Flynn fires up USA with five-goal haul


Match heroes
Jenna Flynn (pictured with her Player of the Match award from FINA TWPC member Don Cameron) led all scorers with five, Anna Pearson claimed three and Taylor Smith two for USA. Argentina scored on extra, from the penalty line and an excellent centre-forward goal from Magali Bacigalupa while defended by two players.

Turning point
While the first half was 5-0 in USA’s favour, the turning point was really when USA started to string together combinations and get better rhythm in the final period. The extra-man goal to Flynn at the end of the third period was the start of a 10-goal romp before Argentina closed the scoring, on extra, through Lucia Ruiz.

Stats don’t lie
USA had 37 shots to Argentina’s 22; converted five from 13 on extra-man — not such a good conversion rate — to Argentina’s one from seven — also not good. Both teams made 10 blocks and USA stole 10 balls to six, forced four offensives and six turnovers.

Bottom line
USA was obviously too good for Argentina, who was fresh from an 11-9 victory over Colombia. The harsh reality of top-flight water polo shone through in the final quarter as Argentina had no answer to USA’s eight action goals. USA is still looking raw with its new internationals, but these matches are an excellent way to emerge and impress for senior representation ahead of the Budapest FINA World Championships.


Aussie Stingers start too strongly for Brazilians

With a 9-0 lead two minutes from halftime, the Aussie Stingers were well and truly in command of the match. With six players on the scoresheet and Abby Andrews netting three, Australia knew how to contain a team that had the potential to disrupt. The super experienced Bronte Halligan even missed a penalty shot, skipping into the left upright.

Andrews was the top scorer with four goals, all from the same position — deep right — with the fourth from a set play while the other were all on counter-attack.  Captain Zoe Arancini scored three goals and Tenealle Fasala and Sienna Hearn grabbed two each.

Australia  led 5-0 at the first break, 10-1 at the second and 15-2 at the third before letting up in the fourth. Kemily Ferreira converted extra at 9-1 and Marianne Cardoso accepted  a flip pass from centre forward to the right-post position for 12-2 — Brazil’s only two strikes.

Australia took 34 shots compared to Brazil’s 16; converted four from eight on extra while Brazil managed one from eight. The blocks were fairly even; Australia made 18 steals to seven and forced nine turnovers while conceding four offensives.


Canadians smash Cuba with withering opening quarter

Cuba didn’t see it coming and did not have the resistance to stop what was a thundering train that had no intention of derailing. Canada was relentless on attack and five players fired in nine goals before Cuba had any chance to steady the ship. Cuba’s first came off a looping pass to Daniuska Carrasco, who found a little space on the right post. This boosted Cuba and the second quarter was much closer, Canada finishing at 13-2 with four different scorers. Four more came in the third period with Cuba bereft of goals. Canada missed a penalty at the start of the fourth period, went 18-2 up through captain Gurpreet Sohi with her fourth — three in the first quarter — before Cuba called a timeout and clinically scored the extra-man conversion through Madonnis Chavez from deep left. Emily Saledo gained her team’s fourth goal with a backhand shot from four metres, but it was definitely Canada’s day. With the return of star goalkeeper Jessica Gaudreault to the international scene, Canada is well prepared for future matches and tournaments.

Sohi and Verica Bakoc topped the scoring with four each, followed by Amanda Amorosa and Hayley McKelvey with three apiece. Nine Canadians scored and four Cubans. In the statistics, Canada had 20 more shots — 19/38 — had the better of the steals at 21/9 and made less blocks, obviously, 11/6. On extra-man attack, Cuba scored two from five and Canada seven from 12. It was Canada’s second win, following a rest day while Cuba has 10 goals from three matches.


Friday line-ups

Colombia plays Cuba in what should be a close encounter; Canada and USA clash while Argentina fronts Brazil in another tight match. Australia has the rest day.


Progress points

Australia 12, USA 12, Canada 6, Argentina 3, Brazil 0, Cuba 0, Colombia 0.