The U.S. Women’s Water Polo Team continued its push toward a second consecutive FINA World Championship with a 7-5 quarterfinal win over Australia in Budapest, Hungary on Monday.
Jaime Neushul, left, and Paige Hauschild are playing for Team USA at the FINA Water Polo World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. (Peter Neushul photo)
Team USA now faces Russia in Wednesday’s semifinals. Russia eliminated Olympic silver medalist Italy in their quarterfinal matchup.
Playing near-perfect defense, USA broke open a tight defensive battle that had the teams tied 0-0 after the first quarter. Midway through the second Jordan Raney scored the first goal of the game and Team USA slowly took control of the game, taking a 3-0 lead at half. Jamie Neushul of 805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club and a graduate of Stanford and Dos Pueblos, contributed by burying a cross-cage put-back in the second quarter.
Each team scored two goals in the third quarter. A late rally by Australia wasn’t enough to make up the difference as the U.S. advanced.
“Everybody contributed what they were supposed to contribute and played their roles really well and we grinded it out as a team, as it should be,” Raney said in a post-game interview posted to Twitter by USA Water Polo.
Raney and Maddie Musselman each finished with two goals and keeper Gabby Stone made seven saves in the win. Keesja Gofers scored four of Australia’s five goals.
The U.S. women won gold at the world championships four times since 2003, including 2015. They are also two-time defending Olympic champions. Team USA’s win Monday night means they are the first team in women’s water polo history to advance a World Championship semifinal as the Olympic champion.
Team USA also includes 805 Santa Barbara club members Kiley Neushul, Paige Hauschild and Amanda Longan. Hauschild, Longan and Jamie Neushul are playing in their first world championship with the women's senior team.