USA women get help from Stanford players to win Holiday Cup

With current and former Stanford players contributing six goals, the USA Women's National Team won the 2013 Holiday Cup water polo tournament following a 13-5 win over Greece on Sunday in Santa Ana.

The victory capped a 5-0 run at the tournament for the United States as it prepares for the FINA World Cup qualifier this week with Canada.

Rachel Fattal scored four goals, including three in the fourth period ,to lead the USA offensive attack. Stanford grad Melissa Seidemann tallied twice, as did current Cardinal Kiley Neushul. Stanford senior Annika Dries and Cardinal grad Lolo Silver each scored once.

Kami Craig got things started just 20 seconds into the game with a goal. Greece answered with a tally less than two minutes later to even the match but Neushul found the net on a power play on the next USA possession for a 2-1 lead.

Early in the second period, Seidemann helped build the USA lead with two straight goals to go ahead 4-1. Greece started to battle back connecting on a power play goal with eleven seconds left in the half for a 4-2 game at intermission.

Greece continued their rally early in the third period scoring two straight goals to even the game at 4-4 with 5:16 left in the period. The United States took over there. Dries scored in close to put the United States back in front at 5-4 with 4:13 left in the third. With 1:20 left in the period, Fattal scored on a power play on a quick pass from Seidemann for a 6-4 lead. With just two seconds left in the period, Kaleigh Gilchrist scored from distance for a 7-4 lead after the third period.

Less than thirty seconds into the fourth, Craig got loose inside for a goal and an 8-4 lead. Greece came back with a goal moments later for an 8-5 game but it would get no closer. After that, the USA broke the game open. Fattal scored three straight goals to take an 11-5 lead with 3:32 remaining in the match. Silver buried an outside shot and Neushul followed up with a tally for a 13-5 advantage with just :55 remaining.

Team USA reached the finals with a 9-5 win over Australia. Dries led the way with two goals while Stanford's Maggie Steffens, Neushul and Silver all added a solo goal.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Water Polo


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