Shanghai 2011 - Water Polo Games Reports

Classification 5th & 6th

Quarters: 2-1, 0-4, 2-4, 1-1

Referees: Marie-Claude DESLIERES (CAN), Nenad PERIS (CRO)

Extra Man: USA: 1/8. AUS: 1/6

Pen: USA: 0/1

AUSTRALIA: Alicia McCORMACK, Gemma BEADSWORTH (1), Sophie SMITH, Rebecca RIPPON, Jane MORAN, Bronwen KNOX (4), Rowena WEBSTER (1), Kate GYNTHER (1), Glencora RALPH (2), Holly LINCOLN-SMITH, Melissa RIPPON, Nicola ZAGAME (1), Victoria BROWN. Head Coach: Greg McFADDEN.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Elizabeth ARMSTRONG, Heather PETRI, Melissa SEIDEMANN, Brenda VILLA (2), Lauren WENGER, Margaret STEFFENS, Courtney MATHEWSON (1), Jessica STEFFENS, Elsie WINDES, Kelly RULON, Annika DRIES (2), Kameryn CRAIG, Tumuaialii ANAE. HEAD COACH: Adam KRIKORIAN.

USA vs AUS - credit: Russell McKinnon
USA vs AUS - credit: Russell McKinnon

Who would have taken money on Australia leading the USA by five goals on several occasions in a World Championship match? It happened, with the Aussie Stingers firing for possibly one of the few times in Shanghai. Not only five goals but six. Despite another slow start, the Stingers lifted their game and KNOX was a the forefront showing why she made the All Star team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Her best goal was a looping centre-forward effort for 2-2. At 2-5, she backhanded the ball over the right shoulder of ARMSTRONG. From the left-hand-catch position she had a shot deflected by a defender and fumbled by ARMSTRONG into goal. Just for a change she charged in and bounced in a shot from six metres for 4-9. Her third and fourth goals were the five-goal margin shots. In the wilderness, seemingly, the USA was making minor contributions to the scoreboard. RULON had her opening penalty shot blocked by McCORMACK. VILLA took the early lead. DRIES had the USA 2-1 ahead. It was nearly 12 minutes later before DRIES scored the USA’s third goal from centre forward. VILLA scored straight after with a great shot into the top right. ZAGAME opened the fourth from centre forward with a lot of USA attention. The margin was staggeringly six. MATHEWSON drew one back at 5:12. Remarkably in such a remarkable match, no further score came and neither team bothered with a timeout. For Australia it was one step up from Rome while the outgoing world champion will be ruing lost opportunities and how its Olympic preparation has been temporarily derailed. Less than a year ago, this match was the World Cup final!