5 May: Davis USA: The Aussie Stingers have continued their winning form at the FINA World League Intercontinental Tournament, with a 9-5 win over Kazakstan.
It was a confident boosting win for the new look Aussie side who are set to meet Kazakstan in Group D pool at the all important 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest in July.
While the Aussies managed to finish with a solid four point win, Captain Rowie Webster admitted it was a hard fought battle.
“Extremely rough. The referees are not [giving] too many easy fouls so it’s really hard to get the flow of the game going.
“But they gave us a challenge, and I think today we rose to it. We did a good job to get the win,” said Webster.
One of the Aussie Stingers debutants is Gabi Palm who formed an important part of the Aussie’s defence in goals.
“It was a tough game, it was really about a team effort and making sure we did it together to get those goals.
“We had a strong defensive game but we still need to work on our extra man defence a little bit. It was good to get the win heading into our game against Japan tomorrow,” said Palm.
The first goal of the game was a 5-meter penalty shot by Captain Rowie Webster before Kazakhstan’s were quick to respond with a goal a minute later.
Keesja Gofers put the team ahead 2-1, but the most exciting goal of the period came when Isobel Bishop stole the ball in front of Kazakhstan’s net, broke away, and whipped in a solo goal from the far right side of the pool to give Australia 3-1 lead. Each team scored once in the second period and Australia led, 4-2, at halftime.
In the second half, Australia added three more points before a foul on Rowie Webster enabled Kazakhstan to take a penalty shot to make it 7-3. Another goal to the opposition saw the Aussies having to dig deep to secure their third consecutive win, but they rose to the challenge to finish out the game 9-5.
AUSTRALIA 9 KAZAKHSTAN 5
Quarters: 3-1, 1-1, 3-2, 2-1.
Extra Man: AUS 0/4. KAZ 1/4.
Pens: AUS 1/1. KAZ 1/1.
Goal scorers: Keesja Gofers (2), Hannah Buckling (1), Isobel Bishop (1), Amy Ridge (1), Rowie Webster (3), Tiana Sogaard Anderson (1).
DAY 2: 4 May 2017
Davis, USA: Australia’s Women’s Water Polo Team have claimed two from two wins at the 2017 FINA World League Tournament in the USA, after a 10-7 win over Canada.
While the Aussie Stingers led from start to finish, the young side had a disappointing third quarter which saw them have to fight back in the final quarter.
Australian Head Coach Sakis Kechagias said the side is building and while they had many highlights throughout the game, they also have areas to improve on.
“Every game I want to work on something different. Today we had bad moments and good moments. It’s important for us to read the situation and react. This is our focus at the moment: read and react,” he said.
Rio Olympian Hannah Buckling led the goal scoring effort by the Aussies with an impressive four goals, admitting the side had to fight their way to a win against a tough Canadian outfit.
“Playing against Canada is always heavy. We’re just both very strong teams.
“We had a terrible third quarter, so it was good to see the girls all fight back and take away the win,” she said.
Within the first four minutes of the game, the Aussie Stingers took a commanding 4-0 lead thanks, in part, to three goals by Hannah Buckling.
Dominique Perreault then added two points for Canada, but Australia still led 4-2 after the first period. In the second period, Aussie captain Rowie Webster took the team’s lead out to 6-2. Buckling added one more to make it 7-2.
Then, with 1:14 remaining in the first half, Perreault scored at point-blank range off a quick pass by Joelle Bekhazi to net her third goal for Canada. At halftime, Australia had a 7-3 advantage.
Canada held Australia scoreless in the third period while adding two goals of its own, by Shae Fournier and Elyse Lemay, to bring the game within reach.
But the Aussies weren’t about to let the win get by them, immediately in the fourth quarter following up the 7-5 lead with three unanswered goals (including two by Keesja Gofers). Trailing 5-10, Canada scored twice more before the final buzzer but lost 10-7 in the end.
CANADA 7 AUSTRALIA 10
Quarters: 2-4, 1-3, 2-0, 2-3.
Extra Man: CAN: 0/3. AUS 2/4.
Goal scorers: Keesja Gofers (2), Hannah Buckling (4), Isobel Bishop (2), Rowie Webster (2),
DAY 1: 3 May 2017
Davis, USA: The new look Australian Women’s Water Polo Team have taken a strong win on day one of the FINA World League Intercontinental Tournament, with 13-6 win over China.
The first major Tournament since the Rio Olympic Games, the Tournament is a qualifier for the important FINA World League Super Final that will be held in Shanghai from 6-11 June 2017.
New Australian Women’s Water Polo Head Coach Sakis Kechagias was pleased with his side’s performance.
“I think we played good, for the whole game both offensively and defensively. I was very satisfied with the players and I think there I a lot of room for improvement,” said Kechagias.
“The delivered at the standard we wanted to play. I think over time we will continue to play better and better every game,” he said.
Dual Olympian Rowie Webster has stepped into the role of Captain for the side and led her young side from in front with an impressive five goals.
“It was a good win, there were a lot of debutants for the national team which is really exciting and they all got a run – it was a pleasure playing alongside them.
“It is nice to have a new Coach, it’s refreshing. Our style of play is still fast however we’re adapting to a bit more of a European based style and we’re getting good at our blocks and things like that.
“We have things we need to improve on but overall it’s really exciting,” said Webster.
Under the glaring sun and strong winds, Australia handily beat China to open the tournament. China’s Xiong Dunhan scored the first goal, but Australia had a 3-1 lead by the end of the first period, thanks to consecutive goals by Rio Olympians Keesja Gofers and Isobel Bishop, and a last-minute steal by Gofers who fed the ball to Elle Armit who then sunk the ball past China’s goalkeeper Peng Lin to capture a two-point advantage.
Early in the second period, Gofers netted a high lob off the fingertips of China’s goalie Peng, to make it 4-1. Australian captain Rowie Webster increased her team’s lead with a shot deep into the upper left corner of the net with 3:20 to go, making it 5-1 for Australia.
Eighty seconds later, China finally answered when Ying Zhai scored on a power play to make it 5-2. Each team scored once more, and it was 6-3 at halftime.
Webster opened and closed the third quarter with goals to complete a hat trick. In between, Gofers added a solo shot, and China’s Wang Dujuan earned China its fourth goal of the game. It was 9-4 entering the fourth quarter.
The teams alternated the next four goals (scoring two apiece), before Webster nailed her fourth and fifth goals of the day to punctuate an emphatic victory over China, 13-6.
The Tournament forms a strong stepping stone for the side as they build up to the FINA World Championships in Budapest in July.
Australia will take on Canada on day two at 9:30am (AEST).
AUSTRALIA 13 CHINA 6
Quarters: 3-1, 3-2, 3-1, 4-2
Extra Man: AUS: 1/4. CHN 1/2.
Goal scorers: Gofers (3), Armit (1), Bishop (1), Ridge (2), Webster (4), Leeson-Smith (1),
AUSTRALIA: Lilian Hedges, Keesja Gofers, Hannah Buckling, Elle Armit, Isobel Bishop, Amy Ridge, Rowie Webster, Bridget Leeson-Smith, Dayna O’Leary, Tiana Sogaard Anderson, Ashleigh Roberts, Alice Williams, Gabriella Palm
Head Coach: Sakis Kechagias.