U.S. wants to turn Silver into Gold

Americans head to New Zealand for the FINA World Cup

Stanford grad Lolo Silver scored three goals and Cardinal grad Brenda Villa added two goals but the United States women's national water polo team dropped a 10-8 decision to host Australia in the gold medal game of the Auspole-Longmont 10th Anniversary six-nation women's water polo tournament on Thursday at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Center.

The contest was a rematch of the gold medal match from 10 years ago in the first Olympics for women's water polo, which was played in the same venue. Hence the tournament.

Silver and Kami Craig each scored goals in the third period to give the Americans an 8-7 lead before the Aussies took control.

"It's always fun playing for first place and we had an idea of what we were up against with Australia but they are tough to beat," Silver said. "We will work more on our communicating and team defense with the aim of number one spot next week."

Craig was named tournament MVP, while Villa and Silver joined her on the all-tournament team.

Villa scored two goals in the American's 12-10 win over Greece in Wednesday's semifinals.

The Americans were using the tournament as a warm-up for the FINA World Cup, which begins Tuesday in Christchurch, New Zealand.

"Mentally, I don't think we were as ready as we could be. I take responsibility for this, but we'll be much better next week," U.S. coach Adam Krikorian said. "We'll have to play a lot better to be successful in Christchurch."

The U.S. opens World Cup play with Russia and will also meet Australia and New Zealand in pool play. The Cup extends through August 22.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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