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Kiley Neushul Scores in Team USA’s 3rd Water Polo Win

Kiley Neushul beats Hungary’s Rita Keszthelyi en route to scoring the third goal for Team USA. Click to view larger
Kiley Neushul beats Hungary’s Rita Keszthelyi en route to scoring the third goal for Team USA. (Peter Neushul photo)

Kiley Neushul scored a goal and the U.S. Women’s Water Polo Team completed a perfect 3-0 run through group play at the Rio Olympics with an 11-6 victory over Hungary on Saturday.

Team USA advances to the quarterfinals on Monday against host Brazil at 2:20 p.m. PT.

Maggie Steffens led Team USA’s attack on Saturday with four goals, and goalie Ashleigh Johnson recorded nine saves.

Steffens scored the first two goals for Team USA in the first period. The score was tied 2-2 when Neushul (Dos Pueblos alum) tallied a spectacular goal, spinning off one defender and driving in for the score early in the second period.

Hungary equalized on its next possession on a goal from Dora Czigany, but Steffens answered on a power play for a 4-3 lead.

"She's someone that we can count on to play with intelligence and intensity all the time,” Team USA coach Adam Krikorian said of Steffens.
 "Maggie will be the first one to tell you, though, that she can't do it by herself. We have an excellent team and a ton of talented players who are great leaders themselves as well.”

Team USA started to pull away in the second half of the quarter with three more goals, two coming from Maddie Musselman, for a 7-3 halftime advantage.

Each team scored once in the third quarter. Hungary's Dora Antal connected for a score with 4:39 to play and Steffens followed with her fourth on a power play with just two seconds to play.

Hungary scored back-to-back goals to cut the Team USA lead to 8-6,  but Courtney Mathewson finished a shot and Musselman converted a penalty shot to make it 10-6. Mathewson tacked on one more goal with 2:16 to play.

Hungary played Team USA tough, and coach Krikorian said his team can expect that kind of physical play the rest of the tournament.

“That's what we need to be ready for. I'd be shocked if teams don't come out and play physical with us. Everyone's looking for an edge and trying to find a way to gain an advantage,” he said.

Story includes report from USA Water Polo

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