Sports

Water polo: SHP grad helps USA women open FINA Super Final with win

 

Menlo Park resident and Sacred Heart Prep grad KK Clark scored four goals to help the U.S. Women's National Team open the FINA World League Super Final with a convincing 20-2 water polo victory over Brazil on Tuesday in Shanghai, China.

Maddie Musselman scored six goals to lead the Americans (1-0, 23-2), who face Canada in pool play Wednesday.

Princeton's Ashleigh Johnson recorded nine saves in net, helping to keep the Brazilians off the scoreboard until less than three minutes remained in the contest.

"It's a good start to the tournament," USA coach Adam Krikorian said. "We are looking forward to playing the next five days."

Team USA took a 4-0 lead after the first quarter and held a 11-0 lead at halftime. The Americans scored four more times in the third period.

Clark, who graduated from UCLA four years ago, set a season-high for goals. She scored three times to help the U.S. Earn the gold medal at the FINA Intercontinental Tournament.

Stanford grad Kiley Neushul added three goals while Cardinal grad Melissa Seidemann, Stanford senior Maggie Steffens and soon-to-be Cardinal freshman Mackenzie Fischer all scored once.

"Our goal is to play the best as we can," Krikorian said. "It's great preparation to use the Super Final to help us learn about ourselves."

The U.S. is the defending Olympic champion and currently ranked first in the world.

"We have lost to Australia several times," Krikorian said. I don't care who is weakest or strongest. "Every team will keep fighting and will be tough in Rio."

Team USA went 2-of-3 on power plays and converted its only penalty shot. Brazil went 0-for-5 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot.

USA men

The Americans recently swept a three-game exhibition series in Bucharest, Romania, beating Montenegro, 9-7; host Romania 11-6; and Georgia 15-5.

The Americans (10-1) open FINA World League Super Final play against host China on June 21 in Huizhou.

Go to PASportsOnline for more local sports news.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Water Polo

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