WPWL 2010 (Women): Penalty shootouts dominate second day of Super Finals

World League

credit: Russell McKinnonAn amazing three penalty shootouts occurred on the second day of the women’s water polo FINA World League Super Finals at La Jolla, California today. Firstly, Greece and Russia provided some spark on a cold, gloomy day with an exciting final quarter in which nine goals were scored, forcing a penalty shootout. Greece came through 4-2 in the rotation and a 17-15 margin after the game was locked at 13-13. The points rules give just two points for a shootout win and a lone point to the losing team. The second shootout went one further when it was won in sudden-death penalty shootout. Hungary gave up a four-goal lead early to see the Olympic champion Netherlands come back to 8-all before going to the penalty line.

The first rotation went through in perfect format with the second Dutch shot blocked only to see Hungary convert a seventh straight shot for victory. In the final match of the day, the third shootout came when the world champion United States of America beat World Cup champion Australia 15-14 after the game went to a 12-12 tie. The USA earned a goal 10 seconds from time through a powerful Kameryn CRAIG centre-forward shot. China went two from two with a 7-4 win over first-day winner Canada, the world No 2. The victory was gained with a 3-0 final quarter.

Match 5. 14:30. CANADA 4 CHINA 7
Quarters: 1-1, 0-1, 2-2, 0-3
CANADA:  Rachel RIDDELL, Krystina ALOGBO, Katrina MONTON, Emily CSIKOS, Joelle BEKHAZI (1), Whitney GENOWAY, Hanna VELIZAROVA (2), Dominique PERRAULT (1), Monika EGGENS, Christine ROBINSON, Tara CAMPBELL, Marina RADU, Marissa JANSSENS. Head Coach: Pat OATEN.
CHINA: YANG Jun, TENG Fei (2), LIU Ping (1), SUN Yujun, HE Jin (1), SUN Yating, ZHANG Lei, GAO Ao (2), WANG Yi, MA Huanhuan (1), SONG Donglun, CHEN Yuan, ZHANG Cong. Head Coach: Juan JANE.

China came through with a last-quarter burst that secured an enthralling game between two evenly matched teams. Little separated the teams in the first three quarters with Canada having to draw level three times by halfway through the third period. It was Hanna VELIZAROVA whose two goals in the third brought Canada back. Her rocket swing-arm shots from the top were lethal. However, China gained the lead before the final break through LIU Ping. At the top of the fourth period, China went to a timeout on extra and coach Juan JANE set up the play for GAO Ao to score. It was Joelle BEKHAZI who sent in Canada’s goal at 6:02 from the 5m line.  JANE exhorted his team to find the gaps under Rachel RIDDELL’s arms, telling his team at the final break that she was “the best goalkeeper in the world”. At 2:32 GAO Ao struck again for 6-4. Marina RADU was ejected at 2:08 and China called a second timeout. TENG Fei found the left upright at 1:44 to her obvious delight. Canada called a timeout at 1:40 to stem the flow more than anything else. The attack was indecisive, a missed opportunity to score quickly went and the eventual shot after the gained exclusion period went wide.  China had an excellent victory — the second in two days. Chinese goalkeeper YANG Jun made nine saves while Rachel RIDDELL was kept busy with 14.

credit: Russell McKinnon

Match 6. 16:00. GREECE 17 RUSSIA 15 in penalty shootout (FT: 13-13. Pens: 4-2)
Quarters: 3-3, 3-2, 3-3, 4-5. Pens: 4-2
GREECE:  Maria TSOURI, Christina TSOUKALA, Konstantina KOUTELI, Ilektra PSOUNI, Kyriaki LIOSI (3), Alkisti AVRAMIDOU (2), Alexandra ASIMAKI (3), Antigoni ROUMPESI (2), Angeliki GEROLYMOU (6), Triantafyllia MANOLIOUDAKI (1), Stavroula ANTONAKOU, Vasileia MAVRELOU, Eleni KOUVDOU. Head Coach: Georgios MORFESIS.
RUSSIA: Maria KOVTUNOVSKAYA, Nadezda GLYZINA (1), Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA (3), Sofya KONUKH, Alexandra ANTONOVA, Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA (3), Ekaterina TANKEEVA (2), Evgenia SOBOLEVA (1), Olexandra KARPOVICH, Olga BELYAEVA (1), Evgeniya IVANOVA (4), Anna USTYUKHINA, Evgeniya PUSTYINNIKOVA. Head Coach: Alexandr KABANOV.

Greece secured its first win with a penalty-shootout victory over Russia. Greece controlled much of the match until the frenetic final quarter controlled encounter over a team who needed to come from behind. Russia managed to level the game at three just before quarter time and then four and five in the second quarter. This became 6-6 early in the third period but Greece headed into the last 9-8 up. Ekaterina PROKOFYEVA, the most valuable player at last year’s FINA Junior World Championships in Siberia, scored two goals on extra to bring Russia within striking distance at the business end of the match. Russia was rewarded for persistence when Evgeniya IVANOVA converted extra after a timeout by Greece, which didn’t gain a goal. When Sofya KONOUKH was sent for her third major foul with seven minutes left in the game (following Greece’s Konstantina KOUTELI and Ilektra PSOUNI), Alexandra ASIMAKI dragged down a ball off the far-post position for the 10-9 lead. IVANOVA scored her third of the period to level the game at 11 after ASIMAKI gained her second with a centre-forward backhand. Nadezda GLYZINA continued the scoring assault to give Russia the lead for the first time at 4:19 with a counter-attack lob. Angeliki GEROLYMOU got into the frenzy with a cross-cage shot from five metres. It was her fourth goal and some recompense for having a penalty shot stopped in the opening quarter. Natalia RYZHOVA-ALENICHEVA scored on the next attack for the 13-12 advantage with 1:49 remaining. ASIMAKI was smothered at two metres but she shovelled in her third goal for 13-13. GEROLYMOU was excluded at 0:22 and Russia called a timeout to set the winning goal. However, GLYZINA’s shot from deep left-hand-catch flew across the face of the goal, forcing Greece to a timeout with just eight seconds left.  The goalie pass was nearly intercepted and Stavroula ANTONAKOU made an almost impossible shot from halfway, hitting the right upright, sending the game to penalty shootout. Russia won the toss and elected to start with IVANOVA immediately having her attempt blocked by Maria TSOURI. ANTONAKOU and Olga BELYAEVA converted with LIOSI taking Greece 15-14 ahead. Evgenia SOBOLEVA then became the second Russia to have her shot tipped by TSOURI. The next three shots went in with GEROLYMOU’s sixth goal gaining the winner, negating the need for Russia to shoot again. Both goalkeepers saved 12 shots with Evgeniya PUSTYINNIKOVA pulling cage duties for Russia.

credit: Russell McKinnon

Match 7. 17:30. NETHERLANDS 14 HUNGARY 15 in sudden-death penalty shootout. (FT: 8-8. Pens: 6-7).
Quarters: 1-4, 2-2, 2-1, 3-1. Pens: 6-7
NETHERLANDS: Ilsa VAN DER MEIJDEN, Yasemin SMIT (3), Mieke CABOUT (4), Biurakin HAKHVERDIAN, Sabrina VAN DER SLOOT (2), Nomi STOMPHORST, Iefke VAN BELKUM (3), Noeki KLEIN, Jantien CABOUT (1), Nienke VERMEER (1), Lieke KLAASSEN, Marloes NIJHUIS, Anne HEINES. Head Coach: Mauro MAUGERI.
HUNGARY: Orsolya KASO, Hanna KISTELEKI, Rita POSZKOLI, Dora KISTELEKI (5), Gabriella SZUCS (1), Orsolya TAKACS (2), Rita DRAVUCZ (1), Rita KESZTHELYI (2), Ildiko TOTH (1), Barbara BUJKA (1), Agnes VALKAI (2), Patricia JANCSO, Aniko GYONGYOSSY, Mercedes STIEBER. Head Coach: Matyas PETROVICS.

Olympic champion Netherlands had to work to come back from Hungary’s 4-0 blitzkrieg start. That aside, the Netherlands fought back to level the game and only lost the match at the 14th penalty shot in sudden death. The Dutch were valiant to get back to 5-3 behind but Hungarian captain Rita DRAVUCZ made sure her team was 6-3 up at the long break with her conversion of a penalty. The Dutch revival came after a tirade from Netherlands’ Italian coach Mauro MAUGERI whose gesticulations and blast in English seemed to cut through to the team. Goals were traded in the third before Jantien CABOUT scored on extra to trail 7-5. Mieke CABOUT, who spent the southern summer season playing with Cronulla Sharks in the Australian National League, scored the first of the final quarter to get within one but Dora KISTELEKI kept Hungary clear with an extra-man goal. Mieke CABOUT struck again for 8-7 at 1:42 from the penalty line and it looked really close. The Dutch even had a real chance to level after a timeout but seemingly had nerves and didn’t take a threatening shot. The ball was recovered by the Hungarians, who went to a timeout and lost the ball immediately afterwards. DRAVUCZ was ejected and Yasemin SMIT made sure of the goal and equaliser with 12 seconds remaining, which proved enough for the second penalty shootout of the afternoon. The Dutch started and the rotation was perfect for both teams. Mieke CABOUT started sudden death and scored. Agnes VALKAI replied in top right but Nienke VERMEER had her shot blocked, leaving KISTELEKI to score the winner.

credit: Russell McKinnon

Match 8. 19:00. AUSTRALIA 14 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 15 in penalty shootout. (FT: 12-12. Pens: 2-3).
Quarters: 1-3, 4-3, 3-2, 4-4. Pens: 2-3.
AUSTRALIA: Victoria BROWN, Gemma BEADSWORTH (3), Keesja GOFERS, Alicia BRIGHTWELL, Jane MORAN, Bronwen KNOX (3), Rowena WEBSTER (1), Glencora RALPH (5), Jemma DESSAUVAGIE, Zoe ARANCINI, Melissa RIPPON (1), Nicola ZAGAME (1), Kelsey WAKEFIELD.  Head Coach: Greg McFADDEN.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Elizabeth ARMSTRONG, Heather PETRI (1), Erika FIGGE (2), Brenda VILLA, Lauren WENGER (1), Tanya GANDY, Margaret STEFFENS (1), Lauren SILVER (3), Elsie WINDES (2), Kelly RULON (1), Annika DRIES, Kameryn CRAIG (2), Melissa SEIDEMANN (1), Courtney MATHEWSON (1), Emily FEHER. Head Coach: Adam KRIKORIAN.

The third penalty shootout game came when the USA beat Australia in what was the most exciting game of the day. The USA started strongly with the first two goals, which didn’t seem to deter the apple-eating Aussie Stingers coach Greg McFADDEN. At 3-1 the USA came to play in front of a home crowd huddled up against the cool weather. The second quarter was better for Australia with Glencora RALPH slotting three goals. With Nicola ZAGAME levelling at 3-3, Erika FIGGE, Maggie STEFFENS and Lauren WENGER made sure the USA had halftime advantage with six different scorers. The third period critically went to Australia with RALPH claiming her fourth with a counter-attack lob down the right late in the period for 8-8. Australia went into the lead through a Gemma BEADSWORTH centre-forward effort a minute into the final quarter but Courtney MATHEWSON scored after a timeout to level. The USA went ahead again through Heather PETRI with a 5m lob to become the USA’s ninth player to score. Aussie captain Bronwen KNOX lobbed from nine metres for 10-10 at 2:22 as both teams maintained the high tempo of the game. RIPPON lobbed and Australia drew a penalty foul on the rebound, which KNOX converted for 11-10 at 1:47. Controversy came with a non-call on a RIPPON counter three metres from goal. Lauren SILVER sent in a long range shot at 0:48, which deflected off KNOX and into goal. KNOX snapped up a loose ball in the third period and pushed it back to the goal past the goalkeeper. KNOX made amends with 20 seconds left when she scored for 12-11 on a two-metre melee, which drew a protest from USA head coach Adam KRIKORIAN. He took a timeout and the ball made it to Kameryn CRAIG at centre forward, who turned and scored for 12-12 with 10 seconds left. Australia could not shoot and the game went to a shootout. The first missed shot came from the USA’s first shooter 10. Then Australia barred out from BEADSWORTH’s shot. FIGGE drained the ball into the top left for 13-13. KNOX had her shot blocked by Emily FEHER’s right hand. SEIDERMANN bounced in for a USA 14-13 lead. RALPH sent in her fifth goal off the right upright. MATHEWSON had her shot smothered by Victoria BROWN. Nicola ZAGAME saw her shot blocked by FEHER jumping left. SILVER buried it to the right for victory.

credit: Russell McKinnon