A review of Olympic dominance by US women’s water polo


Three-Pat Complete: A Review of Olympic Dominance by US Women’s Water Polo

The Olympics present the best of the best. It shines a spotlight on those who have immense talent, supported by years of hard work and determination. This year at Tokyo Olympics, a women’s water polo team was clearly the favorite. The United States team had won every gold medal within its reach for years. The last three world championships belonged to the team. The last three World Cups have their names on them. The last seven World League titles adorn their resumes. And the last two Olympic gold medals also belong to Team USA.

Opening game

Their first two tests in Tokyo quickly turned into successes, as the team beat Japan, 25-4, and China, 12-7. The game against Japan produced three Olympic records: most goals scored in a game, most halftime total and greatest margin of victory. However, these celebrations were short-lived. Having lost no Olympic games since the final in 2008, the team narrowly lost a 10-9 decision to Hungary.

Before the Games, when asked about threats, Hungary was on the list, and the European nation proved to be a challenge. The loss to Hungary proved that no team is unbeatable. However, with their Olympic streak over, the team responded.

A new sequence

Maggie Steffens; Courtesy of Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

In the next three games, the United States began a new streak. He toppled the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), 18-5, and the team captain, Maggie Steffens, became the all-time top scorer in women’s Olympic water polo. Even after suffering a broken nose and a black eye earlier in the tournament, Steffens refused to let minor inconveniences such as injuries deter her from her goals.

In an interview published by USAWP, Steffens shared his love for the game, saying, “I swam, I played basketball, I played soccer, I played. gymnastics, I did dance, and water polo was the one that kind of tied all the sports I really loved into one. He has mental play, emotional play, physical play, endurance. It’s a team sport, which is the only sport I could possibly ever do, so that’s really what attracts me is that he’s kind of taken all aspects of different sports and brought them together into one.

The next steps

The United States ended up winning their parenthesis, even in the absence of a perfect record. Hungary also lost a game and the points differential favored the American team. Their stifling defense and multiple offensive threats proved superior. This gave them a seed in the medal round.

In the quarterfinals, the United States handily defeated North American rival Canada, 16-5. Qualifying for the semi-finals, they had to play ROC again. The rematch was not such a dominant performance for the United States team, as Russia took a 6-3 lead. However, the United States has stabilized under the coach Adam krikorian and came away with a 15-11 win.

Go for gold

August 7, 2021;  Tokyo, Japan;  US pilot Margaret Steffens (6) and center forward Aria Fischer (9) celebrate after beating Spain in the women's water polo gold medal match at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games at the Tatsumi Water Polo Center.  Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Maggie Steffens, left, and Aria Fischer celebrate after the final whistle of the United States’ gold medal victory over Spain; Courtesy of Robert Deutsch – USA TODAY Sports

In the gold medal game, the United States was within a triple win. From their first goal in the opening 27 seconds to the last possession, the United States team showed their dominance against Spain, winning 14-5. Maddie musselman was named MVP of the tournament and Ashleigh johnson was named the best goalie as the United States enjoyed a full team effort. History was written when the United States added Olympic gold to the titles it won in 2012 and 2016.

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