Women's Senior National Team

USA Women Defeat Hungary 11-6; Claim First Place In Group B At 2016 Olympic Games


Kaleigh Gilchrist and Team USA defeated Hungary and took first place in Group B
Aug. 13, 2016

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - August 13 - The U.S. Olympic Women's Water Polo Team capped their perfect 3-0 run through group play at the 2016 Olympics with an 11-6 win over Hungary. The win sets up a quarterfinal matchup with host Brazil on Monday at 6:20pm/5:20pm et/2:20pm pt as the competition moves to the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. In the win over Hungary, Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/NYAC) scored four goals and Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/NYAC) posted nine saves in net. Television coverage regarding the quarterfinal match will be announced closer to game time but the contest will stream live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App at 5:20pm et/2:20pm pt. For more information on USA Water Polo at the 2016 Olympic Games, click here

As has been their routine in Rio, Team USA got on the board early, this time on a Steffens goal with 6:28 to play in the first quarter for a 1-0 lead. The teams traded goals the rest of the quarter as Gabriella Szucs connected for Hungary with 5:15 to play only to see Steffens score on the next possession for a 2-1 lead. Hungary had the last word in the quarter on a Barbara Bujka goal with 4:29 to play in the period.

The 2-2 tie was broken a little over a minute into the second period as Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara) turned in a fantastic effort spinning off one defender and driving to the goal for a score and a 3-2 lead. Hungary kept it close scoring on the next possession on a goal from Dora Czigany but Steffens came right back with a power play for a 4-3 lead. The United States started to pull away in the second half of the quarter adding three more goals, two coming from Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) for a 7-3 halftime advantage.

Goals were hard to come by in the third quarter with just one from each side. Hungary's Dora Antal connected for a score with 4:39 to play in the period and Steffens closed the scoring with her fourth on a power play with just two seconds to play.

Hungary began to chip away at the 8-4 deficit early in the fourth with two straight goals but Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC) quieted the rally with a goal at the 3:53 mark. Musselman followed less than a minute later with a penalty shot score to make it 10-6. Mathewson tacked on one more goal with 2:16 to play and the United States rolled to victory 11-6.

Flash Quotes:

Adam Krikorian 

On if USA should expect more physical play in the elimination rounds:

"That's what we need to be ready for. I'd be shocked if teams don't come out and play physical with us. Everyone's looking for an edge and trying to find a way to gain an advantage."

On what captain Maggie Steffens (USA) brings to the team:

"We made her captain for a reason. She's an excellent player but even a better leader. She's someone that we can count on to play with intelligence and intensity all the time.

"Maggie will be the first one to tell you though that she can't do it by herself. We have an excellent team and a ton of talented players who are great leaders themselves as well."

Scoring - Scoresheet
USA 11 (2, 5, 1, 3) M. Steffens 4, M. Musselman 3, C. Mathewson 2, K. Neushul 1, K. Gilchrist 1
HUN 6 (2, 1, 1, 2) G. Szucs 2, B. Bujka 1, D. Czigany 1, D. Antal 1, R. Keszthelyi 1
Saves - USA - A. Johnson 9 - HUN - O. Kaso 9
6x5 - USA - 3/9 - HUN - 0/4
Penalties - USA - 1/1 - HUN - 0/0

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