Newcomer Jamie Neushul earned high praise from her coach at her first international tournament. She led all scorers as Team USA opened the 17th FINA World Water Polo Championships in Hungary with a lopsided win over South Africa on Sunday. The defending champions raced to a 7-0 lead on the way to a 24-2 victory.
.@Jneushul8 dropped a game-high 6 goals today in a 24-2 win over South Africa to kick-off #Budapest2017. She shared her thoughts post game. pic.twitter.com/XUdRaqZ4zx
— USA Water Polo (@USAWP) July 16, 2017
The Americans dominated on both ends of the pool from the outset. After eight minutes, the lead stretched to 6-0 with the South Africans ending the quarter with only one shot on goal.
Rachel Fatal, Jamie Neushul, Paige Hauschild and Melissa Seidemann lead scoring for the USA on the way to a 13-0 halftime margin.
Nicola Barrett scored first to begin the third stanza, and the first of the game for the South Africans. But only 20 seconds later Jamie Neushul answer with one of her six goals for the US. South Africa scored once more in the period to reach their final tally.
In the last eight minutes, the USA score a couple of goals again and the RFA didn’t find the answer this time. Final whistle, 24-2 USA.
For her first game ever in the biggest water polo competition of the year, Jamie Neushill was a standout finishing with six goals (at 85.7 efficiency), three assists, and three steals. Melissa Seidemann was deadly scoring five goals in five attempts.
US Coach Adam Krikorian was pleased with the performance of his team.
“I think it’s always great to have good game under a belt, it’s a preparation for the next game and for the game after that.”
When asked about his game MVP Krikorian called the choice “tough” but gave it to the team’s newcomer, Neushul. “She did a great job. It was her first game in the World Championships ever and she played with composure.”
About their next match on Tuesday Krikorian said, “Spain will provide an all different opponent. They are one the best teams in the world. They have been consistently over the past six or seven years. We need to be better in a lot of different areas, not just one, to have some success against this team.”