Sports

Team USA has chance at collecting more water polo gold

 

The United States women's water polo team, coached by Mountain View High grad Adam Krikorian, has a chance to cement yet another dominant year in the sport.

The Americans beat Spain, 11-5, in the semifinals of the FINA Women's World Cup in Surgit, Russia on Saturday and will meet the host Russians for the gold medal on Sunday.

Team USA (27-1, 5-0) and Russia have met twice previously this year, with the U.S. winning 10-7 in group play of the FINA World League Super Final (May 28-June 2) and also in the semifinals of the event, 8-3, two days later.

The two teams also trained side-by-side in the build-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, where the U.S. won its second straight gold medal and Russia finished with the bronze.

The U.S. has won the past 13 meetings with Russia, dating to July 25, 2011, when the Americans dropped a 9-7 decision to the Russians at the FINA World Championships, later renamed the Women's World Cup.

Against Spain, Stanford grad Jamie Neushul and Cardinal junior Makenzie Fischer each scored twice for the Americans, who have won 25 straight. USC's Paige Hauschild led the team with three goals.

Former Stanford All-Americans Maggie Steffens and Kiley Neushul each added a goal, as did current Cardinal sophomore Aria Fischer.

The U.S. scored the game's first five goals but Spain rallied to draw within 7-4 when Aria Fischer and Kiley Neushul scored to put it out of reach.

The Americans were 7 of 11 on power plays while limiting Spain to 1 of 9. The U.S. also converted both of its penalty shots.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA water polo

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