Steffens sisters star in Team USA water polo victory over Australia


Stanford freshman Maggie Steffens scored twice and her older sister, Cardinal grad Jessica Steffens also scored in helping the United States national women's water polo team rally from behind to beat Australia, 8-7, in the semifinals of the FINA World League Super Final in Tianjin, China on Saturday.

Stanford grad Lolo Silver also scored for the Americans, who will play Italy for the gold medal Sunday. The Italians finished fourth in their pool but recorded their second straight upset, beating host China, 7-5.

Team USA seeks its sixth World League title.

The Australians scored the first two goals of the contest and held a 4-2 lead after the first quarter. The match was tied at 7-7 three minutes into the fourth period. Elise Windes scored the go-ahead goal for the Americans two minutes later.

"After a very disappointing first quarter, our focus and purpose were much more clear. We showed great poise and persistence throughout the entire second half," U.S. coach Adam Krikorian said. "We are looking forward to playing in the final against an Italian team that keeps improving. This is a perfect example of the parity in our game."

Team USA converted four of its man-advantage opportunities while the Stingers were 3-of-7. Betsy Armstrong had six saves for the U.S.

Stanford junior Annika Dries drew a penalty that was converted by Courtney Mathewson, giving the Americans their first lead at 7-6.

Australia and China meet for third place, Greece and Russia compete for fifth place and Greece and Spain play for seventh place.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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