Laguna Native Helps U.S. Win Women's Water Polo Tournament

Center Annika Dries of Laguna Beach (Photo courtesy Jonathan Moore/USA Water Polo)
Center Annika Dries of Laguna Beach (Photo courtesy Jonathan Moore/USA Water Polo)
By City News Service

Rachel Fattal of Seal Beach scored all of her game- high four goals in the second half to help the U.S. defeat Greece, 13-5, Sunday to win the Holiday Cup women's water polo tournament with a 5-0 record.

The U.S. scored nine of the final 10 goals to break a 4-4 third-period tie. Annika Dries of Laguna Beach scored from close range with four minutes, 13 seconds left in the third period to break the tie.

Fattal scored a power-play goal with 1:20 remaining in the period and Kaleigh Gilchrist of Newport Beach put a long shot into the net with two seconds left in the period, increasing the U.S. lead to 7-4.

After the U.S. and Greece exchanged goals, Fattal's three consecutive goals put the U.S. ahead 11-5 with 3:32 to play. Lolo Silver and Kiley Neushul scored the game's final two goals.

The U.S. led 2-1 at the end of the first period as Kami Craig and Neushul both scored the first of their two goals. Melissa Seidemann scored the first two goals of the second period. Greece scored with 11 seconds left in the first half and the first two goals of the third period, tying the score 4-4.

U.S. goalkeeper Sami Hill made 10 saves.

The U.S. scored on three of its six power-play opportunities and Greece four of eight.

The U.S. is the world's top-ranked women's water polo team in rankings compiled by FINA, the worldwide governing body for aquatics. Greece is ranked fifth.

In today's other games, the Netherlands defeated Russia, 10-7, and Canada edged Australia, 8-7.

Greece and the Netherlands tied for second in the six-team round-robin tournament at Foothill High School in North Tustin with 3-2 records. Russia was fourth at 2-3 and Australia and Canada tied for fifth at 1-4.

The U.S. will resume play Tuesday as it starts a three-game FINA World Cup qualifier against Canada at Foothill High School. The U.S. is 8-0 against Canada this year, including a 15-11 victory in the Holiday Cup Thursday.

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