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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 1:08 pm | Fair 62º

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Water Polo

Ryann Neushul Scores Big Goal in Team USA’s Draw With Greece

A Greece player grabs the suit of Team USA’s Ryann Neushul during Tuesday’s 10-10 draw at the FINA Youth Water Polo World Championship. Click to view larger
A Greece player grabs the suit of Team USA’s Ryann Neushul during Tuesday’s 10-10 draw at the FINA Youth Water Polo World Championship.  (Peter Neushul photo)

Santa Barbara's Ryann Neushal scored a tying goal on a power play late in the fourth period, and Team USA rallied from a 7-4 halftime deficit and earned a 10-10 tie against Greece in a Group C game Tuesday at the FINA Women's Youth World Water Polo Championship in Auckland, New Zealand.

Neushal was the only member of the 805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club contingent on the U.S. squad to score in the physical match. The U.S. Under-18 team also consists of 805 members Abbi Hill, Jewel Roemer and Paige Hauschild. Neushul, Hill and Roemer attend Dos Pueblos High and Hauschild is a senior at San Marcos.

Greece drew numerous transitional ejections by playing physical water polo complemented with outstanding defense.  Team USA was down 7-4 at the half but managed to pull within a goal to make the score 8-7 at the end of the third, setting the stage for a tense fourth quarter.
Neushul's goal after an ejection pulled the teams even at 9-9.  Team USA outscored the Greeks 3-2 in the final quarter, and the game ended in a 10-10 tie after the last of several opportunities sailed wide. Team USA's Aria Fischer led all scorers with four goals.
On Wednesday, USA faces China in the last game of group play.  Because of the tie, goal differential will determine the group winner.  In order to advance first, USA must score at least 13 goals and defeat China by a margin of at least five.  Japan tied China 13-13 in their match-up.

Group winners gain a bye on Thursday and go straight to quarterfinal play on Friday.
USA goalie Heidi Rittner played a stellar game against Greece as she racked up 18 saves.

Asked about preparation for the upcoming China match, Rittner said: “We will try to come out harder than in previous games with Japan and Greece.”
Peter Neushul reported from Auckland, New Zealand.


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