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U.S. Women Win Water Polo Group, Will Meet Brazil In Quarterfinals

By USA Water Polo | Aug. 13, 2016, 2:50 p.m. (ET)

Rachel Fattal takes a shot in front of Barbara Bujka of Hungary at the women's preliminaries at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug. 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.


RIO DE JANEIRO — The U.S. Olympic women's water polo team capped its perfect 3-0 run through group play at the 2016 Olympics with an 11-6 win over Hungary. The win sets up a quarterfinal matchup with host Brazil on Monday as the competition moves to the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. In the win over Hungary, Maggie Steffens scored four goals and Ashleigh Johnson posted nine saves in net.

As has been their routine in Rio, Team USA got on the board early, this time on a Steffens goal with 6:28 to play in the first quarter for a 1-0 lead. The teams traded goals the rest of the quarter as Gabriella Szucs connected for Hungary with 5:15 to play only to see Steffens score on the next possession for a 2-1 lead. Hungary had the last word in the quarter on a Barbara Bujka goal with 4:29 to play in the period. 

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The 2-2 tie was broken a little over a minute into the second period as Kiley Neushul turned in a fantastic effort spinning off one defender and driving to the goal for a score and a 3-2 lead. Hungary kept it close scoring on the next possession on a goal from Dora Czigany but Steffens came right back with a power play for a 4-3 lead. The United States started to pull away in the second half of the quarter adding three more goals, two coming from Maddie Musselman for a 7-3 halftime advantage.

Goals were hard to come by in the third quarter with just one from each side. Hungary's Dora Antal connected for a score with 4:39 to play in the period and Steffens closed the scoring with her fourth on a power play with just two seconds to play.

Hungary began to chip away at the 8-4 deficit early in the fourth with two straight goals but Courtney Mathewson quieted the rally with a goal at the 3:53 mark. Musselman followed less than a minute later with a penalty shot score to make it 10-6. Mathewson tacked on one more goal with 2:16 to play and the United States rolled to victory 11-6.

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