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U.S. to Face Australia in International Women's Water Polo Tournament

Makenzie Fischer, a junior at Laguna Beach High School and fellow Laguna Beach resident Annika Dries both scored power-play goals for the U.S. in the third quarter against Russia on Friday night.

Mackenzie Fischer of Laguna Beach (Photo courtesy Jonathan Moore/USA Water Polo)
Mackenzie Fischer of Laguna Beach (Photo courtesy Jonathan Moore/USA Water Polo)
By City News Service

The U.S. will face Australia tonight, seeking to remain undefeated in the Holiday Cup women's water polo tournament at Foothill High School in North Tustin.

The U.S. defeated Russia, 11-4, Friday night, in a matchup of the world's top two teams, improving to 3-0 in the six-team, five-day round-robin tournament.

Jillian Kraus of Santa Ana scored the first two goals, helping the U.S. to a 6-0 lead four minutes, 18 seconds before halftime. Russia scored the final two goals of the first half and trailed 6-2 at halftime.

Makenzie Fischer, a junior at Laguna Beach High School and fellow Laguna Beach resident Annika Dries both scored power-play goals for the U.S. in the third quarter, helping increase its lead to 9-2 entering the fourth quarter

Kami Craig led the U.S. with three goals, two in the fourth quarter, while Kiley Neushul scored twice in the first half.

Kaleigh Gilchrist of Newport Beach and Maggie Steffens also scored for the U.S., the world's top-ranked women's water polo team in rankings compiled by FINA, the worldwide governing body for aquatics.

U.S. goalkeeper Sami Hill made seven saves.

The U.S. scored on five of its eight power-play opportunities and Russia one of eight. Neither team took a penalty shot.

Russia is 1-2 in the tournament.

In Friday's other games, Greece edged Canada, 9-8, to improve to 3-0. The Netherlands got its first victory in the tournament after losing its first two games, defeating Australia, 7-5.

Australia is 1-2 in the tournament, losing to Greece, 8-6, on Wednesday and defeating Russia, 9-8, on Thursday.

The U.S. is 1-2 against Australia this year. The teams met three times in the Canada Cup, with the U.S. losing 11-8 Dec. 2 and 10-8 Dec. 5, but winning Sunday's tournament final, 12-10, in a shootout.

Australia is ranked fourth.

Today's play is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. with a game between Canada and the Netherlands. Greece and Russia are set to play at 7:15 p.m.

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