Women's Senior National Team

USA Women Advance To Olympic Games Semifinal Round With 13-3 Win Over Brazil


Team USA defeated Brazil 13-3 to advance to the Olympic Games semifinals
Aug. 15, 2016

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - August 15 - For the fifth straight Olympic Games the U.S. Olympic Women's Water Polo Team had advanced to the semifinal round, the latest trip thanks to a 13-3 win over Brazil. Four different players scored two goals each with Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/NYAC) and Sami Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/UCLA/Santa Barbara) combining for seven saves in net. Team USA now moves on to meet Hungary in the semifinal round on Wednesday. The match is currently scheduled to start at 12:20pm/11:20am et/8:20am pt but may move. The game will be broadcast on NBC and on NBCOlympics.com/NBC Sports App. To learn more about USA Water Polo at the 2016 Olympic Games, click here

Team USA came out determined against Brazil opening a big lead in the first quarter scoring five unanswered. As the home crowd cheered for Brazil, Kami Craig (Santa Barbara, CA/USC/NYAC) gathered up a loose ball in front of the goal and stuffed it in for a 1-0 lead with 6:45 to play. Kiley Neushul (Goleta, CA/Stanford/Santa Barbara) followed with a counter attack goal and then Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/Corona del Mar HS/CdM Aquatics) added a score 45 seconds later for a 3-0 lead with 4:15 left. 

Then with less than two minutes left KK Clark (Menlo Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) and Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills, CA/UCLA/NYAC) found the back of the net for a 5-0 lead after one. Things kept rolling in the second as Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/NYAC) scored a power play goal in the first thirty seconds of the period for a 6-0 lead. Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC) and Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA/USC/NYAC) added goals afterwards and the USA lead ballooned to 8-0 at halftime. 

While the defense kept Brazil scoreless the USA offense remained on the attack in the third. Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET) scored twice and Steffens capped the scoring in the period for a 13-0 lead after three. The final period saw Brazil find the scoreboard adding three goals but by then the outcome had been decided as Team USA cruised to a 10 goal victory. 

The United States went 2/6 on power plays and 1/1 on penalties while Brazil was 0/3 on the power play and did not attempt a penalty. Team USA and Hungary met in the final match of group play with the United States winning 11-6. 

Flash Quotes:

Adam Krikorian (USA) - coach

On USA's strong defensive performance against Brazil:

"No one likes to talk about defense, it's not sexy. I thought our defense was great in the first three quarters but I'm not happy with how we played the fourth. I thought we relaxed. It was a little disappointing as we've got to play better defense. We got a little lazy and we know in the next two games we've got to be sharp for a full four quarters otherwise we're not going to get the job done. We know there are bigger tests ahead."

On the hosts' support:

"I can't say enough about these Brazilian fans, they were awesome and some of the best I've ever seen. To continue supporting their team when they are down 13-0, just how loud it was, it was just incredible. I didn't like to see their three goals scored at the end but I did enjoy listening to the enthusiasm from the crowd."

Melissa Seidemann (USA)

"It takes a lot to win a gold medal. Our preparation didn't just start this year, it began four years ago and we've been building our team for that long. We just have to have faith and confidence in what we've put together and trust in our teammates."

On the result:

"We are proud of that performance, we knew it was a must-win and we prepared well for it. I also scored my first goals of the tournament, finally, my mom will be so proud."

Scoring - Scoresheet
USA 13 (5, 3, 5, 0) M. Steffens 2, K. Neushul 2, K. Gilchrist 2, M. Fischer 2, C. Mathewson 1, K. Clark 1, M. Seidemann 1, M. Musselman 1, K. Craig
BRA 3 (0, 0, 0, 3) I. Chiappini, M. Duarte 1, G. Mantellato 1
Saves - USA - A. Johnson 6, S. Hill 1 - BRA - V. Chamorro 1
6x5 - USA - 2/6 - BRA - 0/3
Penalties - USA - 1/1 - BRA 0/0

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