Neushul scores twice to lead U.S. women past Spain, 8-5


Stanford grad Kiley Neushul scored twice to help the United States senior women's USA water polo team beat international rival Spain, 8-5, in the quarterfinals of the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia on Monday.

The Americans (4-1, 25-2) meet rival Australia in Wednesday's semifinal. The teams have met twice this year, in the championship match of the Intercontinental tournament and the title contest of the FINA World League Super Final.

Kiley Neushul/USA water polo
The Americans won, 12-10, in a shootout in the former and won, 8-7, in the latter. The Aussie Stingers claimed the first ever Olympic gold medal in women's water polo at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, beating the U.S. when Yvette Higgins scored with less than a second remaining in the final match.

Spain has emerged as a recent rival. The teams met each other in the 2012 London Olympic Games gold medal game, and then again in the quarterfinals of the 2013 FINA World Championships.

Neushul found the net in the opening minute for a 1-0 lead. In the closing minute of the period, Kaleigh Gilchrist put the U.S. up, 2-0.

Rachael Fattal connected early in the second period as a power play concluded for a 3-0 lead. Spain got on the board moments later on a power play goal from USC' s Anni Espar.

Maggie Steffens converted a penalty shot and Neushul added a goal for a 5-1 lead with 2:23 remaining in the half. The Americans took a 5-2 lead into halftime.

Spain rallied to draw within one at 6-5 early in the fourth period. Fattal and Courtney Mathewson added goals soon after for the margin of victory.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA water polo

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