teams:
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (1), Katrina Monton, Emma Wright (1), Monika Eggens (2), Kelly McKee, Joelle Bekhazi, Shae Fournier (1), Carmen Eggens (1), Christine Robinson, Stephanie Valin, Dominique Perreault, Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.

SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (2), Paula Leiton, Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja (3), Clara Espar (1), Pilar Pena (2), Judith Forca (2), Roser Tarrago, Maica Garcia (2), Laura Lopez, Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.

Match report:
This was a match that Spain had been looking at for some time and preparing to beat Canada and take the group.  In beating Canada, Spain became the second group winner and assured of a three-day rest before the quarterfinals. Canada will need to go via the preliminary round to have any chance of making the quarters and beyond. The world champion Spanish had the near perfect game and the leading exponents, especially in centre forward Maica Garcia who worked her magic from start to finish, scoring and gaining any ejections. Then captain Jennifer Pareja led the rest of the scorers as they made sure that victory was imminent. The 5-1 opening quarter was a tasty recipe for success. Defence was the key, forcing Canada to many fruitless forays into Spain’s territory. This was a world champion team at its best, finishing the group stage in style.

FLASH QUOTES:

Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach

“We expected a very, very hard game. Our defence worked very well and we opened a big hole between them and us. It was very good defence in the first and second quarters and it gave us the start for a good result. I am very satisfied. We have been preparing for this game for a very long time. It was the most important game in the group.”

ohanne Begin (CAN) — Head Coach

“We had a very good preparation; the girls were ready mentally, they had a good warm-up and a good meeting this morning. The spirit was perfect. They were a little bit afraid on attack and defence and that gives the win to the other team. We were slow to execute on attack. We were too passive and needed to be more aggressive. That was missing. We needed to be more mobile. Our goal is to qualify for Rio (Olympics) so this is one more step. We have to learn to play better together as a team.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #21 KAZ KAZ 14 vs. NZL NZL 4

Quarters: 3-0, 4-0, 4-1, 3-3

Referees: Ursula Wengenroth (SUI), Tadao Tahara (JPN).

Extra Man: KAZ: 2/10. NZL: 1/6

Pens: KAZ 1/1. NZL: 0/1.

Teams:
KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva (1), Aizhan Akilbayeva (6), Anna Turova (1), Kamila Zakirova (1), Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova (1), Oxana Saichuk (1), Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina (2), Assem Mussarova (1), Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic.

NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis, Sarah Pattison, Danielle Lewis (3), Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry, Miranda Chase, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (1), Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance, Kirsten Hudson, Jasmine Myles, Katherine Curnow. Head Coach: Attila Biro.

Match Report:

Kazakhstan took third spot in the group with a fantastic victory over New Zealand. Kazakhstan was inspired by the building crowd for the following Russia-China encounter and turned on all the tricks and quality water polo. New Zealand had little answer as its synchro swimming team gave voice from the athletes’ stand. The Kiwis were kept scorless in the first half and it wasn’t until Danielle Lewis broke the drought at the start of the third that they looked better equipped. Lewis scored twice more in the fourth after accepting a pass from halfway in the air and converting. Half a minute later she scored from centre forward and then team-mate Caitlin Lopes De Silva made it three in a row. But it was a six-goal haul from Aizhan Akilbayeva that had New Zealand reeling. One shot Kazakhstan used to excellent effect was the lob, catching Brooke Millar out four times.

FLASH QUOTES:

Miroslav Trumbic (KAZ) — Head Coach

“I am very satisfied with the win, particularly how they played. We finally did it (after two losses). We were more proficient. It’s not like Canada and Spain — no comparison. Today we played one good game. This was our target to take third place and it was good watching how they played.”

Attila Biro (NZL) — Head Coach

“The first two quarters killed us with missed opportunities and a penalty (miss). Maybe it was the atmosphere, stage fright. After the first half the game was finished. We tried to take it back, but… I thought Kazakhstan was much better. Danielle Lewis played well, but this is a team sport so it was not enough.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #22 RUS RUS 9 vs. China CHINA 9

Quarters: 3-2, 1-2, 3-2, 2-3

Referees: Georgios Stavridis (GRE), Joseph Peila (USA).

Extra Man: RUS: 1/8. CHN: 0/6.

Pens: RUS: 0/2. CHN: 1/2.

Teams:
RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (3), Elvina Karimova (3), Ekaterina Zubacheva (1), Anastasia Simanovich, Ekaterina Lisunova (1), Evgeniia Abdriziakova, Anna Timofeeva, Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (1), Nadezhda Iarondaikina, Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.

CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei, Dunhan Xiong, Guannan Niu (4), Yating Sun (2), Donglun Song (2), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (1), Weiwei Zhang, Xinyan Wang, Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo.

Match report: 

China came from two behind to gain a draw with Russia, but Russia took the group with a better goal differential, leaving China to play Brazil in the preliminary round. Russia held the quarter-time lead thanks to two goals from captain Ekaterina Prokofyeva, including one from over halfway. Then she hit the wood on penalty halfway through the second quarter. Ekaterina Lisunova took it to 4-2 but she too had trouble on penalty, having her shot blocked by Chinese goalkeeper Jun Yang. Guannan Niu scored at 47 seconds and seven seconds from halftime to level the match at four. Donglun Song gave China the first lead in the third period, but Evgeniya Ivanova converted extra, sending the hysterical crowd into a bigger frenzy than before. It was China’s turn to have a penalty blocked — by Anastasia Verkhoglyadova. Elvina Karimova scored her second for 6-5 and Niu replied a minute later for 6-6. Ekaterina Zubacheva assured Russia of the lead heading into the fourth period with a shot from seven metres with two seconds left. Song levelled with a close-in shot off a cross pass to start the final quarter. Prokofyeva from eight metres and Karimova from deep right after a man-up situation, took Russia out to 9-8. Sun replied from two metres and with three minutes left Russia had a 9-8 advantage. Niu redressed the imbalance, slipping the ball through Russia’s two-man-drop defence on extra at 2:32. Russia took a loose shot on the next attack that went wide. China gave to ball to Niu who shot to the left of the post. Russia lost the ball with a bad pass across cage and China took a timeout at 0:39. China shot to no effect and Russia went on attack for 10, head coach Mikhail Nakoryakov surprisingly not taking a timeout. The final shot was blocked by goalkeeper Yang, but Russia regained after the coach said he called a timeout and had a break with three seconds left. Russia, never got the shot away, ending in a thrilling draw.

FLASH QUOTES:

Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) — Captain

“Better a tie than a loss. We’re not very satisfied with the way we played. We could have had a better result.” On what was best Russia: “Maybe the third period.”

Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach

“I like how our team is shaping up, going out with no fear, confident. We have nine girls who have never been to the World Championships before. We’re growing with every game. We will probably be the team no one wants to play. With more games we will do well.” On finishing second in the group: “Better to play Brazil again than sit in a room.”

Jun Yang (CHN) — Goalkeeper

“I am so excited, but I was also nervous. The girls played very well. We needed to help more on defence. We played wonderful, but we will play much better (in Kazan). Our offence was better than our defence.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #23 ASU AUS 8 vs. NED NED 5

Quarters: 2-0, 2-2, 3-2, 1-1

Referees: Massimiliano Caputi (ITA), Boris Margeta (AUS).

Extra Man: AUS: 1/8. NED: 5/11.

Pens:  AUS: 1/1

Teams:
AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth, Hannah Buckling, Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers, Bronwen Knox (1), Rowena Webster (1), Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini, Ashleigh Southern (2), Bronte Halligan (1), Nicola Zagame (2), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit, Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot (1), Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis, Vivian Sevenich (1), Maud Megens (1), Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (1), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

Match Report:

Australia took the fourth quarterfinal berth with a brilliant, hard-fought victory over Netherlands, which decided the group. Aussie Stingers captain Bronwen Knox, playing her 300th international since 2005, scored the opening goal from right in front of the cage. The next goal came more than six minutes later when Nicola Zagame gave Australia a 2-0 lead at 0:12 with a drive down the left. Rowie Webster, named the Most Valuable Player at last year’s FINA World Cup, sent in a screamer from outside for 3-0 to start the second period. Lieke Klaassen brought Netherlands into the match a minute later. Nearly five minutes later Ash Southern took it back to a three-goal margin from the penalty line. Catharina Van Der Sloot netted for 4-2 in the last half minute after exclusion time had expired. Vivian Sevenich scored from the near-post position on extra to open the third period, followed by Southern on counter for 5-3. Maud Megens drew the match to one on a fast extra-man play at 3:02. At 0:42, Zagame took it to 6-4 on counter and with two seconds left Bronte Halligan accepted a counter-attack pass from Zoe Arancini who had lost the ball on counter and regained for 7-4. Netherlands skipper Yasemin Smit converted extra for 7-5, but Glencora McGhie did the same at the other end for what became an invincible 8-5 at 3:58. Nomi Stomphorst completed the scoring on extra at 0:02 for 8-6.

FLASH QUOTES:

Rowena Webster (AUS)

“We had six different girls score in good, hard-fought water polo. I’m proud of the girls. A shout out to Bronnie (captain Bronwen Webster) on her 300th (international).”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game #24 South Africa RSA 4 vs. GRE GRE 20

Quarters: 1-5, 1-6, 1-4, 1-5

Referees: Anne Grandin (FRA), Shi Wei Ni (CHN).

Extra Man: RSA: 0/3. GRE: 3/5.

Pens: RSA: 1/1. GRE: 0/1.

Teams:
SOUTH AFRICA: Rebecca Thomas, Megan Parkes, Kieren Paley, Ruby Versfield (2), Megan Schooling, Amica Hallendorff, Kimberly Kay, Delaine Christien, Lindsay Killeen, Deborah O’Hanlon, Kelsey White (2), Alexandre Gascoigne. Head Coach: Bradley Rowe.

GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (1), Stefania Charalampidi (2), Christina Kotsia (2), Margarita Plevritou (1), Alkisti Avramidou (1), Alexandra Asimaki (5), Antigoni Roumpesi (1), Ioanna Charalampidi (1), Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (1), Eliftheria Plevritou (3), Eleni Xenaki (2), Chrysoula Diamantopolou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

Match report:

Greece gained what it wanted most in Kazan and that was to win a match. The first came at the expense of South Africa following one-goal losses to Australia and Netherlands. Greece put itself back into championship reckoning and possibly regain the world crown it lost in Barcelona two years ago. Greece was obviously rampant, but even though it opened the scoring, South Africa responded 15 seconds later and the match had not progressed 45 seconds. South Africa worked hard on defence and took what opportunities it could glean on offence, scoring in each of the quarters. Captain Kelsey White and Ruby Versfeld netted two each while Greece’s best was centre forward Alexandra Asimaki with five, all from centre forward. In fact, Greece’s 11 field players all scored at least once. South Africa came to Kazan with only 11 players and when here one player fell down the stairs and broke an ankle.

FLASH QUOTES:

Georgios Morfesis (GRE) — Head Coach

“It was a game where we wanted to keep the rhythm. We want to maintain and improve for the game against Canada in two days time. We have had a lot of bad luck (referring to the two one-goal losses). I believe in my team and now the focus is on Canada.”

Brad Rowe (RSA) — Head Coach

L“We had a lot of fun. We even got some structures right. Playing without three on the bench is not easy. An extra player could make 20 against only 15 against. We were still playing in the final quarter.”

GROUP STANDINGS

A1   ESP     B1   AUS     C1   ITA     D1   RUS
                                   
A2   CAN     B2   NED     C2   USA     D2   CHN
                                   
A3   KAZ     B3   GRE     C3   BRA     D3   HUN
                                   
A4   NZL     B4   RSA     C4   JPN     D4   FRA
                                   

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Day 4 - Saturday, August 1

Game #25 A4 NZL NZL 11 vs. B4 RSA RSA 3

Quarters: 2-0, 2-0, 4-3, 3-0

Referees: Anne Grandin (FRA), Tadao Tahara (JPN).

Extra Man: NZL: 5/8. RSA: 2/10.

Pens: Nil

Teams:

NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis (1), Sarah Pattison, Danielle Lewis (2), Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry, Miranda Chase (1), Caitlin Lopes Da Silva, Emma Stoneman (1), Liana Dance, (1) Kirsten Hudson (2), Jasmine Myles (3), Katherine Curnow. Head Coach: Attila Biro.

SOUTH AFRICA: Rebecca Thomas, Megan Parkes, Kieren Paley (1), Ruby Versfield, Megan Schooling, Amica Hallendorff, Kimberly Kay (1), Delaine Christien, Lindsay Killeen, Deborah O’Hanlon, Kelsey White (1), Alexandre Gascoigne. Head coach: Bradley Rowe.

Match report:

Two nations not known for professional programmes showed some interesting water polo in front of a nearly full house, almost unheard of for a match at the bottom end of competition. Both teams were tentative in the first two periods and South Africa could not get shots on target as the Kwiis drilled two in each quarter. The third quarter was real delight as both teams roared into high-competition mode. Kimberley Kay put South Africa on the scoreboard with a bounce shot from deep left and 17-year-old Liana Dance, a revelation at the Intercontinental Tournament in Auckland, responded for 5-1 at centre forward. South Africa threw in consecutive goals from captain Kelsey White and Kieren Paley, both born from extra-man chances. The game and the spectators had lit up. New Zealand struck a purple patch with three goals in just over a minute with Nicole Lewis having two point-blank shots to score once and sister Danielle Lewis — two of three sisters in the team, thought to be a first at World Championship women’s level — finishing a counter-attack 18 seconds later to close the third period. The Kiwis compiled another three in the last period, getting seven different players on the scoresheet and Danielle Lewis  gained her third.

FLASH QUOTES:

Attila Biro (NZL) — Head Coach

“I’m really happy we have some success finally, which I was hoping for earlier. Hopefully it will give the girls some confidence to take 13th place (on Monday). South Africa was strong and always grabbing the togs, but it was good to be 4-0 at halftime. I’m content with the result OK.”

Danielle Lewis — Top Scorer

“It was hard that we lost our first four games, but we were positive and came out firing.” On being one of three sisters in the team: “Nicole is the eldest, Simone the second and I am the youngest. We played together at school and all went to different universities. We came together to try out for the team and it’s the first time we have all played together internationally.” On her future in the sport: “I hope to play overseas somewhere. I really love the sport.”

Brad Rowe (RSA) — Head Coach

“Why do we have to have the weakest referees on the weakest teams? The bottom teams will never get better unless we have the better referees. How come we get the same referee every time?”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #26 C4 JPN JPN 6 vs. D4 FRA FRA 9

Quarters: 3-2, 1-4, 1-1, 1-2

Referees: Fabio Toffoli (BRA), Peter De Jong (NED).

Extra Man: JPN: 3/5. FRA: 1/6.

Pens: FRA: 3/3.

Teams:
JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue, Yuri Kazama, Shino Magariyama, Moe Nakata (1), Ayaka Takahashi (1), Yumi Nakano (2), Mitsuki Hashiguchi, Kana Hosoya (1), Tsubasa Mori, Marina Tokumoto, Kotori Suzuki (1), Yuko Umeda. Head Coach: Hideo Katoh.

FRANCE: Lorene Derenty, Estelle Millot (1), Lea Bachelier (1), Aurore Sacre, Louise Guillet (5), Geraldine Mahieu (1), Marie Barbieux, Marion Tardy (1), Lucie Cesca, Sonia Bouloukbachi, Yaelle Deschampt, Michaela Jaskova, Morgane Chabrier. Head Coach: Filippos Sakellis.

Match Report:

France moved into the play-off with New Zealand for 13th place with a strong showing against a determined Japan. France’s spearhead was captain Louise Guillet who added another five goals to the seven she already had during the week. Two came from penalties and her fifth was a backhand shot from six metres three seconds from halftime. Japan restricted her movements in the second half and tight defence by both times kept the scoring chances low.  Guillet drew a penalty in the last four seconds while on counter and Lea Bachelier converted for 9-6.

FLASH QUOTES:

Louise Guillet (FRA) — Five Goals

“We did not play well at the start, but afterwards we started to play our game better. We play New Zealand now and I hope we will win and finish 13th at this World Championship.”

Keishi Oi (JPN) — Assistant Coach

“We concentrated too much on our centre play. We had to use middle shots to get more space. I think we improved in the fourth. We played porrly in the first, second and third quarters.” On restricting Louise Guillet (FRA) to no goals in the second half: “Even before the game we knew she was a key player, but we did stop her in the second half. Our shot conversion was also poor.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #27 A2 CAN CAN 4 vs. D3 GRE GRE 8

Quarters: 3-3, 1-1, 0-2, 1-2

Referees: German Moller (ARG), Voijin Putnikovic (SRB).

Extra Man CAN: 1/5. GRE: 1/3.

Pens: GRE: 1/2

Teams:

CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo, Katrina Monton, Emma Wright (1), Monika Eggens, Kelly McKee, Joelle Bekhazi (1), Shae Fournier, Carmen Eggens, Christine Robinson (1), Stephanie Valin (2), Dominique Perreault, Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.

GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala, Stefania Charalampidi (3), Christina Kotsia (1), Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki, Antigoni Roumpesi (1), Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (2), Eleftheria Plevritou (1), Eleni Xenaki, Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

Match report:

In beating Canada, Greece set itself for a tough quarterfinal against Italy on Monday. Greece was behind three times until nearly midway through the second quarter and from there on it was basically all Greece. Watched by the Presidents of Russian Federation regions Tatarstan and Crimea (along with their security details), the Greeks held Canada scoreless for 21 long minutes until at 1:15 in the final quarter, Joelle Bekhazi scored from well outside. Stefania Charalampidi, a left-hander in her 20th year, scored three, including a penalty conversion after three minutes earlier her team-mate, veteran Antigoni Roumpesi,  bounced her attempt into the bar. Canada was trying everything it could in those 21 minutes, however, poor finishing and perhaps concentrating too hard on restricting the likes of Alexandra Asimaki proved too tough mentally. The efforts in this arena worked well as Asimaki, her team’s leading scorer going into the match, failed to find the net — on just two chances. Canada is now consigned to the 9-12 classification round.

FLASH QUOTES:

Georgios Morfesis (GRE) — Head Coach
“Well done. Good opening. I didn’t want this scenario (playing Italy in the semifinals). I would rather play Spain. We prepared a lot for this match. We had good defence. We were clearly better than Canada. The tournament starts for us now.”

Antigoni Roumpesi (GRE)
“We deserved to win. In water polo you have to prove it in the water. In the third period and after we proved we were the better team. It was a good result and everything went well.”

Joelle Bekhazi (CAN)

“We knew (Alexandra) Asimaki was the player to watch. There were a few breakdowns and we let Greece get a run. We didn’t put away every opportunity, especially on the power play.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #28 A3 Kazakhstan KAZ vs. B2 NEDNED 21

Quarters: 0-4, 0-7, 0-6, 1-4

Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Cory Williams (NZL).

Extra Man: KAZ: 1/6. NED: 4/6

Pens: NED: 1/1

Teams:

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova, Kamila Zakirova, Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk, Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina (1), Assem Mussarova, Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic.

NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Miloushka Smit (5), Dagmar Genee (2), Chatarina van der Sloot (1), Amarens Genee (1), Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis (2), Vivian Sevenich (2), Maud Megens (3), Isabella van Toorn (4), Lieke Klaassen (1), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

Match Report:

Kazakhstan was no match for Netherlands from start to finish. The Dutch, needing as much pressure game time as possible ahead of the quarters, pressured themselves, mainly with counter-attacks. This may have helped to keep the body heat up in what were atrocious conditions, raining heavily from start to finish. Perhaps that was putting the shooting arms off as the Dutch failed to find the target on many occasions. The Kazakhs, heavily supported by the large crowd ducking and diving for cover, tried hard and were finally rewarded at 2:00 when Mirshina nailed the goal everyone wanted, on extra from the top. Zamira Myrzabekova nearly made the scoresheet on counter the next attack but it was saved.

FLASH QUOTES:

Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach

'This was basically a game we had to play. I could practise some minor tactical details, but mainly told the girls to go have fun, try not to concede a goal and avoid injuries. We're already busy analysing Russia and will continue to work towards that big game.''

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #29 C2 USAUSA 12 vs. D3 HUN HUN 7

Quarters: 3-1, 4-1, 4-1, 1-4

Referees: Ursula Wengenroth (SUI), Daniel Flahive (AUS).

Extra Man: USA: 2/7. HUN: 1/6.

Pens: HUN: 1/1.

Teams:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman, Melissa Seidemann (1), Rachel Fattal (4), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens (3), Courtney Mathewson (3), Kiley Neushul, Ashley Grossman (1), Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer, Kami Craig, Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany (2), Dora Antal (1), Dora Kisteleki, Gabriella Szucs, Orsolya Takacs, Anna Illes, Rita Keszthelyi (3), Ildiko Toth, Barbara Bujka, Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger (1), Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.

Match report:

USA came to play, despite the heavy rain that became just a constant drizzle at halftime. Hungary was just not in the match for much of the first period with USA shooting to a 3-0 lead before Hungary pulled one back thanks to Dora Antal at 2:01. The second quarter opened the match up with USA’s Rachel Fattal scoring her second and third for 5-1 and Courtney Mathewson her second for 6-1. Captain Maggie Steffens, the London Olympics’ dominant star, converted her second for 7-1 and Hungary was really on the ropes. With just seconds remaining in the half, Rita Keszthelyi scored Hungary’s second to close the half. Mathewson’s aim was straight again to start the third period and Steffens and Mathewson followed with shots all from the same position on the left for an incredible 10-2 by 3:04. Mel Seidemann snapped in a rebound off a shot on extra-man attack for 11-3. USA’s defence was superb, shifting quickly and blocking many Hungarians shots while Ashleigh Johnson was collecting most of the rest. The fourth period was all Hungary as USA changed into a defensive system, allowing the Hungarians to score four straight goals before USA netted the last from centre forward.

FLASH QUOTES:

Maggie Steffens (USA) — Captain

''We wanted to come into this match with a lot of heart since from this game onwards it's do or die. The tournament ends with the next game, is how we look at it. In the fourth quarter our defence let up a little bit, but we were also trying to play a different sort of game, being a bit more protective. But that can also get you into trouble, so moving forward we have got to adjust that a bit. Now Spain in the quarterfinals, but I think it's not a rematch (of Barcelona 2013). It's two years later and a completely new team and you’ve got to go into it that way.''

Courtney Mathewson (USA) — Three Goals

“We knew it was do or die game after finishing second in our bracket. We know we have to win every game from here. We definitely have things to work on. We have a chance in two days to get better.” On playing in heavy rain: “The rain was a shock, but we train in outdoor pools all year so it was not too big a factor.”

Andras Meresz (HUN) — Head Coach

“The US are very, very strong at World Championships; they lost to Italy and they know they must play to get into the best eight. Against Hungary the USA always plays press and that style is not good for my team. It was awful for us.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Kazan, Russia - August 1 - The USA Women's Senior National Team cruised into the quarterfinals of the FINA World Championships with a 12-7 win over Hungary. Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) scored four goals to lead the offense whileAshleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/Miami Riptides) recorded four saves in net in the victory. Team USA allowed just three goals through three periods controlling the match throughout. They now move on to meet Spain in the quarterfinal round at 5:30pm local time/7:30am pt on Monday. The match will stream live on UniversalSports.com and air on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. For more information on live streaming, click here

Team USA took it to Hungary from the start as Fattal opened the scoring a little over a minute into the match for a 1-0 lead. A minute later Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC) connected for the first of her three goals on the night for a 2-0 lead. With 2:39 to play in the period Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo) got in on the action scoring her first goal of the night for a 3-0 lead. Hungary would add on the final goal of the period but the tone for the match had been set with Team USA ahead 3-1. 

The second quarter was eerily similar to the first but instead of one goal to open the period, Fattal scored two. On cue Mathewson and Steffens followed with goals for a 7-1 advantage with 2:32 to go in the first half. Hungary's Rita Keszthelyi found the back of the net late in the period but the United States still remained in control at 7-2 at halftime. 

In the third the high scoring trio reversed their order of goals but the results were the same. This time it was Mathewson, then Steffens, and then Fattal on the way to a 10-2 lead. Hungary scored with 1:55 to play but Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC) answered with a goal of her own for an 11-3 match going to the fourth.

Hungary's offense started to get in gear in the final period as they ran off four straight goals in the final eight minutes to close to within 11-7 with 1:07 to play in the match. Their rally had come too little too late. On the next possession for Team USA, Ashley Grossman (Santa Monica, CA/Stanford/LAWPC) capped the match with a score as Team USA went on to win 12-7.

The United States went 4/7 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty while Hungary was 3/6 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots. 

Greg Mescall Director of Communications USA Water Polo

Game #30 C3 Brazil BRA 8 vs. D2 CHN CHN 10

Quarters: 1-2, 1-3, 4-3, 2-2

Referees: Stephane Roy (CAN), Dion Willis (RSA).

Extra Man: BRA: 2/7. CHN: 3/12.

Pens: BRA: 1/2. CHN: 1/1.

Teams:

BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith, Mariana Duarte (1), Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini (5), Amanda Oliveira (1), Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias (1), Viviane Bahia, Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.

CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei, Dunhan Xiong, Guannan Niu (2), Yating Sun (1), Donglun Song (2), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (2), Weiwei Zhang (1), Xinyan Wang (1), Jing Zhang (1), Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo (USA).

Match Report:

China became the last team to qualify for the quarterfinals at the expense of a gallant Brazil and the shooting prowess of Izabella Chiappini. It was not made easy as China had to work slowly, moving to 4-1 and 5-1 by halftime. China’s fifth goal gave Guannan Niu her 11th for the tournament after starting the day as the equal leading shooter at the championships. Izabella Chiappini netted both Brazil’s goals with an excellent counter attack for 1-1 and a penalty conversion at 2-4. She sent her early third-quarter penalty attempt into the bar off a bounce, which could have narrowed the margin to two. It was critical as Brazil stepped up and took the score to 5-7 at 3:53, Chiappini sending in what looked like a lazy lob, fooling Chinese goalkeeper Jun Yang. She did it again at 2:11, lobbing off the left post from 10 metres for 6-7 and the match was on. It was her 10th goal in Kazan. Chinese captain Yating Sun stopped the landslide with a backhand shot from centre forward to take a two-goal buffer into the final period. Chiappini made Yang look ordinary with a centre-forward, back-flick lob three minutes into the final quarter. Luckily Weiwei Zhang converted extra on the next attack and Zihan Zhao finished off a double attempt on extra for 10-7 at 3:26. Brazil scored the last at 1:13 but it wasn’t enough.

FLASH QUOTES:

Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach

“It was not a very good game; an ugly game. Brazil came with a very good game plan, jamming us. I’ve got to give credit to Brazil, also coming back to a one-goal game. Our goalie (Jun Yang) did not have a good game tonight. Perhaps it was all the lobs that threw her off. Ugly or not, a win’s a win, so now we get ready for Australia (in the quarterfinals).

Pat Oaten (CAN) — Brazil Head Coach

“I don’t think anyone expected a great game, however, we are improving game by game. We have got to get into pressure situations and convert. When we make an error it seems a big error. We’ve got to cut down on the errors.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Day 5 - Tuesday, August 3

Game #31 RSA RSA 7 vs. JPN JPN 15 (15th - 16th Place)

Quarters: 0-2, 0-2, 3-7, 4-3

Referees: Peter De Jong (NED), German Moller (ARG).

Extra Man: RSA: 2/8. JPN: 1/3.

Pens: Nil

Teams:

SOUTH AFRICA: Rebecca Thomas, Megan Parkes, Kieren Paley, Ruby Versfeld (1), Megan Schooling (1), Amica Hallendorff (1), Kimberly Kay (1), Delaine Christien, Lindsay Killeen, Deborah O’Hanlon (1), Kelsey White (2), Alexandre Gascoigne. Head coach: Bradley Rowe.

JAPAN: Rikako Miura, Chiaki Sakanoue (2), Yuri Kazama, Shino Magariyama, Moe Nakata (1), Ayaka Takahashi (2), Yumi Nakano (4), Mitsuki Hashiguchi (2), Kana Hosoya (1), Tsubasa Mori (2), Marina Tokumoto (1), Kotori Suzuki, Yuko Umeda. Head Coach: Hideo Katoh.

Match report:

Japan and South Africa bowed out of competition with Japan collecting its first win by keeping South Africa scoreless in the first half. Japan used counter attack and centre-forward play to tick over the scoreboard. South Africa scored three in the third period — at 1-4, 2-6 and 3-11 — but poor passing led to many Japanese counter-attack goals. Japan enjoyed   making sure all players went home with at least one goal and the productive quarter showed its skills and speed were equal to the best teams. The 7-3 period was probably the highest scoring of all matches in Kazan. South Africa actually won the last period 4-3, which was testament to a do-or-die effort despite the hurdles it faced all tournament. Japan’s Yumi Nakano top-scored with four to give her 10 for the tournament. South Africa’s Ruby Versfeld was her team’s best with five.

FLASH QUOTES:

Tsubasa Mori (JPN) — Captain

This was a must-win game. There centre forwards were much bigger than us so we had to keep swimming and make the most of our counter-attack game. I was pleased with our defensive tactics and kept pressing. There was also pressure on our defence during the tournament that that fatigued us. We have to improve on our shooting conversion.” On the Asian Olympic qualification tournament in December: “We have China and Kazakhstan as our biggest opposition. We need to use the same tactics as Kazan — press and counter attack. We also need to refine our skills.

Brad Rowe (RSA) —Head Coach

It was a bridge too far. I had three on the bench and one for the entire tournament. We were the most under-trained team here (lack of funding and geographical spread of players). We were mentally drained; mentally and physically tired. We were running on empty. You can only get thumped so many times before you give up.

Kelsey White (RSA) — Captain

We didn’t start well and our lack of fitness and awareness showed in this game. We were quickly five-six goals behind. We were not fit enough. In the end we did some really good shots and finishing (last quarter which RSA won 4-3). We ere all trying to do something and our passing was not accurate. Even when so tired we have to learn to still make passes and correct decisions.” On the tournament: “It was great experience to play the top teams. Playing those calibre of teams is also a great honour. We have six new players and it’s opened their eyes to what can be. We will go home now and work on all those things.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Kazan, Russia - August 3 - In a rematch of the 2012 Olympic Games gold medal final and the quarterfinals of the 2013 FINA World Championships, the latest chapter of the USA-Spain rivalry unfolded in Kazan earlier tonight. This encounter went to the USA Women as they downed Spain 8-5, the identical score from the last Olympic Games final, and with it punched a ticket to the semifinal round of the 2015 FINA World Championships. Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara) and Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) scored two goals each while Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/Miami Riptides) recorded 15 saves in net. The match will replay later today on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. Team USA now moves on to meet Australia on Wednesday evening at 8:15pm local time/10:15am pt. The match will stream live on UniversalSports.com and air on delay on Universal Sports at 7pm et/4pm pt. For live streaming, click here

Much like the Olympic final three years ago the early stages of this match were dominated by Team USA. Neushul found the net in the opening minute for a 1-0 lead and in the closing minute of the period Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/Trojan) delivered for a 2-0 lead after one.

Fattal connected early in the second period right as a power play concluded for a 3-0 lead. Spain would get on the board moments later on a power play goal from Anni Espar for a 3-1 match. Team USA had a firm answer with Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo) scoring a penalty shot and Neushul adding her second goal for a 5-1 match with 2:23 remaining in the half. Spain mustered a goal late in the period from Judith Forca but Team USA remained in command at 5-2 at the intermission.

Things tightened up quite a bit in the third quarter as Spain mounted a comeback. Paula Leiton converted on a power play and Espar found the net for the second time for a 5-4 game with 3:08 to play in the quarter. Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara) halted the run with a goal in close for a 6-4 lead going to the final period. 

Spain looked to stage one last rally in the fourth quarter as Maica Garcia struck first to draw within one at 6-5. Again the United States had a response ready and waiting. Fattal scored on the very next possession and then a little over a minute later Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC) closed the door with a goal and an 8-5 lead. That score would hold up over the final four minutes as Team USA came away with the three goal victory. 

Team USA went 3/8 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots while Spain went 3/10 and did not attempt a penalty shot. 

Greg Mescall Director of Communications USA Water Polo

Game #32 NZL NZL 7 vs FRA FRA 6 (13th - 14th Place)

Quarters: 1-2, 3-2, 1-2, 2-0

Referees: Dion Willis (RSA), Stephane Roy (CAN).

Extra Man: NZL: 1/5. FRA: 1/8.

Pens: Nil

Teams:

NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Nicole Lewis, Sarah Pattison (1), Danielle Lewis (1), Simone Lewis, Sarah Landry (1), Miranda Chase, Caitlin Lopes Da Silva (1), Emma Stoneman, Liana Dance (1), Kirsten Hudson, Jasmine Myles (2), Katherine Curnow. Head Coach: Attila Biro.

FRANCE: Lorene Derenty, Estelle Millot (2), Lea Bachelier, Aurore Sacre, Louise Guillet (1), Geraldine Mahieu (1), Marie Barbieux, Marion Tardy (2), Lucie Cesca, Sonia Bouloukbachi, Yaelle Deschampt, Michaela Jaskova, Morgane Chabrier. Head Coach: Filippos Sakellis.

Match report:

New Zealand finished the tournament with two wins, taking out a close match with France in which the scores were level  at every number to six. New Zealand scored the killer blow through captain Jasmine Myles with a nine-metre lob at 1:45 in the final quarter, which the Kiwis won 2-0. New Zealand held out the powerful-shooting French captain Louise Guillet, who only netted once for a tournament tally of 13. Myles finished her team’s equal top scorer with Danielle Lewis on seven. In fact, only one field player did not score for the Kiwis. The match was enthralling for its closeness and intent from both teams. Despite two wins, it was a place down for New Zealand after four straight 12th places going back to 2001. Its best performance in the years with much fewer teams, was seventh in Perth in 1991. France’s best was ninth out of nine, also in 1991. Its last visit to the Worlds was in 2003 where it fended 15th and its best in 1994 in Rome where it finished 11th.

FLASH QUOTES:

Jasmine Myles (NZL) — Captain

It was really different after playing South Africa (in crossovers). France was a lot stronger, faster and grabby. We kept our cool and stayed level-headed. We went in to win so it was good.” On the tournament: “We had a tough pool with Spain, the world champions, and Canada. We had hoped to win over Kazakhstan, but we didn’t. It was good to finish the tournament on a high.

Geraldine Mahieu (FRA) — Centre Forward

It was so frustrating that we lost. We wanted to win because we know we can play much better. It was because of mentality, tiredness that we did not play well. We started fighting and not playing the game.” On the tournament: “We were here to learn to play and we faced top teams like Hungary, China and Russia in our group.” On the best part of the tournament: “Against China we won a period 2-1. Just a little winning!

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #33 CAN CAN 7 vs. HUN HUN 10

Quarters: 1-2, 2-2, 3-2, 1-4

Referees: Ursula Wengenroth (SUI), Cory Williams (NZL).

Extra Man: CAN: 3/8. HUN: 4/8.

Pens: Nil.

Teams:

CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo, Katrina Monton, Emma Wright (2), Monika Eggens (1), Kelly McKee, Joelle Bekhazi (1), Shae Fournier, Carmen Eggens (1), Christine Robinson (1), Stephanie Valin (1), Dominique Perreault, Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.

HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany, Dora Antal, Dora Kisteleki (2), Gabriella Szucs (1), Orsolya Takacs, Anna Illes (1), Rita Keszthelyi (4), Ildiko Toth, Barbara Bujka (2), Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.

Match Report:

A two-goal burst in 41 seconds at the top of the fourth period proved the difference between these two teams. Canada had to come back four times to level at one, two, three and six. The 6-6 score came from Emma Wright at 1:15 in the third period giving hope to Canada that had been playing up and down in Kazan. Today it played solidly, but it could not contain the excellent finishing skills of Hungarian star Rita Keszthelyi, who scored two in the second quarter, one in the third and another in the fourth. Those two goals in quick succession gave Hungary the impetus to strike again, this time through Anna Iiles after an extra-man play. Wright netted again, on extra, sending in a left-hander to the top right on extra for 7-9 at 3:08. Another leftie, Barbara Bujke, went on counter and scored to take Hungary to 10-7 and what proved enough to go to the semifinals. Heated scenes were in the water and on pool deck at the end of the match with Canadian captain Krystina Alogbo storming from the pool.

FLASH QUOTES:

Andras Meresz (HUN) — Head Coach

“I’m happy because the girls knew it was not just a goal for ninth place. It was very important for the girls mentally. It was just a game for the Magyars. Canada’s team and style is the power game. They are taller and heavier. The wrestling game was a tie. The game we won.”

Johanne Begin (CAN) — Head Coach

“It was not the way we wanted to end the game, players losing their tempers. You must respect the opponent and your team-mates and play fair until the end of the game,” alluding to the fracas on the side of the pool at the end of the match. On the best part for her team: “Desire was really there. We were doing mistakes all over the tournament, but losing the ball on the perimeter when two goals down and that becomes three… This kind of error is about losing concentration. Finishing 11th or 12th is the worst result for water polo women in Canada. It’s time to think about the programming, coaching staff, players, training facilities; we need to analyse all this and hope to take a good decision to move forward.”

Dominique Perrault (CAN)

“It’s not the position we expected to be in. We were ready to play, but now we have to look forward to next March for the (Olympic Games) Qualification Tournament. We could be seeing them at the qualifiers.” On what was good for Canada: “We were aggressive and helping each other. That was what was asked of us.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #34 KAZ 5 KAZ vs. BRA BRA 10

Quarters: 1-2, 0-4, 2-4, 2-0

Referees: Anne Grandin (FRA), Shi Wei Ni (CHN).

Extra Man: KAZ: 2/10. BRA: 3/6.

Pens: BRA: 1/1.

Teams:

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva, Anna Turova (1), Kamila Zakirova, Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk (1), Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina (3), Assem Mussarova, Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic.

BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith (1), Mariana Duarte (1), Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini (3), Amanda Oliveira (1), Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias (2), Viviane Bahia (1), Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato (1), Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten.

Match report:

It was Brazil all the way to a play-off with Hungary for ninth place on Wednesday. Brazil went 2-0 up, let in one goal and then kept Kazakhstan scoreless for 14 minutes when Anastassiya Mirshina netted her ninth goal of the tournament for 2-8. The game was already lost and Brazil made sure of the victory by the final break, leading 10-3. Mirshina came back with another to start the fourth at a time when Brazilian head coach Pat Oaten (CAN) was demanding more of his team, which is the host for next year’s Olympic Games. Mirshina made it three for the day with a penalty conversion for 5-10 at 4:49. The best part for Kazakhstan was that it kept Brazil scoreless for the period. Izabella Chiappini was instrumental in the win with three goals, including a nice long arrow shot from the top to lift her tournament tally to 15.

FLASH QUOTES:

Pat Oaten (CAN) — Head Coach

“We played well from the first to third quarters, stuck to the game plan. We are making baby steps. We know Hungary will come out and play hard press against us. Hungary got a little bit of bad luck here. Hungary is a good team and it has a good coach. I think people will say by the Olympics Games we deserve to be there.”

Izabella Chiappini (BRA) —  15 goals in Tournament

“It was really important to win to play off for ninth and let people see we’re at a better level. Today defence won us the game. We’re now becoming a team. We’re really tired now, but it will be good for us to go to the Olympics to do a good job.I’m really excited to play Hungary (for ninth) and have a really good game.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #35 ESP ESP 5 vs USA USA 8


Quarters: 0-2, 2-3, 2-1, 1-2

Referees: Massimiliano Caputi (ITA), Georgios Stavridis (GRE).

Extra Man: ESP: 2/10. USA: 2/9.

Pens: USA: 1/1.

Teams:

SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (2), Paula Leiton (1), Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja, Clara Espar, Pilar Pena, Judith Forca (1), Roser Tarrago, Maica Garcia (1), Laura Lopez, Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman, Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal (2), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens (1), Courtney Mathewson (1), Kiley Neushul (2), Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist (1), Makenzie Fischer, Kami Craig (1), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

Match Report:

This was an intriguing match between the Olympic champion USA, who also holds the World Cup, World League and Pan Games crowns, and Spain, the World and European champion. One had to be consigned to the round of 5-8 and unfortunately for Spain the dream of retaining its title was cut short. USA started strongly with Kiley Neushul scoring on the first drive down the pool and late in the period Kaleigh Gilchrist receiving a cross pass on counter. It went to 3-0 via a Rachel Fattal score after extra before Anna Espar responded on extra. Maggie Steffens took it to 4-1 on penalty and Neushul tapped one in off the far-post position after extra. Judith Forca redressed the imbalance with a lob out of the setting sun at 0:11 to close the half. This set Spain on a scoring path, lifting the team so that international newcomer Paula Leiton scored from in front on extra and Anna Espar netted a second with a wonderful centre-forward play down the left post, sneaking the ball past USA goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson for 4-5. Spain had its two specialist centre forwards on the bench at the time. Kami Craig finished a lot of passing just after the extra period from the left post for 6-4, which was the final score of the third period. Maica Garcia had a chequered quarter, scoring from deep left on extra for 5-6 at 5:48 to excite the crowd. Then in less than a minute USA blew the match apart with Fattal and Courtney Mathewson converting extra-man plays for 8-5 by 4:26. Then Garcia was ejected from the game on three majors, almost putting a seal on the USA win. Earlier, Spain had two extra-man chances and Roser Tarrago had the goal at her mercy and failed to shoot. At 1:07 she shot, but only after a baulk and it was covered. USA went to a timeout with the luxury of a three-goal margin and from there the game fizzled.

FLASH QUOTES:

Courtney Mathewson (USA)

We tried to get their centre forwards in trouble and this proved successful (Maica Garcia was fouled out). We tried to disrupt their game plan. We came out attacking as if we had nothing to lose. Our goal is to get better with every game. We are improving.” On both Spanish centre forwards being rested on the bench at one stage: “It changed the dynamic and we adjusted defensively.

Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach

Nothing. USA was better than us. We lost a quarterfinal. They were pressing us and we try to find a solution. USA di very well, they scored some good goals, gained exclusions and scored on counter attack. They played very well.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #36 RUS RUS 9 vs. NED NED 10

Quarters: 1-4, 4-3, 2-1, 2-2

Referees: Nenad Peris (CRO), Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU).

Extra Man: RUS: 2/14. NED: 2/9

Pens: NED: 1/1.

Teams:

RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (2), Elvina Karimova (3), Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anastasia Simanovich, Ekaterina Lisunova (1), Evgeniia Abdriziakova, Anna Timofeeva, Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (3), Nadezhda Iarondaikina, Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.

NETHERLANDS:
Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit (1), Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot (2), Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis (1), Vivian Sevenich, Maud Megens (3), Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (3), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

Match report:

It’s amazing what a crowd can do to lift a team. Netherlands led by four and Russia came back to level at 7-7 midway through the third, only to fall at the final hurdle. Netherlands opened the fastest way possible, on the first attack and then to 3-0 before Russia could respond at 1:20. However, Maud Megens, with just four goals from four games, lobbed from centre forward for her second of the period, four seconds from the break. It moved to 5-1 and 6-2 by midway through the second quarter and the match looked lost for Russia. However, the fighting spirit and the huge support from adoring fans slapping blow-up sticks, gave heart to the youngsters in the pool and Elvina Karimova and star captain Ekaterina Prokofyeva, a junior world champion captain from some years ago in Siberia, both scored on counter attacks for 4-6. Dutch captain Yasemin Smit and Prokofyeva both scored on extra-man attacks to close the half at 5-7. Russia had the momentum and Evgeniya Ivanova, who scored Russia’s second goal, lobbed from centre forward on the first attack of the third period. Then Karimova nailed a shot off a long cross pass just after extra-man attack for the equaliser at 5:30. Where were the Dutch? Not gone just yet. Klaassen converted extra at 1:55 for 8-7 and her third of the match and 12th for the tournament, and the margin was held until the final break. Megens was to the fore again with the open score of the final period on counter and with a lob that television replays show was a fingernail above the outstretched fingers of Russian goalkeeper Anna Karnaukh. Karimova gained her third with a missile from the top at 5:00 for 8-9 much to the joy of the capacity crowd. Van Der Sloot converted a penalty at 4:44 and the margin was two again. Russia gained an ejection late in the match and Ivanova converted at 1:11 for 9-10. The match was on a knife’s edge. Netherlands took a timeout and the Russian drop defence of three in goal made it hard on extra. In the end the defenders blocked the ball and Russia had a chance to level. The ball went wide and it was Megens who stole the ball from a Russian’s hand, controlling until the final buzzer.

FLASH QUOTES:

Yasemin Smit (NED) — Captain

''One of Russia's weapons is their counter attack. We controlled that greatly in the first half, but let it slip in the third quarter. And when they scored a couple of goals out of that, the nerves on offence started to grow, allowing even more until the point that we could settle down and be more patient in attack. I felt that from that point on we were the better team again.''

Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) — Captain

What are emotions when you lose. Total frustration. Firstly frustration at my play and how I couldn’t help the team and could have done better. We tried to fight until the end.” On being four goals down and coming back to level: “We displayed our wares so in spite of the game being lost we struggled to the end and didn’t want to be defeated.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #37AUS AUS 12 vs. CHN CHN 10 (shootout)

Quarters: 2-3, 0-1, 4-2, 1-1. Pens: 5-3

Referees: Francesc Buch (ESP), Voijin Putnikovic (SRB).

Extra Man: AUS: 0/7. CHN: 3/9.

Pens: AUS: 1/1. CHN: 1/1.

Teams:

AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth, Hannah Buckling (1), Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers, Bronwen Knox (1), Rowena Webster (1), Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini (1), Ashleigh Southern (1), Bronte Halligan (1), Nicola Zagame, Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei, Dunhan Xiong, Guannan Niu (1), Yating Sun, Donglun Song (2), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (2), Weiwei Zhang (1), Xinyan Wang (1), Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo.

Match Report:

The match was tight from the start and Australia played catch-up to 2-2 before a Zihan Zhao penalty gave China the lead at the first break. A dour second quarter yielded just the one goal, to China, via a rocket pass forward to the arm of Donglun Song for 4-2 at 6:43. The next goal came on the first attack of the third period from Ash Southern sitting on the eight-metre mark. No rejoicing as yet for the Aussie Stingers as Guannan Niu, the 12-goal scorer from China, struck on extra to give her team a two-goal margin again. Captain Bronwen Knox accepted a cross pass and turned it into a goal for 4-5 and Bronte Halligan, daughter of a famous Australian sportsman, delivered the equaliser from deep right. Zhang Weiwei took back the lead for China on extra and on the next attack Rowie Webster converted a penalty at 2:04 for 6-6. Song converted extra-man attack at 4:51 when Australia had two players ejected. Head Coach Greg McFadden gained a yellow card, like his opposite had earlier.  Glencora McGhie scored from deep right 15 seconds later for 7-7 at 4:36. It was the fifth time the Stingers had caught China. Australia had two good opportunities but China’s blocking worked wonders. Australia took a timeout at 0:54, but that shot was stopped by goalkeeper Jun Yang. Now it was time for China to have a break and set the play with just 25 seconds remaining.  The long shot on time was stopped by Lea Yanitsas and the match went to a penalty shootout.

Australia scored all five shots while China’s sole blemish was Niu’s effort, blocked by Yanitsas in the third rotation. The final blast came from Arancini to claim the semifinal berth.

FLASH QUOTES:


Greg McFadden (AUS) — Head Coach

I was pretty disappointed in our performance. Credit to China, they played fantastic. Our extra-man defence was terrible. Our extra-man offence was terrible.” On the shootout: “You’re never confident. It’s a lottery. It’s terrible to lose a game like that.” On scoring all five goals in a shootout under his tenure: “Probably not. All the girls stepped up — Bronte Halligan and Zoe Arancini, it was gutsy to take the last shot and she blew it away.

Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach

It was a good game. We played Australia seven times this year and the first was a nine-goal loss. Today we tied so that’s progress. We made a couple of mistakes in the third period that I am not happy with.” On the shootout: “Both teams are good shooters so when it gets to a shootout, just let’s get the ball wet.

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game #38ITA ITA 9 vs. GRE GRE 6


Quarters: 1-0, 3-3, 3-2, 2-1

Referees: Mark Koganov (AZE), Radoslaw Koryzna (POL).

Extra Man: ITA: 1/10. GRE: 2/6.

Pens:  ITA: 1/1.

Teams:

ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (2), Elisa Queirolo, Federica Radicchi (1), Rosarie Aiello, Tania di Mario (4), Roberta Bianconi (2), Giulia Emmolo, Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon, Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala, Stefania Charalampidi (3), Christina Kotsia (1), Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou, Alexandra Asimaki (1), Antigoni Roumpesi, Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (1), Eleftheria Plevritou, Eleni Xenaki, Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

Match Report:

Italy qualified for the semifinals and booked a clash with Netherlands after a rousing victory over Greece. After the drama of the previous three matches, this seemed more sedate. Italy looked the stronger team from the start, but the scoreboard ticked over only once in the first quarter and that to veteran Tania di Mario (36), a survivor from the 2004 Olympic-winning team. Greece levelled at the start of the second period only to have di Mario convert a penalty, Arianna Garibotti to drill one from the top and Roberta Bianconi from eight metres to give Italy a 4-1 advantage. Stefania Charalampidi and Triantafyllia Manolioudaki pulled it back to 3-4 by the close of business in the first half. Di Mario netted her third and Christina Kotsia sent one into the bottom right for 5-4. Federica Radicchi from seven metres and Bianconi from the top on extra gave Italy a respectable 7-4 margin at 2:35. Charalampidi with her second on extra brought it back to two just before the final break. Charalampidi repeated the dose for 6-7 at the top of the final quarter, closely followed by di Mario’s fourth — from well outside — for 8-6. More pain came for Greece when Garibotti scored from deep left on the next attack for 9-6 at 6:03. As the minutes ticked away, Greece’s chances slipped as well. There was no goal for the rest of the match.

FLASH QUOTES:

Fabio Conti (ITA) — Head Coach

“I’m happy with the result, not so happy with how we played. We made different mistakes and on six on five. My players feel so much this game. Every year we play Greece in some important match. Now we have the important games of the World Championships. Congratulations to Greece because every times they are a strong team.”

Georgios Morfesis (GRE) — Head Coach

“It was not good this game. We didn’t find solutions in offence. We didn’t have the patience and Italy was better. I think we had a good tournament up until now. I’ll have to make sure we continue to get the highest we can in this tournament.” On the main point for the loss:  “We had no clear mind on offence.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Day 6 - Thursday, August 5

Game 39 CAN CAN 20 vs. KAZ KAZ 4 (11th - 12th Place)

Quarters: 4-1, 5-1, 5-2, 6-0

Referees: Anne Grandin (FRA), Cory Williams (NZL).
Extra Man: CAN: 1/5. KAZ: 2/8.
Pens: CAN: 1/1. KAZ: 0/1.

Teams:
CANADA: Jessica Gaudreault, Krystina Alogbo (1), Katrina Monton, Emma Wright (1), Monika Eggens (5), Kelly McKee, Joelle Bekhazi (1), Shae Fournier (3), Carmen Eggens (4), Christine Robinson (2), Stephanie Valin (2), Dominique Perreault (1), Nicola Colterjohn. Head Coach: Johanne Begin.

KAZAKHSTAN: Alexandra Zharkimbayeva, Aruzhan Yegemberdiyeva, Aizhan Akilbayeva (1), Anna Turova (1), Kamila Zakirova, Oxana Tikhonova, Zamira Myrzabekova, Oxana Saichuk, Darya Muravyeva, Darya Roga, Anastassiya Mirshina (2), Assem Mussarova, Darya Ryzhinskaya. Head Coach: Miroslav Trumbic (CRO).

Match report:

Spurred on by a five-goal haul to Monika Eggens, Canada ripped through Kazakhstan with some handsome quarter margins. Canada came into the play-off with a +10 scoring differential so could be considered unlucky not to finish higher, but three-goal losses to both Greece and Hungary consigned it to this classification. Canada and Kazakhstan clashed in their group with Canada making it a 17-4 game, suggesting that today the margin needed to be bigger for its esteem and depart Kazan on a good winning note. Monika Eggens temporarily went top of the tournament-scoring list with 16 as her team’s best finisher. For Canada it was the worst performance at a World Championship, having contested every edition and finishing no worse than eighth in the past two and having finished on the podium four times. Kazakhstan, in finishing 12th, was one place down the ladder from two years ago and better than four editions stretching back to 2003. Its best performance and only one in single figure, was eighth in 2001. Anastassiya Mirshina finished her team’s best scorer with 13.

FLASH QUOTES:

Johanne Begin (CAN) — Head Coach

“Before the game I asked the players, do you want to play for Canada, for me, for your team-mates? Do you believe in yourself? What do you want? Find the right solution. I think we played together, we were talking in the pool, so it was good communication.”

Miroslav Trumbic (CRO) — Kazakhstan Head Coach

“The first half was good water polo with good players. The second half was different as Canada was far away from us. This showed how strong are the others that they were not playing for one to eight. After the New Zealand game (4-14) it was really a catastrophe to lose in this manner. Finally, we played very bad. The final result was very bad, so I am not satisfied. I will go home to Split for a holiday.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game 40 HUN 22 vs. BRA BRA 7 (9th - 10th Place)

Quarters: 5-2, 6-2, 6-0, 5-3

Referees: Ursula Wengenroth (SUI), Dion Willis (RSA).
Extra Man: HUN: 3/6. BRA 0/5.
Pens: HUN: 1/1.

Teams:
HUNGARY: Flora Bolonyai, Dora Czigany, Dora Antal, Dora Kisteleki, Gabriella Szucs, Orsolya Takacs, Anna Illes, Rita Keszthelyi, Ildiko Toth, Barbara Bujka, Krisztina Garda, Kata Menczinger, Edina Gangl. Head Coach: Andras Meresz.

BRAZIL: Tess Oliveira, Diana Abla, Marina Zablith, Mariana Duarte, Lucianne Barroncas, Izabella Chiappini, Amanda Oliveira, Luiza Carvalho, Melani Dias, Viviane Bahia, Lorena Borges, Gabriela Mantellato, Victoria Chamorro. Head Coach: Patrick Oaten (CAN).

Match Report:

Hungary did what was required to claim ninth place and prove to the players that they were capable of a top-eight finish and good enough to mix it with the best. Brazil struggled against the desire of Hungary to show people back home that they are worth following and that they have the capability of bouncing back at upcoming championships. Brazil went several long periods without goals and had trouble containing the counter-attack game of Hungary. Rita Keszthelyi hammered home five goals with Dora Kisteleki and Barbara Bujke lifting their scores as well. Keszthelyi staked her claim for the highest goal-scorer award, leaving Kazan with 21 goals. Bujka was second best with 14. On the other side of the ledger, Izabella Chiappini netted twice and leaves with a tally of 17, the second best so far. Hungary’s ninth place is a long way down from titles in 2005 and 1994 and seven places off its podium finish in Barcelona in 2013. Ninth place in 2011 was previously the lowest finish. For Brazil, heading into the Rio Olympics as host, 10th equalled its best performances from 2007, 2001 and 1998. It has played every edition except the first in 1986.

FLASH QUOTES:

Orsolya Takacs (HUN) — Captain
“We are very disappointed as we worked a lot during the year. I don’t know what didn’t work. Physically we were right, mentally maybe not. We have to work on it from September for the European Championships (Belgrade in January) and then the Olympic Games Qualification Tournament for Rio. There si a very high level here and USA is the best physically and mentally and everything, but also the first eight are very good. There is a little difference of one or two goals in the teams.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game 41 ESP ESP 9 vs. CHN CHN 10

Quarters: 3-3, 2-1, 2-4, 2-2

Referees: Joseph Peila (USA), Daniel Flahive (AUS).
Extra Man: ESP: 5/14. CHN: 2/8.
Pens: CHN: 0/1.

Teams:
SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (1), Paula Leiton, Matilde Ortiz, Jennifer Pareja (1), Clara Espar, Pilar Pena, Judith Forca (3), Roser Tarrago (1), Maica Garcia (1), Laura Lopez (2), Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.

CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei (1), Dunhan Xiong (1), Guannan Niu, Yating Sun, Donglun Song (4), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (4), Weiwei Zhang, Xinyan Wang, Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo (USA).

Match report:

China consigned outgoing champion Spain to the play-off for seventh with a clinical display, bereft of too much emotion. The plan was there to play with “a little anger” as head coach Rick Azevedo (USA) said afterwards. This is what China did, taking the early lead, surrendering it at 4-5 late in the second quarter and regaining it midway through the third, never to relinquish it. From 5-6, China scored three quick goals for 8-7 with the youngest player (sitting up and claiming the eighth goal. China was well served by Zihan Zhao, a revelation at this tournament. She scored the first two goals, the fifth and the seventh, while team-mate Donglun Song equalled here efforts with the third, fourth and last two, which came at the top of the fourth for 10-7. Her third was exceptional, tipping on a high pass over her head at two metres. It was a match of multiple scorers with Spain’s Judith Forca scoring the last three in just over a quarter. Spain had chances in the final two minutes to equalise, but China was cool and defended for victory.

FLASH QUOTES:

Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach
“We wanted to get top four at this tournament. We have a young team and came here to learn. We know we are good enough for top four. My 18 year-old (Xiohan Mei) got a great outside shot and we’re really looking good for Rio (Olympic Games). I had special tactics to play against Spain today and they 95 percent followed that.  I told them to play with a little bit of anger today, especially after our (quarterfinal shootout) loss to Australia.  The young ones stepped up and the defenders did a great job. The youngers ones have to play as good as the four veterans.”

Zihan Zhao (CHN) — Four Goals and 16 for Tournament
“I want every game to my best and score many goals. I have only been playing water for four years and I love it. I don’t think too much, just go and play the game. I love scoring goals.”  On the best moment at the tournament: “Australia,” she said referring to the climactic encounter.

Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach
“We didn’t play very well today and made many mistakes on defence. We ewren’t very good.  China played the centre well and we were expecting that. Now we just have to get seventh position.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game 42 GRE GRE 16 vs. RUS RUS 15 (shootout)

Quarters: 4-3, 1-4, 3-2, 4-3. Pens: 4-3

Referees Adrian Alexandrescu (ROU), Gyorgy Kun (HUN).
Extra Man: GRE:  1/7. RUS: 3/17.
Pens: Nil:

Teams
GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala (2), Stefania Charalampidi (2), Christina Kotsia, Margarita Plevritou (2), Alkisti Avramidou (2), Alexandra Asimaki (1), Antigoni Roumpesi (4), Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki (1), Eleftheria Plevritou (1), Eleni Xenaki (1), Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (3), Elvina Karimova (1), Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anastasia Simanovich, Ekaterina Lisunova (4), Evgeniia Abdriziakova (1), Anna Timofeeva (1), Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (5), Nadezhda Iarondaikina, Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.

Match Report:

In an incredible game of consecutive goals and turnarounds, Greece plundered the match from Russia, firstly forcing the tie and then winning the shootout. Greece had all the answers in the opening seven minutes, leading 4-0. Then a sensational minute came for Russia with three goals, including two in the last 18 seconds with one on the buzzer. The match had changed and not just that period, but in the next when the Russian sickle cut deep with the first three goals for a 6-4 turnaround. Greece had the better of the next stanza, scoring three of the four straddling the halftime break to level the match at 7-7. Evgeniya Ivanova, who scored the 7-5 goal, then put away consecutive scores for 9-7. Greece dragged it back to 8-9 by the close of the third and then Russia drilled three goals for what seemed an unassailable 12-8 advantage by 4:47. Ivanova converted extra for the 12th. Then Greece decided to have a run of fun with goals from Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, captain Antigoni Roumpesi, centre forward Eleni Xenaki and the all-important equaliser on extra, one second from time by Alkisti Avramidou. The stadium fell silent as a shootout loomed. Greece shot first and Christine Tsoukala bounced the second shot into the bar. Russia went to 15-14 ahead after the third rotation, but while Greece scored its final two shots, Russia had both blocked for Greece to emerge the victor.

FLASH QUOTES:

Stefania Charalampidi (GRE) — Two Goals
“To tell the truth we have been preparing for this match for some time. (After shooting to a 4-0 lead) we started making mistakes. Our coach told us to keep our heads high. Even in the fourth (when four down) we were not scared. Our coach said three minutes is so much time to make the goals. We kept screaming to each other ‘We have got this, we have got this’.”

Alexandra Asimaki (GRE) — Centre Forward
“We have won! We wanted to win and finish fifth rather than last. It is a really good thing we win, however, all the best games are in the final four. It was not our best game, but at 4-0 we started well. We played the last minute as if we were in the final four, even like this.”

Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) — Captain
“In the first quarter when the was a four-goal differential, we started to play and score. When we had a four-goal advantage (at the end) and lost we were sad. We wanted to win this to prove we are good. In the shootout we hoped up until the end to win. We all know the shootout is a lottery where anything can happen, but we still believed we could win.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member 

Game 43 USA USA 8 vs. AUS AUS 6

Quarters: 2-2, 3-3, 1-0, 2-1

Referees: Boris Margeta (SLO), Georgios Stavridis (GRE).
Extra Man: USA: 0/4. AUS: 2/6.
Pens: AUS: 0/1.

Teams:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman (1), Melissa Seidemann (1), Rachel Fattal (2), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens (2), Courtney Mathewson, Kiley Neushul, Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer (1), Kami Craig (1), Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth, Hannah Buckling, Holly Lincoln-Smith (1), Keesja Gofers (1), Bronwen Knox, Rowena Webster, Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini (1), Ashleigh Southern (1), Bronte Halligan, Nicola Zagame (1), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

Match Report:

USA, who snatched a buzzer-beating goal for a 5-5 score at halftime, went on to beat Australia by two goals. A defensive structure adjustment at halftime served USA well to earn a gold-medal final shot. The first quarter saw USA open the scoring through Kami Craig at centre forward, followed by two goals from the Aussie Stingers — Keesja Gofers on extra and Holly Lincoln-Smith with a centre-forward backhand. Madeline Musselman effectively used a five-metre foul to net the equaliser at 1:44. Nicola Zagame scored off a high pass into two metres to open the second quarter followed more than a minute later by USA captain Maggie Steffens off a cross pass to the right. Makenzie Fischer drove down the left and scored into the bottom left to give USA a 4-3 lead at 5:07. At 3:41, Ash Southern swept in the ball from centre forward and slightly off centre, an unusual position for the big outside shooter. Glencora McGhie gave Australia the 5-4 advantage with a score from top right just inside three minutes. Australia used a timeout at 1:36, but the USA defence forced the Stingers well out and USA spelled at 0:10. The ploy was successful as Rachel Fattal scored her 15th goal of the championship from nine metres, skipping into the right side on the halftime buzzer for 5-5. The pressure was on in the third quarter and only one goal came, that from Steffens, receiving a long angled pass to the left post, catching on her back and scoring for 6-5. Fattal scored from the top at the start of the fourth and Australia struggled in the following minutes to get any traction. USA found it hard to penetrate as well until at 2:48 Mel Seidemann sent in a screamer. It hit the upright, bounced into the back of the head of Lea Yanitsas and into goal for 8-5 at 2:48. Australia had a chance on penalty, but Zoe Arancini’s shot was blocked by Ashleigh Johnson. Arancini made amends soon after with a conversion on extra for 8-6 at 1:10. Southern had a big shot with 20 seconds left but Johnson was there to make sure USA went to the final.

FLASH QUOTES:

Adam Krikorian (USA) — Head Coach

On what led to the win: “Our defence in the second half. We made some adjustments at halftime as we were out of sorts in the first half. All credit to Australia for this. For us to hold them to one goal in the second half is fantastic.” On the pressure of being a favourite for the title: “Pressure is a privilege, you must be doing something right. You have to put yourself in a position to be successful. We lost to Italy and I think they are playing the best in the tournament. We know it will be extremely hard (final) and Holland is just getting better. It will be a tough final.”

Rachel Fattal (USA) — Two Goals

I think we played very good in defence We talked about it before the game and being able to use our counter and set up our offence.” On knowing Australia so well: “It’s good to know who we play, their tendencies and such. It’s good and bad. We don’t want to become too comfortable. I love playing them because they always give us a good game.”

Bronwen Knox (AUS) — Captain.

“In the second half we made some individual mistakes. We worked hard on defence and then individual areas let us down. There were also missed opportunities in attack.” On the word from the coach before the match: “We were looking for desperation in defence. Gradually our lapses gave them goals, some easy goals, especially the one just before halftime. It was annoying.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Kazan, Russia - August 5 - For the first time since 2009 the USA Water Polo Women's Senior National Team will play for gold at the FINA World Championships. Team USA topped Australia 8-6 in the semifinals earlier tonight in Russia behind two goals from Rachel Fatal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) and Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/Diablo) along with 10 saves from Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/Miami Riptides). The match will re-air later today at 7pm et/4pm pt on Universal Sports. Team USA now moves on to the gold medal match against the Netherlands on Friday at 10pm local time/3pm et/12pm pt. The match will stream live on UniversalSports.com and air on delay on Universal Sports at 8pm et/5pm pt. 

Team USA got off to a quick start on a goal from Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/Santa Barbara) in the opening minute for a 1-0 lead. Australia responded roughly three minutes later on a Keesja Gofers power play strike for a 1-1 match. Not long after, Australia took their first lead of the match on a score from Holly Lincoln-Smith only to see Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) even the score moments later at 2-2. 

Early in the second Nicola Zagame broke the tie with a score and a 3-2 lead for the Aussies. Team USA answered the call once more with a goal from Steffens and a counter attack strike from Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) to grab a 4-3 lead with 5:07 to play in the first half. Australia didn't fade away rattling off two straight goals to go back in front by one at 5-4 with 2:51 to play. Fattal came through with a clutch goal beating the buzzer to end the first half and the match was level once more, this time at 5-5 at intermission.

After a high scoring first half the third quarter turned into a defensive showdown with just one goal scored. It came from Steffens early in the period, after an Australia turnover, pushing Team USA ahead 6-5 going to the fourth. The United States took control in the final eight minutes. Fattal scored her second of the day just thirty seconds into the period for a 7-5 lead. Four minutes later Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC) connected for an 8-5 lead with 2:48 to play. It appeared Australia would stage one last rally after they drew a penalty with 2:23 to play but Johnson blocked the attempt from Zoe Arancini. After Johnson swatted away another attempt on goal Arancini would find the back of the net closing the deficit to two at 8-6. Australia would get no closer as the Team USA defense held the rest of the way en route to the victory. 

Team USA went 1/4 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot while Australia was 3/7 on power plays and 0/1 on penalty shots. 

The United States will look to win their fourth FINA World Championship on Friday. They have previously won gold in 2003 (Barcelona), 2007 (Melbourne), and 2009 (Rome). The last time Team USA medaled at the FINA World Championship outside of winning gold was in 2005 in Montreal when they earned silver.

Greg Mescall Director of Communications USA Water Polo

Game 44 ITA 9 ITA vs. NED NED 10

Quarters: 0-2, 1-3, 1-0, 3-0. Pens: 4-5

Referees: Sergey Naumov (RUS), Nenad Peris (CRO).

Extra Man: ITA: 1/11. NED: 0/6.

Pens:  ITA: 0/1.

Teams:

ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (1), Elisa Queirolo (1), Federica Radicchi (2), Rosarie Aiello (1), Tania di Mario (2), Roberta Bianconi (1), Giulia Emmolo, Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon (1), Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit (1), Dagmar Genee, Catharina van der Sloot (3), Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis, Vivian Sevenich, Maud Megens (4), Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (2), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

Match Report:

Italy scored four unanswered goals in the second half to force a 5-5 draw and go to a penalty shootout, which it lost 4-5 in sudden death. The first-half heroics of Maud Megens meant the Dutch will go to their first final since their last appearance after four consecutive in 1994. Netherlands held sway for most of the first half, keeping the Italians scoreless until the last half minute. Leading the charge for the Dutch was 19-year-old Megens scoring four goals, including all three Dutch scores in the second quarter. Her centre-forward backhand, climbing high out of the water, was sensational. Then, with just eight seconds on the clock, her fourth crossed the line from outside seven metres. Her first came on counter and the second was after extra-man attack from the top. She was born for the big matches, having scored three in the quarterfinal against Russia. Italy had the first big opportunity of the match when Roberta Bianconi took a penalty shot; her blast hit the cross. Federica Radicchi netted Italy’s sole goal of the half, from seven metres, clipping a player and spinning into goal. Almost apologetically, she laughed. There was lots of effort for no reward in the third period until Arianna Garibotti sent one into the bottom right from about eight metres at 1:33 for 2-5. The game had come alive. The defensive record of both teams on man-down defence was flawless by the final break. With the Dutch off the boil, Radicchi took the opportunity to arrow one in from top left for 3-5 at 6:33. The closest Netherlands came to a good shot was just before 11pm when Megens hit the crossbar from centre forward. Then the unthinkable happened as on extra the ball zipped across to the far post where unguarded Elisa Queirolo accepted and scored at 3:52 for 4-5. The stunned Dutch watched in horror as Rosaria Aiello snapped in a centre-forward backhand at 2:34 while being lightly guarded. It was 5-5 and the stadium had awoken, although Netherlands still appeared a little sleepy.  Italy was pressuring the Dutch into long shots. Italy called a timeout with two seconds left after a Dutch shot and Tania di Mario’s attempt at a deflect was too high and the match went to a shootout. Netherlands was kept scoreless in the second half and gold-medal-final dreams were dimming. In the shootout, both teams missed two shots and it went to sudden death. Both Lieke Klaassen and di Mario netted. Then Catharina van der Sloot converted. Giulia Emmolo, who missed in the first rotation, had her attempt blocked by the right hand of Laura Aarts and the Dutch were through to the final.

FLASH QUOTES:

Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach

''Our first two quarters were simply phenomenal. But in the second half the basic problem was to score. I believe that if we had done that in the third, we could have decided the game by then, but instead, playing a smart team as Italy, it hurts you in the end. But the girls have showed great resilience and as we had prepared possible penalties very well, we knew that even in a shootout we had very good chances to win. Even this morning I got a tape of the penalty series Russia-Italy at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, so we were aware of what was coming by the time the shootout started. Now USA in the final. A very, very good team. But we will be prepared. My team is gaining confidence every match this tournament so far and we'll see how good we are on Friday.''

Fabio Conti (ITA) — Head Coach

“We were no good in the first half of the game and we didn’t start faster like other games. In the second half I liked the energy of my team and arrived at the last quarter in a more interesting position. The penalty shootout is a lottery. I just want to see a glass full and not half empty.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice    www.waterpoloplanet.com

 

Day 7 - Saturday, August 7

Game 45 ESP ESP 15 vs. RUS RUS 10 (7th - 8th Place)

Quarters: 5-3, 3-4, 4-1, 3-2

Referees: Radoslaw Koryzna (POL), Nenad Peris (CRO).

Extra Man: ESP: 2/9. RUS: 5/14.

Pens: ESP: 1/1. RUS: 2/2.

Teams:

SPAIN: Laura Ester, Marta Bach, Anna Espar (1), Paula Leiton, Matilde Ortiz (1), Jennifer Pareja (2), Clara Espar, Pilar Pena (1), Judith Forca (2), Roser Tarrago (4), Maica Garcia (1), Laura Lopez (3), Patricia Herrera. Head Coach: Miguel Oca.

RUSSIA: Anastasia Verkhoglyadova, Tatiana Zubkova, Ekaterina Prokofyeva (1), Elvina Karimova (1), Ekaterina Zubacheva, Anastasia Simanovich (2), Ekaterina Lisunova (2), Evgeniia Abdriziakova (1), Anna Timofeeva, Ekaterina Tankeeva, Evgeniya Ivanova (3), Nadezhda Iarondaikina, Anna Karnaukh. Head Coach: Mikhail Nakoryakov.

Match report:

Outgoing world champion Spain was too strong for Russia, finding gaps all over the pool in which it could manoeuvre. The match was played at a great pace, due more to poor defence at both ends as players managed to display their shooting prowess. Spain had the two-goal quarter advantage and stretched the margin to 7-4. Evgeniya Ivanova converted a penalty at 4-6, but after Laura Lopez gave Spain the three-goal margin, Ivanova struck twice more as Russia levelled at 7-7 late in the second quarter. However, Spain went to 10-7 and 12-8 by the end of the third and a victory for the Russian Minister of Sport, Vitaly Mutko, was not looking good. Russian captain Ekaterina Prokofyeva converted a penalty to start the fourth period for her 12th goal of the tournament, only for Spain to grab two more for 14-9, putting the match well beyond the reach of Russia, who finished the 2013 edition in Barcelona in fourth position while in Shanghai four years ago it was a bronze medal. In fact, Russia had finished no worse than fourth since 2003 and has four bronze medals from World Championships. For Spain it was a big drop from top spot in Barcelona but far better than 11th in Shanghai. In the individual standings, Ivanova top-scored for Russia with 15 goals and Roser Tarrago’s four goals today lifted her to best with 14.

FLASH QUOTES:

Miguel Oca (ESP) — Head Coach

“It was a good way to finish the tournament. They deserved to have a little fun in that game. We did very good in the first round and then we crossed with USA in the quarterfinals and lost. Then we had a very difficult match against China. We knew that China was a strong team. This is over so we will take the good things and learn from the mistakes and go on.”

Evgeniya Ivanova (RUS) — Three Goals and 12 For Tournament

“There was plenty of motivation with fan support, which was very pleasant.” On the team’s performance: “Out of a scale of one to five it was a one for this match. It was the worst of my career. The disadvantage at this tournament was that we were not connected in inter-player cooperation.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game 46 CHN CHN 13 vs. GRE GRE 12 (5th - 6th Place)

Quarters: 4-2, 1-3, 2-1, 2-3. Pens: 4-3

Referees: Mark Koganov (AZE), Gyorgy Kun (HUN)

Extra Man: CHN: 1/2. GRE: 1/5.

Pens: Nil.

Teams:

CHINA: Jun Yang, Jianing Tian, Xiaohan Mei, Dunhan Xiong, Guannan Niu (5), Yating Sun, Donglun Song (1), Cong Zhang, Zihan Zhao (4), Weiwei Zhang (2), Xinyan Wang (1), Jing Zhang, Lin Peng. Head Coach: Rick Azevedo (USA).

GREECE: Eleni Kouvdou, Christina Tsoukala, Stefania Charalampidi (4), Christina Kotsia, Margarita Plevritou, Alkisti Avramidou (1), Alexandra Asimaki (4), Antigoni Roumpesi (1), Ioanna Charalampidi, Triantafyllia Manolioudaki, Eleftheria Plevritou (2), Eleni Xenaki, Chrysoula Diamantopoulou. Head Coach: Georgios Morfesis.

Match Report:

This was a match that seemed assured of a penalty shootout as the teams were equal throughout. China was never headed and Greece had to come back seven times to level. It was also a match dominated by the stars. China’s new sensation was Guannan Niu and she did not disappoint. Coming into the match she had a scored 13 goals. Today she netted five, including two in the last. Zihan Zhao scored three to lift her to 19 for the championship. On the other side of the ledger, it was powerhouse centre forward Alexandra Asimaki, who scored four goals from centre forward in her inimitable style. Her fast sweep at 1:19 was the leveler that forced the shootout. Greece went first, missing the second and fourth attempts, while China missed its third, sadly by Niu. With the match locked at 12-12, it was left to Zhang Weiwei to end the match for a 4-3 penalty win. China finished ninth in Barcelona two years ago and took the silver medal behind Greece in 2011. Greece was sixth in Barcelona, just two years after winning in Shanghai, its sole medal at this level.

FLASH QUOTES:

Rick Azevedo (USA) — China Head Coach

“I think they were excellent. I changed five players in January, including two, two-time Olympians. They played tactically smart. They don’t get emotional.” On his quiet demeanour on pool deck: “I’m not the type of coach who yells and screams at the girls. Coaching is for practices. I’m proud that they played every single match with more confidence, especially on offence and counter attack.”

Dunhan Xiong (CHN) — 17 years old
On her first experience of a World Championship: “I was so nervous, but it was also exciting.” On the best match: “Against Australia, because we came so close to top four.” On what she did when she made the water: “I went into centre and I tried my best to shoot each time.”

Alexandra Asimaki (GRE) — Four Goals
On having to come back to level the match all the time: “I don’t know why that happened. I think we played a lot better today and it was a different China from before. We were OK on offence and we equalised a lot. We played with more passion, at least. We want to go to Rio (2016 Olympics) so badly as we were not in London after some big successes. It’s hard to qualify in a structure like this and only eight teams. We have to work more. Our team can make it. I believe in my team.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game 47 AUS AUS 10 vs. ITA ITA 12 (3rd - 4th Place) (shoot out)

Quarters: 2-3, 1-2, 2-0, 2-2. Pens: 3-5.

Referees: Frances Buch (ESP), Vojin Putnikovic (SRB).

Extra Man: AUS: 2/10. ITA: 2/9.

Pens: Nil

Teams:

AUSTRALIA: Lea Yanitsas, Gemma Beadsworth (1), Hannah Buckling (1), Holly Lincoln-Smith, Keesja Gofers, Bronwen Knox, Rowena Webster (3), Glencora McGhie (1), Zoe Arancini, Ashleigh Southern (3), Bronte Halligan, Nicola Zagame (1), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.

ITALY: Giulia Gorlero, Chiara Tabani, Arianna Garibotti (2), Elisa Queirolo (1), Federica Radicchi, Rosarie Aiello (2), Tania di Mario (4), Roberta Bianconi (2), Giulia Emmolo, Francesca Pomeri, Laura Barzon (1), Teresa Frassinetti, Laura Teani. Head Coach: Fabio Conti.

Match report:

Italy came from one behind to be level at 7-7 with Australia and went on to win the penalty shootout. At the start, Nicola Zagame had two open chances, but did not follow through at the start of the match, the first time unsure if it was her free throw or not on counter. Rowena Webster opened the scoring with a centre-forward backhand, followed by an Ashleigh Southern shot on extra for 2-0 by 5:04. Then Italy came alive with three unanswered goals through captain Roberta Bianconi, Arianna Garibotti, both on extra, and a centre-forward shot from Rosaria Aiello. Three goals in two minutes exactly. A last-gasp shot from Webster cross the bar and Italy had the lead at the first break. Webster equalised from deep left after the exclusion period at the start of the second period and Tania di Mario found a channel down the middle on extra for 4-3 on the next attack. The Aussie Stingers took a timeout, but the attack was hesitant as much as Italy’s confidence was building. That confidence soared to new heights as di Mario sent in a lob from halfway into the top right for 5-3 at 2:23. Italy tried a timeout ploy unsuccessfully, but still had a two-goal buffer for the second half. Zagame missed an excellent one-on-one opportunity at the start of the third period and made up for it with a extra-man strike for 4-5 at 4:51. It was only the second goal for Australia in 16 minutes of play. A timeout each and there were no rewards. Southern collected her second goal on counter, electing to bounce in off the right post from six metres at 1:06 for 5-5. Italy lost the ball on a full attack and Australia did not shoot in the 26 seconds it had before the final break. Italy was kept scoreless for more than 10 minutes. The 36-year-old di Marion, Olympic champion in 2004, won the swim for the final quarter. Glencora McGhie spun a ball in through Giulia Golero’s hands for the opening goal from wide right at 7:02, regaining the lead for the first time since the late first quarter. Australian captain Bronwen Knox gained her third major foul and di Marion scored her third of the match and 10th of the tournament at 4:53 for 6-6. Hannah Buckling converted extra-man off the left post for 7-6 at 4:16. Both teams did not score and then when Italy regained the ball and called timeout, an ejection was called against Webster giving Italy a man up, which Aiello proudly tipped in off the near-post position on the left for 7-7 at 2:46. Federica Radicchi went for three majors but the Aussie shot was blocked. Italy had the ball stolen and at the other end controversy as Holly Lincoln-Smith was driving for goal and the ball turned over as she shot. Italy lost the ball at the end as the match went into the final minute. Southern shot from five metres and bounced over the top. Garibotti’s shot was blocked and the match went to a shootout — the second of the day’s short programme. Italy started first and there ewere eight straight scores before a change of goalie by Italy brought Laura Teani into play. She was responsible for stopping Hannah Buckling’s shot for Australia and Garibotti sent in the winner to the delight of her team-mates. Australia and Italy are in the club of five nations to win all colours of medals at World Championships. Australia won the inaugural title in 1986 and collected two silvers, including at Barcelona in 2013, and has one bronze. Italy has two crowns, from Perth 1998 and Fukuoka 2001; one silver and now two bronzes.

FLASH QUOTES:

Fabio Conti (ITA) — Head Coach

“The key to our game was the penalties. It may be that the penalties go another way.  Some go in and some don’t. We played a very, very good game. When we play against Australia it is a very difficult game. Australia is very difficult, very strong and very physical. Today we came and played with a big heart.”

Elisa Queirolo (ITA)

“It was a very, very good finish. We won this medal. After the match against Netherlands we organised our ideas, did a very good game and we finished in a better way. We deserved it.”

Greg McFadden (AUS) — Head Coach

“We didn’t make the most of our opportunities early. We could have put the game away early, especially when 2-0 up. We let them back. It was positive that we were in for the fight, but I said it before, it’s a shit way to lose. We’re really went out to win, but we didn’t perform to our expectations. Now we have to debrief and see what’s the best way to move forward.”

Ash Southern (AUS) — Two goals in action play

“We were feeling pretty confident for the shootout, but it’s all about what happened in the game. We were unlucky. It was always going to be physical. There were some missed opportunities that could have been scored.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Game 48 USA USA vs. NED NED (1st - 2nd Place)

Quarters: 0-1, 2-1, 3-1, 0-1

Referees: Sergey Naumov (RUS), Massimiliano Caputi (ITA).

Extra Man: USA: 1/11. NED: 1/7.

Pens: NED:  0/1.

Teams:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Samantha Hill, Madeline Musselman (1), Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal (2), Alys Williams, Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson (1), Kiley Neushul (1), Ashley Grossman, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Makenzie Fischer, Kami Craig, Ashleigh Johnson. Head Coach: Adam Krikorian.

NETHERLANDS: Laura Aarts, Yasemin Smit (1), Dagmar Genee, Chatarina van der Sloot, Amarens Genee, Nomi Stomphorst, Marloes Nijhuis, Vivian Sevenich, Maud Megens (2), Isabella van Toorn, Lieke Klaassen (1), Leonie van der Molen, Debby Willemsz. Head Coach: Arno Havenga.

Match Report:

USA made it a clean sweep of all the women’s water polo trophies with a 5-4 victory over the Netherlands. USA trailed only in the first period and had a two-goal margin for much of the final period. Dutch captain Yasemin Smit scored the opening goal at 1:59 with a bouncer on the right side of the pool to take a lead to the second quarter. It was not long before USA was on the board as Rachel Fattal, voted Most Valuable Player of the tournament, scored from the left at 7:00. Madeline Musselman added another on counter and USA was in its usual, comfortable position in front. Nearly three minutes later Lieke Klaassen upset the lead on counter herself for 2-2. Later in the period, Dutch head coach Arno Havenga gained a yellow card. The long break came and went and it was Fattal who proved her worth to the team at 6:55 with a second goal. Maud Megens, out to emulate her mother, 1991 World Championship gold medallist Patricia Libregts, scored her 12th of the tournament on extra from the left-post position. Kiley Neushul scored down the right at 4:36 and it looked like another USA shot went across the line, but it was denied as it bobbled on the line at 3:31. Never mind, USA scored through Courtney Mathewson from shot from the top that went straight down to the left corner for 5-3 at 0:35. The Dutch called a timeout, however, nothing came from talk and the final break of the championship arrived. The crucial third period was won 3-1 by the USA. Catharina van der Sloot had a penalty attempt blocked by goalkeeper of the tournament Ashleigh Johnson (USA) at 4:02 of the final period, but the Dutch weren’t out of the picture as Megens, named to the Media All Star team, received a long cross pass to beat Johnson for 4-5 at 3:13. She scored four goals in the semifinal against Italy, proving she is a big-game player. In the final minute, Johnson made two crucial saves that gave USA victory, proving her the best goalie of the Championship

MIXED ZONE QUOTES:

Chris Oeding (USA)_ — Assistant Coach

“The Dutch came out with tempo and physical play and we had trouble early on with forced errors and we were out of synch and were made to work for every goal that we got. There were little nerves on both sides and trading goals early on. What gave us the game was Ashleigh (Johnson) in goal. She gave us a lot of confidence in those moments when most needed. “ On holding all four world trophies at once: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was involved in the last couple and it’s incredible and each is unique in its own way. We have so many new kids on the team. It’s their first.”

Rachel Fattal (USA) — Tournament MVP as voted by Media

“It was surreal. We played well together, we were balanced and our defence we nailed. Ash Johnson is just an amazing player and we played as a team the whole time. If you have an amazing goalkeeper behind you in defence it leads to  (good) offence. There are a lot of newcomers to the team.” On how long she would celebrate the victory: “Just tonight.” On how many of the four crowns she holds: “Three of the four; I did not play the Olympics (London). Hopefully next year will be the cherry on the top.”

Arno Havenga (NED) — Head Coach

“Unfortunately it was not a good evening. I think we played well, but we were not strong enough. I think we can be really satisfied this tournament. Every game we got a bit better. Now we look for the next step and the European Championships in Belgrade, then to Rio (Olympics). We will set new goals.”

Maud Megens (NED) — Daughter of 1991 World Champion Patricia Libregts (NED) and named to Media All Star team

“I get advice from her every game and what I can do better. I have learnt so much from her.” On if she spoke to her mother before the match: “Yes. She wished me luck. She is a nice mother who’s proud of her daughter. I get a lot of that.”

Laura Aarts (NED) — Goalkeeper

“If I look back now I am really pretty happy as we have a very young team and we did a great job. It’s a big shot for us for the future.”

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee Member

Kazan, Russia - August 7 - For the fourth time in 12 years the USA Water Polo Women's National Team are FINA World Champions. The latest iteration came in Kazan, Russia with a 5-4 defensive minded victory over the Netherlands earlier tonight. Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/Miami Riptides) recorded 12 saves including a crucial penaltly shot stop in the four period en route to being named match MVP and the tournament's top goalkeeper. Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) delivered two huge goals in a game that didn't have many, pacing the offense on the way to tournament MVP honors. The victory prolongs a dominant streak for the USA Women that now sees them as the reigning Olympic, World, World Cup, World League, and Pan American champions, a feat never before achieved in women's international water polo. The championship final will be shown later today on Universal Sports at 8pm et/5pm pt. 

The low scoring affair started out scoreless until two minutes left in the first period when Yasemin Smit broke through for the Netherlands giving them a 1-0 lead. That was the score headed to the second when Team USA got on the board thanks to a Fattal goal in the opening minute. Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) followed not long after with a counter attack goal for a 2-1 USA lead. With under four minutes to play the Dutch answered on a counter attack goal from Lieke Klassen to even the match at 2-2 going into halftime. 

Fattal came calling again early in the third scoring her second of the match to push Team USA back in front at 3-2. That lead was short lived as Maud Megens scored with just over five minutes to play to knot the score at 3-3. The red, white, and blue answered immediately when Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara) scored on the very next possession to go ahead 4-3. Team USA created some breathing room late in the period thanks to a goal from Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC) to build a 5-3 lead going to the fourth. 

In the final eight minutes the Netherlands looked to rally one last time. With a little over four minutes to play they drew a penalty shot only to see Johnson deny the attempt preserving the two goal advantage. Not long after, the Netherlands would cut the deficit to one on a score from Megens to make it 5-4 with 3:13 to play. While the USA offense wouldn't muster another goal, the defense took over the rest of the way not allowing another goal from the Dutch to come away winners at 5-4.

Team USA went 2/10 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty while the Netherlands went 1/4 on power plays and 0/1 on penalties.

The previous FINA World Championships for Team USA were won in 2003 (Barcelona), 2007 (Melbourne) and 2009 (Rome). The current run of multiple event championship titles being held concurrently began at the 2012 Olympic Games (London) and continued with the 2014 FINA World Cup (Khanty-Mansiysk), 2015 FINA World League Super Final (Shanghai), and 2015 Pan American Games (Toronto). 

Greg Mescall Director of Communications USA Water Polo

 

US Women's Team 2015

US Women's Team Won Gold in World Championship 2015

Media Awards

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Rachel Fattal (USA)

MEDIA ALL STAR TEAM
GOALKEEPER
Ashleigh Johnson (USA)
CENTRE FORWARD
Kami Craig (USA)
FIELD PLAYERS
Zoe Arancini (AUS)
Roberta Bianconi (ITA)
Rachel Fattal (USA)
Rita Keszthelyi (HUN)
Maud Megens (NED)

Final rankings

1. USA
2. Netherlands
3. Italy
4. Australia
5. China
6. Greece
7. Spain
8. Russia
9. Hungary
10. Brazil
11. Canada
12. Kazakhstan
13. New Zealand
14. France
15. Japan
16. South Africa

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