Perfection: USA Women Dominate to Repeat Olympic Water Polo Gold


They didn’t make it look easy. It was easy.

The U.S. Women’s Water Polo Team defeated an overmatched Italy 12-5 to repeat as Olympic Gold Medal Champions on Friday. The group ended a stretch of victories, over 20 in a row, with five more in Rio before a final display of dominance that could signals a long reign at the top.

As they did throughout the tournament they spread the scoring wealth with eight of the 11 field players tallying a score against the Italians. Goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson made nine stops and ended with just south of a 70% save average.

Defensively the team shut down an emerging Italian attack that led the Europeans to a surprise quarterfinal win over Australia and semifinal victory over Russia. Johnson overcame an apparently nervous start a game after she and her teammates allowed 10 goals by the Hungarians – the most all tournament – in their semi-final win.

Their dominance, anchored by incomparable youth and depth, poises the women for success for the next decade according to many observers. Only two current members of the squad are rumored to be retiring.

Check in for updates to this story as they become available.

Reactions to the triumph pouring in to social media: