Australian women win VISA Water Polo International

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

coach instructing
Australia's Olympic team at a 2012 test match in Canberra
Image: Laura Hale.
coach instructing
An Australian player at a 2012 test match in Canberra
Image: Laura Hale.

The Australian women's national water polo team took home first place at the VISA Water Polo International on Sunday, beating the United States team 6-5 in the final, holding on to a 4-3 lead at the half. Australia is now widely considered a serious medal contender for the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics.

In goal for Australia, Alicia McCormack performed well, blocking a key penalty shot, and was assisted by Nicola Zagame who scored two goals in the victory over the United States. Lauren Wenger led the United States side with two goals scored, while Betsey Armstrong made 14 saves in goal.

The USA scored the first two goals in the game, before the Australians battled back, scoring three goals in the second quarter. At the start of the second half, Zagame scored both her goals to take the Australian side up 6-3.

The Australian squad contains eight new players who have not represented the country at the Olympics before. Coach Greg McFadden has been trying to create Olympic-like stress in order to prepare the team for the Games.

After the VISA Water Polo International concluded, the Olympic draw was announced, with Australia set to play Italy, Great Britain, and Russia in group play.