The U.S. women’s water polo team added to its staggering numbers Saturday in home water at Princeton, New Jersey.
Kiley Neushul, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist and three-time world gold medalist, scored four goals and the U.S. defeated the Netherlands 12-6 to win the Holiday Cup.
Maddie Musselman, also a 2016 Olympic gold medalist and three-time world gold medalist, scored three goals.
The victory was the 68th straight for Team USA, extending a historic win streak that is believed to be the longest in the Olympic era of water polo. The U.S. has not lost since April 2, 2018, and its only two losses in the last three seasons have been to Australia.
The Holiday Cup tournament finished up a season in which the U.S. won all 37 matches, its first unbeaten campaign since 2012, when the team was 13-0-1 and won the first of two consecutive Olympic championships.
The U.S. and Netherlands were meeting in the championship game of a tournament for the second time in one week. The U.S. topped Netherlands 11-5 to win the Canada Cup on Dec. 14 in Montreal, rallying strongly from a 2-2 tie at halftime. Earlier this week, in the preliminary round of the Holiday Cup, the U.S. squared up again with the Netherlands and survived a 23-22 shootout win.
Saturday’s match wasn’t nearly that close. Neushul, Alys Williams, Musselman and Makenzie Fischer each scored in the first period, leading the U.S. to a 4-0 advantage. Fischer and Williams each wound up with two goals, and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ashleigh Johnson had 12 saves in goal.
The U.S. won five games in the Holiday Cup by a combined score of 72 to 41.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic and Paralympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.