Stanford's Steffens, Neushul lead USA women into semis


Stanford teammates Maggie Steffens and Kiley Neushul eached scored three goals as the U.S. Women's Senior National Team rolloed to a 11-1 victory over Brazil and into the semifinals of the FINA World League Super Final water polo tourney on Friday in Kunshan, China.

Team USA next will play Australia on Saturday in the semifinals. The teams met most recently in the gold-medal match of the FINA Intercontinental Tournament in Riverside, a 7-5 victory for the Aussies.

Stanford's Maggie Steffens scored three goals in an 11-1 quarterfinal win over Brazil on Friday. Photo courtesy USA Water Polo.
The USA started off strong as Steffens scored two of the first three goals to build a 3-0 lead. After Brazil scored, the Team USA defense dominated by holding Brazil scoreless over the final three periods.

In the second quarter Steffens, Neushul, and Makenzie Fischer added four more goals, two from Neushul, to build a 7-1 lead at halftime.

"I think the great thing is with our team this year that we have so many different people who could step up in the big moments," Steffens said.

In the third, Neushul scored again and Kaleigh Gilchris added her second goal for an 9-1 lead going to the fourth. The final eight minutes saw Team USA score two more times on goals from Alys Williams and Kami Craig.

Team USA went 3-for-5 on power plays and 1-for-1 on penalty shots.

"The team played solid defensively," said USA head coach Adam Krikorian. "It's an accomplishment anytime you can hold a team to one goal in a game."

— USA Water Polo/Palo Alto Online Sports

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