Santa Barbara’s Kiley Neushul pumped in four goals and goalie Ashleigh Johnson made 12 saves in a return to her college pool at Princeton University, leading the USA Water Polo Women’s National Team to a 12-6 win over the Netherlands on Saturday to claim the Holiday Cup title and finish the year undefeated.
Team USA went 37-0 in 2019 and has now won 68 straight games.
After the two teams combined for nearly 50 goals on Tuesday night in a 23-22 shootout win for Team USA, the title match started off much slower. Team USA defense bottled up the efforts of the Netherlands as they allowed just one goal in the first half on the way to an 8-1 lead. Neushul, Alys Williams, Maddie Musselman and Makenzie Fischer powered Team USA to a 4-0 lead after one.
In the second quarter, Neushul scored the first two of the quarter for a 6-0 lead. After the Netherlands broke through with their first goal, Musselman scored two of the next three for a 9-1 lead with 3:27 to play in the third. The Netherlands looked to rally and scored four of the next to five to climb within five at 10-5 with 4:31 to play. Fischer and Neushul would make sure things got no closer as they added goals to close out the 12-6 win. Jamie Neushul scored one goal for Team USA.
The final standings for the 2019 Holiday Cup saw Team USA in first, Netherlands in second, Russia in third, Italy in fourth and Canada in fifth.