U.S. teams headed to World Cup

The USA Women's and Men's Senior National Water Polo teams clinched berths to the upcoming 2014 FINA World Cup.

The USA Women's Team, which includes local athletes Annika Dries (Laguna Beach High/Stanford) and Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach High), defeated Canada, 15-7, on Dec. 8 to win the best-of-three series with Canada at the FINA World Cup Qualification tournament at Foothill High.

Fischer led the Team USA offense in the final with three goals. The Laguna Beach High junior started the match's scoring. Her second goal put the U.S. in front, 5-1, in the second quarter, and she scored her third goal in the second quarter as Team USA increased its lead to 11-2.

Dries scored once and her goal from close range took the lead to 13-3 late in the third quarter.

Team USA opened the series Dec. 18 with an 11-4 win over Canada.

In addition to the U.S. women's team, the USA Men's Senior National Water Polo Team, which includes Nolan McConnell (Laguna Beach High/Long Beach St.) slipped past Canada, 8-7, on Dec. 19, in the decisive game on the final day of the tournament to earn a berth at the FINA World Cup. McConnell scored bar-in from the outside late in the opening quarter to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.

Team USA started the series with an 11-6 win Dec. 17. Canada evened the series (1-1) by winning the second game Dec. 18, 10-9.

The FINA Women's Water Polo World Cup will take place Aug. 12-17 in Russia. The FINA Men's Water Polo World Cup is Aug. 19-24 at Almaty, Kazakhstan.

— From staff reports

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