Women's water polo team claim bronze15 June 2014
WATER POLO: It may have been heartbreak to miss the gold medal match, but the Australian women’s water polo team, the Aussie Stingers, returned to the pool to take a convincing 7-2 win over host nation China, securing the bronze medal at the World League Super Final in Kunshan.
The Stingers defence was impressive as they prevented the hosts from scoring eight out of nine opportunities in extra man. Underpinning the effort was Aussie goalkeeper Kelsey Wakefield who looked comfortable between the posts, making her saves look easy throughout the encounter.
In offence for the Stingers it was captain Bronwen Knox who was instrumental in organising the team, helping to open up scoring opportunities. Similarly influential were World Championship silver medallists Rowie Webster and Glencora McGhie who also managed to score two and one goals respectively.
Other key players in attack for the Stingers where Jayde Appel with two goals, Ash Southern with one, while Sydney’s Keesja Gofers scored as well as winning four out of four swim offs to hand the Aussies possession at the beginning of each quarter.
The opening stanza was closely matched between the two sides as the Stingers led 2-1 at the first break. The second quarter saw Australia open the gap to 4-1, while Wakefield put in a world class display in goals to thwart China’s scoring attempts.
Despite their advantage on the scoreboard, the third term proved to be hard work for the Aussies as they managed just one goal, however solid defence kept China scoreless yet again. In the final quarter China managed to peg one goal, however it was too little too late as Australia cemented the win, and the bronze medal, with a further two goals.
Stingers player Ash Southern said it was defence that was the key to finishing the tournament on a high note.
“We came out today with a point to prove. Things didn’t go our way yesterday so we focused on bouncing back and that stemmed from our defence,” Southern said.
“Credit to all the girls for showing the Stingers pride and showing resilience. It was a great tournament to build on for the World Cup.”
The Stingers will arrive back in Australia on Tuesday June 17 with their next major competition to be at the FINA World Cup in Russia this August.
Result: Australia 7 bt China 2
Quarters: 2-1, 2-0, 1-0, 2-1
AUS Scorers: J Appel 2, R Webster 2, G McGhie, A Southern, K Gofers
Water Polo Australia