water polo
File photo: USA Water Polo

Makenzie Fisher broke a tie with a power-play goal with four minutes, 35 seconds to play as the U.S. women’s water polo team overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Netherlands, 8-6, Sunday at Loyola Marymount University in the third game of a four-game series of exhibition games.

Netherlands took a 6-5 lead with 6:22 left on Vivian Sevenich’s goal. The U.S. tied the score for the fourth time 25 seconds later on Melissa Seidemann’s goal.

Rachel Fattal scored an insurance goal with 1:44 to play as the U.S. won its 23rd  consecutive game and 50th of its pastez 51, including a 12-7 victory over the Dutch Saturday at Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita.

The U.S. never led until Fisher’s goal. It trailed 5-4 entering the fourth quarter, then tied the score on Maggie Steffens’ goal with 6:40 remaining.

Goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson made four saves and two steals and allowed two goals in her second game with the U.S. national team since helping it to the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. Johnson made seven saves and allowed two goals in the second half Saturday.

Gabby Stone made two saves and one steal and allowed four goals as the U.S. improved to 28-1 in 2018, including a 4-0 record against the Netherlands.

The U.S. led 26-22 in shots. The U.S. scored on four of 10 power-play opportunities, the Dutch two of six. The Netherlands scored on the game’s only penalty shot.

Dutch goalkeeper Laura Aarts made seven saves and allowed seven goals, while teammate Debby Willemsz made three saves and allowed one goal.

The Netherlands got goals from Sevenich and Sabrina van der Sloot in the opening 59 seconds. The U.S. tied the score on a power-play goal by Maddie Musselman and an even-strength goal by Kiley Neushul. The Netherlands regained the lead when van der Sloot scored on a penalty shot with 1:36 left in the first quarter.

Lizette Rozeboom, a teammate of Musselman at UCLA, gave the Dutch a 4- 2 lead with a power-play goal 2:12 before halftime. Jordan Raney scored a power- play goal for the U.S. with 1:50 left in the first half.

Musselman tied the score with a power-play goal with 1:16 to play in the third quarter. Maud Megens, who also plays for USC, put the Netherlands back in front by scoring with 44 seconds left in the third quarter.

The series will conclude Tuesday when the U.S. faces China at Foothill High School in Tustin where recently retired two-time Olympic gold medalist Courtney Mathewson, an Orange County native, will be honored.

–City News Service

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