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U.S. women’s water polo team wins seventh straight FINA World League Super Final crown

U.S. women's national water polo team's Maddie Musselman scored three goals in FINA World League Super Final title match.
U.S. women’s national water polo team member Maddie Musselman, shown shooting in an exhibition against Canada on May 19, scored three goals in the FINA World League Super Final title match on Saturday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Corona del Mar High School alumna Maddie Musselman scored three goals as the U.S. women’s water polo national team beat Hungary 14-8 on Saturday, in the FINA World League Super Final title match in Athens, Greece.

It is the seventh straight FINA World League Super Final Championship for Team USA, which went a perfect 6-0 in the tournament.

Hungary was within 9-8 early in the fourth quarter before Team USA scored five straight goals to close out the victory.

Team captain Maggie Steffens scored a match-high four goals in the final. Laguna Beach High graduate Makenzie Fischer scored twice, and Edison High alumna Alys Williams added one goal.

The Team USA roster also included Laguna Beach’s Aria Fischer, CdM product Stephania Haralabidis and Newport Harbor graduate Kaleigh Gilchrist, as well as CdM girls’ water polo coach Melissa Seidemann.

“Our opponent was great and we expected a tough battle,” U.S. head coach Adam Krikorian said following the match. “It was a tough physical battle. [They are] well coached ... luckily we pulled away in the fourth but both teams were really tired. [Going forward] we can improve everything, we look forward to getting back to training and spending time dissecting the film and making some corrections before we get to Tokyo.”

The matches in Athens were the last ones for Team USA prior to the Olympic Games, which begin on July 23 with a match against host Japan. The U.S. has won the last two Olympic gold medals.

Krikorian will be naming the Olympic team roster on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Musselman, the Fischer sisters and Gilchrist hope to make their second straight Olympic roster, while Williams and Haralabidis are vying for their first Olympic team spot. For Seidemann, it would be her third straight Olympics.

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