By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 07, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
Maggie Steffens celebrates after winning a match at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 on Aug. 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

 

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The U.S. Women’s National Team got off to a strong start this week as it pursues a third consecutive title at the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup in Surgut, Russia. The women won their first three matches by a combined score of 61-6.

The quarterfinals in the tournament are Friday, followed by the semifinals on Saturday and the medal round Sunday.

Team USA will face China in the quarterfinals.

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Paige Hauschild scored seven goals in a 26-1 win over South Africa on Tuesday. Aria Fischer scored four times in an 18-2 win over New Zealand on Tuesday. The Americans then won their third game 17-3 over Canada on Thursday to claim the top spot in Group B. 

Team captain Maggie Steffens, a two-time Olympian, is among seven 2016 Olympic gold medalists on the squad.

The U.S. entered the tournament with a 20-game winning streak. The team’s only loss this year came against Australia by one goal in the first preliminary-round game of the FINA Intercontinental Tournament in April.

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc