US women top Spain 13-6 to win world water polo title again

BUDAPEST, Hungary — They've done it again.

The U.S. women claimed a record-extending fifth world championship in water polo with a 13-6 victory over Spain on Friday.

Kiley Neushul scored four goals to help the two-time Olympic champions win back-to-back titles at the worlds.

"It probably seemed easier than it was. That Spanish team is tough. Miki (Oca Gaia) does an incredible job with them and we knew that they would fight," U.S. coach Adam Krikorian said of his counterpart.

"We win it with our preparation. We win it with our training, the connection and passion that we have for each other. You don't win gold medals in championships during those 32 minutes," said Krikorian, who was pushed into the pool by his jubilant players as the celebrations got underway.

Captain Margaret Steffens spoke of the "American pride of always trying to be our best" as she paid tribute to the spirit of her teammates.

"For us the spirit is trying to be the best team we can be and connect, because that's what makes it fun. The more fun we can have, the more heart you can see in our play, the will, the fight. We love making history, we love being first," Steffens said.

The pre-tournament favorites had beaten Russia 14-9 in the semifinal. The Russians finished with the bronze medal.

Spain fought to stay even at 3-3 before quick-fire goals from Neushul and Madeline Musselman gave the U.S. breathing room at halftime.

Steffens added a couple of goals in what turned out to be a comfortable win on the back of strong defense.

U.S. goalkeeper Gabrielle Stone saved seven of 12 shots. Amanda Longan yielded Spain's other goal.

Musselman had a hat trick, giving her 16 goals for the tournament. Anna Espar Llaquet reached a hat trick for Spain with the game's final score.

The U.S. had been the first women's water polo nation to win four worlds, after victories in 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2015.

But this group is hard to satisfy and some are looking ahead already.

"I'm very excited for the future of this team, whether the girls stay or leave and new ones come in and more people come back," Musselman said. "It's a good start off to a new quad, and a new lead up to the Olympics, which is really exciting."

Both sides were backed by enthusiastic supporters on Budapest's Margaret Island in the middle of the Danube. Most of the crowd seemed to be from Hungary, whose men's team plays in the final against Croatia on Saturday night.

Zach Beck and Rebecca Beck from Seattle were traveling through Europe but extended their stay to cheer on the American women.

"We've been to the swimming, we've been to the diving," Zach Beck said. "But, I got to say, women's water polo was the best."

Must Read

Stoch wins 3rd straight 4 Hills Tour stop,...

Jan 4, 2018

Polish ski jumper Stoch wins 3rd straight stop of 4 Hills Tour, Germany's Freitag crashes

Italian skier Marsaglia leads World Cup downhill...

Jan 18, 2018

Italian skier Marsaglia leads final training for World Cup downhill on shortened Streif course

Austrian ski family eyes another Olympic slalom...

Jan 22, 2018

First Mario, now Michael: 4 years after Sochi, Matt family eyes more Olympic slalom success in...

Late Rolando winner sends Marseille to Europa...

May 3, 2018

Portuguese defender Rolando scored late in extra-time to give Marseille a 3-2 aggregate win over...

Russia slumps to 1-0 defeat in Austria for 3rd...

May 30, 2018

World Cup host Russia slumps to 1-0 defeat in Austria, extends winless streak to 6 matches


About Us

From transfer news, tactical analysis to predictions, get only the best of the world of sports daily with Daily Sports Club.

Contact us: sales[at]

Subscribe Now!