Kiley Neusul controls the ball in the women's water polo quarterfinal at the 2017 FINA World Championships on July 24, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary.
The U.S. women’s water polo team continued its push toward a second consecutive world championship with a 7-5 win over Australia in the quarterfinals of the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest on Monday.
Team USA moves on to face Russia in Wednesday’s semifinals.
It was a tight and defensive battle played under rainy, stormy skies, and the match was scoreless after the first quarter. Midway through the second it was Jordan Raney, playing in her first senior world championships, who opened it up with two goals in one minute to put the U.S. ahead. At halftime, Team USA held a 3-0 lead.
Each team scored two goals apiece in the third quarter, but a late rally by Australia wasn’t enough to make up the difference as the U.S. advanced.
“It was definitely a grind but I think everybody contributed what they were supposed to contribute and played their roles really well and we grinded it out as a team, as it should be,” Raney said in a post-game interview posted to Twitter by USA Water Polo.
Raney and Maddie Musselman each finished with two goals and keeper Gabby Stone made seven saves in the win. Keesja Gofers scored four of Australia’s five goals.
The U.S. women’s team has won gold at the world championships four times since 2003, including 2015. They are also two-time defending Olympic champions.