USC freshman Paige Hauschild scored twice as the U.S. women’s water polo team defeated China, 10-5 at UC Irvine to begin a four-game series of exhibition games.
Thursday evening Hauschild, Ryann Neushul and Olympic gold medalist Aria Fischer of Laguna Beach scored in the second quarter to give the U.S. a 4-1 halftime lead after the first quarter ended in a 1-1 tie.
China cut the lead to 4-2 on Zhang Danyi’s goal two minutes, 17 seconds into the third quarter, but Lexi Liebowitz, Jamie Neushul, an older sister of Ryann Neushul, Hauschild and Denise Mammolito scored unanswered goals to increase the U.S. lead to 8-2 entering the fourth quarter.
Olympic gold medalist Melissa Seidemann and Alys Williams of Huntington Beach scored for the U.S. in the fourth quarter.
Former USC standout Stephania Haralabidis opened the scoring with a power-play goal 4:31 into the first quarter in her debut with the U.S. national team.
Amanda Longan made six saves in the second half, allowing four goals, and fellow U.S. goalkeeper Gabby Stone five in the first half, allowing one goal, as the Americans won their 21st consecutive game and 48th of their past 49.
The U.S. was out-shot 28-22 and scored on one of its four power-play opportunities. China was scoreless on its four power-play opportunities and failed to score on its only penalty shot. The U.S. did not take a penalty shot.
Zhang Danyi and Zhang Jing each scored twice for China and Deng Zewen once.
Peng Ling made five saves and allowed four goals for China. Her teammate Shen Yineng made two saves and allowed six goals.
Hauschild was among eight members of the U.S. team that won the gold medal at the FINA World Championships in July in uniform Thursday. All 13 players are available to play in the series, which resumes Saturday at Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita against the Netherlands.
—City News Service
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