Stanford grad Lolo Silver scored four goals and the United States women's national water polo team opened the FINA World Cup with a 14-10 victory over Russia on Tuesday at the QEII Park Recreation and Sport Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Cardinal sophomore Annika Dries added two goals as the Americans look to finish the summer strong.
The U.S. finished second in last week's Six Nations Invitational in Australia.
"It was a good start," U.S. coach Adam Krikorian said. "We wanted to play better than we did in Sydney and get off to a positive start and I think that is exactly what we did. I'm happy offensively, obviously we had a very good day and although we gave up ten goals I feel like we were much better defensively than we were last week and that¹s a positive sign to take in the next few games."
Silver and Dries each scored in the opening period to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead. The Americans never trailed in the game, eventually opening a 6-1 advantage and holding on for the victory.
The U.S. was 7-of-10 on power plays and converted both of its penalty shots. The Russians were 3-of-6 on power plays and had one of their two penalty shots blocked by American goalie Betsey Armstrong.
"Six games in six days is tough no question so we are going to be smart about how we play this group play and make sure everyone gets an opportunity and equal playing time," Krikorian said. "I was subbing pretty freely and I think you can expect that to continue in the next couple of games."
The U.S. and Australia, which beat the Americans in the title match of last week's tournament, are scheduled to meet Wednesday.
In other first day scores, Australia beat host New Zealand, 17-4; Canada topped Hungary, 14-10; and China got by Greece, 11-7.