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Fischers help Team USA punch ticket to Olympics

Paced by the three-goal scoring of Laguna Beach resident Makenzie Fischer, the USA Water Polo Women's Senior National Team, which two days earlier had earned a spot in the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, won the gold medal Monday at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Gouda, Netherlands.

Team USA completed an 8-0 run in the eight-day tournament by scoring an 11-6 comeback victory Monday over Italy in the gold-medal match.

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Fischer scored the first goal of the game but the U.S. trailed, 5-4, in the second quarter before the Laguna Beach High grad closed out the half with her second goal to make it a 5-5 game at the break. Team USA, which was without head coach Adam Krikorian who was given a red card and ejected from the match late in the half, went on to outscore Italy, 6-1, in the second half.

A 3-0 run in the third quarter, which included a goal by Laguna's Aria Fischer, gave Team USA an 8-5 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Makenzie Fischer's final goal of the game put the U.S. in front, 10-5.

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Team USA outscored its eight tournament opponents by a combined 123-35. Makenzie Fischer scored a team-high 24 goals for the tournament and Aria Fischer scored 11 goals.

In addition to defeating Italy in the gold medal match Monday, Team USA scored victories over Japan (18-1), Canada (14-7), Spain twice (8-6, 13-7 in semifinals), Greece (15-7), South Africa (25-1), and France (19-0). Its shutout win over France Saturday secured a berth in the upcoming Olympic Games for Team USA.

Russia won the bronze medal by defeating Spain, 10-4, in Monday's third-place game.

Team USA, Italy, Russia and Spain have qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games which run Aug. 5-21.

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USA Women's National Team Roster, 2016 Olympic Qualification Tournament: Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach); Aria Fischer (Laguna Beach); Sami Hill (Santa Barbara); Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach); Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek); Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach); KK Clark (Menlo Park); Maggie Steffens (Danville); Courtney Mathewson (Anaheim Hills); Kiley Neushul (Goleta); Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach); Kami Craig (Santa Barbara); Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL.). Head Coach: Adam Krikorian. Assistant coaches: Dan Klatt, Chris Oeding.

— From staff reports

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