Steffens scores four goals in U.S. women Olympic victory


Stanford senior Maggie Steffens scored four goals to help the U.S. Olympic team beat China, 12-4, during pool play of the women's water polo tournament in Rio on Thursday.

The Americans (2-0, 36-2 overall) meet Hungary in the final preliminary contest on Saturday.

Maggie Steffens
Maddie Musselman also scored four times for the U.S., while incoming Stanford freshman Mackenzie Fischer added a goal.

China is coached by Richard Azevedo, Tony Azevedo's father, who was a top athlete in Brazil during his playing days.

Ashleigh Johnson and Sami Hill combined for 11 saves in net.

Much like their opening match victory over Spain, Team USA got off to a quick start, with Steffens connecting 28 seconds into the game.

Fischer and Musselman each added scores for a 3-0 lead midway through the first period.

China got on the board moments later only to see Steffens cap the scoring in the quarter with another goal with 1:06 to play in the period.

Ahead 4-1 to start the second quarter the United States kept the offense moving with another Steffens goal for a 5-1 lead with 6:55 to go in the first half.

Musselman made it 6-1 a few minutes later and then, with 15 seconds left in the half, Kaleigh Gilchrist connected on a lob for a 7-1 lead at halftime.

After being held scoreless in the second quarter China had the first goal of the third quarter to draw within 7-2.

Steffens scored on the very next play for Team USA for an 8-2 advantage and then Kami Craig followed with a nice floater over the keepers head for a 9-2 lead. Gilchrist scored her second goal at the 4:08 mark of the quarter to make it 10-2.

The United States went went 2-of-6 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot while China was 2-of-10 on power plays and 1-on-1 on penalty shots.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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