Monday, August 15, 2022

US women’s water polo beats Russian team to reach Olympic final

by Jay Cohen ap sports writer

Tokyo – Maddie Musselman thinks about it all the time. Playing on the talented US women’s water polo team, Musselman is constantly debating whether she should pass or shoot the ball.

He decided to shoot on Thursday, and it worked out well enough for the Americans.

Musselman (Corona Del Mar High, UCLA) scored four of his five goals in the second half to give the United States a 15-11 win over the Russian team in the semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s a battle I personally fight every day, is it your shot or is it the person next to you,” Musselman said. “I think it came down to my shot today.”

ever done.

Led by Musselman and the clutch play of Alice Williams (Addison High, UCLA) and Melissa Seidemann (Stanford), America remained in the mix for a third consecutive gold medal. It will face the winner of the Hungary-Spain match on Saturday (late Friday night PT).

Captain Maggie Stephens (Stanford) had three goals as America improved to 133-4 since winning gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. The Americans have won three in a row since losing to Hungary in group play for their first loss at the Olympics since the 2008 final against the Netherlands.

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The United States defeated the Russian team 18-5 last week, but the Russian team was much more busy in the semi-final match. America had to rally after trailing 7-4 with 48 seconds in the first half.

“I think he sandbaged us a little bit in the prelims,” ​​said American coach Adam Krikorian. “We talked about him, so we set out to be strong for him. But when you realize it, he’s done a great job.”

Maria Berseneva scored three goals on three shots for the bronze medal-winning Russian team in 2016. Anastasia Simanovich and Ekaterina Prokofeva scored two goals each, and Evgenia Golovina scored 10 stops.

The Russians held off America for the first half, forcing the Americans to look for an opening to go deep into the shot clock. Simanovic was tough on the inside and Berseneva’s power-play goal made it 5-2 with 3:24 to spare.

“I’m very happy with the way we started and it was a good feeling when we had some goals ahead,” Simanovic said via a translator. “It gave us confidence, but then we had some issues and allowed them to level up.”

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The US began to find its way in late in the second quarter. Seidman made it a goal game at the break when he connected from long distance with a second.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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