The women's water polo tournament at the 17th FINA World Championships was won by the United States.
United States-Spain 13-6 (2-1, 3-2, 5-2, 3-1)
Hajós Alfréd Swimming Pool, 6800 spectators, referees Dutilh-Dumas (NED), Flahive (AUS)
United States: Stone - Musselmann 2, Seidemann 1, Fattal 1, Steffens 2, K. Neushul 4, M. Fischer 1. Subs: Hauschild, Raney 1, J. Neushul, A. Fischer, Williams. Head coach: Adam Krikorian
Spain: Ester - A. Espar 2, B. Ortiz 2, M. Ortiz, C. Espar, Pena Carrasco, Leiton Arrones 1. Subs: Bach, lloret, Forca, Crespi, Gual. Head coach: Miguel Oca
For the bronze medal:
Russia-Canada 11-9 (3-3, 4-2, 2-2, 2-2)
For 5th place:
Italy-Hungary 8-10 (2-3, 2-3, 2-2, 2-2)
For 7th place:
Australia-Greece 6-8 (0-1, 1-4, 3-3, 2-0)
The United States for the fifth time, or Spain for the second time - it was the huge question in the women's water polo finals tonight. The odds of a match were the unbeaten, defending champion, the Olympic champion and the world champion winner American team, which was unbeatable in this World Championship for the gold medal.
In the semi-finals, only a small doubt remained for the finals when in the semi-finals of 4-2 was the temporary result for the Russia, but Adam Krikorian's team then "hit hard" and surely beat Russia. The Spaniards beat the surprise team in Canada in the semi-finals, so after the final match against the Greeks, winning by penalty shootout, they can be very happy with the end result no matter what.
The first half of the encounter wasn’t rich in goals, the finals had to wait until the end of the fourth minute when the first goal was scored, with the result of a 6 to 5 situation, Melissa Seidemann, who led the defending champion. Beatriz Ortiz equalized, also in an extra man situation in the sixth minute, but then came another American same situation, 2-1 in the break.
Anna Espar sold a penalty at the beginning of the second quarter (2-2), but the United States has completed its extra man situations very quickly. Beatriz Ortiz tried to join this tradition on the other side, succeeded her, 3-3.
There were a lot of exclusions, the other two were used by the Americans, made it the first period with two goals difference, 5-3, and two more strikes came to the Americans' stats as they approached the end of the second quarter of the game. Finally, this result remained in the big break.
Anna Espar scored a great goal immediately after the turn, then two more from the United States (7-4), and the Spaniards could only score after 9-4.
In the fourth quarter, only the goal ratio was questionable, the United States defended his title and became the world champion for the fifth time.
Adam Krikorian, head coach (USA)
„There were a lot of hugs, after the game, I’m really proud of the girls, both the leaders who achieved a lot in the past and also the young ones stepping into the big roles, people like Gaby Stone. She’s the best goal keeper in the world. People were questioning whether she had the thoughness to perform, and I'm so happy for her that she proved me right.”
It probably seemed easier than it was, Miki does an incredible job, this Spanish team is very tough. We knew that they were fighting, they are great competitors, we have a lot of respect for them which helps us prepare for the game. We didn’t win this game here tonight but we win it with our preparation, we win it with our training, with the connection and passion that we have for each other. You know, you don’t win World Championships gold medal during those 32 minutes. That’s the cool stuff that you guys don’t see, that we see.”
Madeline Musselman (USA)
„I’m very proud of this team, and that we have accomplished this year with our new members. We respect Spain a lot. We have played against them like forever. They always bring a lot of fight, a lot of heart, so we have to perform our best game. We have to have great defense but always have to keep going, push through every quarter till the end of the game.”
Miguel Oca Gaia, head coach (ESP):
„We did a good match on the first half but the USA created a huge gap between us on the second half. We are really satisfied because it is difficult to arrive to the finals in a world championships. The girls worked hard so I want to congratulate them. As a coach I hope they will have a bright future because despite their young age they demonstrated tonight that they can do it.”
Laura Ester Ramos (ESP)
„We didn’t play our best, we could’ve done better. The USA team showed his superiority in the third quarter. We’ve done a really good tournament despite of the youth of the team. We increased the level match after match. Right now we are a bit disappointed but I'm sure that tomorrow we are going to be greatful for the silver medal.”
Paula Leiton Arrones (ESP)
„Despite we didn’t achieve the gold medal we’ve got very good sensations for the years to come. We’ve played as one, we enjoyed this opportunity and the best thing that I get from this incredible tournament is the human group we’ve made outside the pool.”
The final result at the 17th FINA World Championships women's water polo tournament:
1. United States (1 Gabrielle Stone, 2 Madeline Musselman, 3 Melissa Seidemann, 4 Rachel Fattal, 5 Paige Haushild, 6 Margaret Steffens, 7 Jordan Raney, 8 Kiley Neushul, 9 Aria Fischer, 10 Jamie Neushul, 11 Makenzie Fischer, 12 Alys Williams, 13 Amanda Longan)
2. Spain (1 Laura Ester, 2 Marta Bach, 3 Anna Espar, 4 Beatriz Ortiz Munoz, 5 Matilde Ortiz, 6 Jelena Lloret Gomez, 7 Clara Espar, 8 Maria del Pilar Pena Carrasco, 9 Judith Forca, 10 Paula Crespi Barriga, 11 Anna Gual Rovirosa, 12 Paula Leiton, 13 Sandra Domene Perez)
3. Russia (1 Anna Ustikuana, 2 Veronika Vakhitova, 3 Ekaterina Prokofyeva, 4 Elvina Karimova, 5 Mariia Borisova, 6 Olga Gorbunova, 7 Alena Serzhantova, 8 Anastasia Simanovich, 9 Anna Timofeeva, 10 Tatiana Tolkunova, 11 Evgeniya Ivanova, 12 Daria Ryzhkova, 13 Anna Karnaukh)
9. The Netherlands
12. New Zealand
16. South Africa
MVP of the bronze match: Ekaterina Prokofjeva (Russia)
MVP of the tournament: Kiley Neushul (United States)
Best goalkeeper of the tournament: Laura Ester (Spain)
Top scorer: Roberta Bianconi (Italy)
All Star team: United States