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Waterpolo - 14. January 2008.

TEAM USA BATTLES TO 8-8 TIE WITH AUSTRALIA IN FIRST OF FIVE EXHIBITION GAMES

Courtesy of Russell McKinnon



Australia led 2-0 at the quarter and had a one-goal lead heading in the final period.The game looked in the bag for Australia when Bronwen Knox and Sophie Smith took the game to 7-4 just 90 seconds into the period.

However, Olympic bronze medallist Natalie Golda scored three goals, including two penalties, in two minutes to set the pool alight.

A goal apiece settled the game with both teams looking rusty after a three-week lay-off, according to Stingers head coach Greg McFadden.

"I think the ball skills let both teams down at crucial stages. However, it was a fairly pleasing result.We had our opportunities and they had theirs so it was a fitting result. We hope to do better tomorrow," said McFadden.

USA head coach Guy Baker echoed McFadden's words. "I'm happy with the game. It's the same for Australia, just getting back into training after a break. It was a bit ragged. That's to be expected."

"As we progress through the series the play will be better." On coming back from three goals down, Baker said: "I think we were a little fortunate to get a tie after being 7-4 down. It was pleasing getting back into the game," said Baker. He continued, "The goal is to build on each of the five games."

"Both teams were very competitive. We have a very good rivalry in the way how hard we play. There is a friendship among the teams also. Watching the game you would never know!" The second test is at Bicton Pool, Perth tomorrow night. Following that Team USA will have one more game in Perth and then finish up the test series with two matches in Sydney, Australia.

Result:

International women's series, Perth, Test 1:

Australia 8 (K Gynther 3, S Smith 2, N Cuffe, B Knox, M Santoromito)

USA 8 (N Golda 4, P Cardenas 2, E Windes, B Hayes)

Goalie Saves: USA - B. Armstrong 7, J. Hipp 5

Out with injuries: B. Villa, E. Lorenz

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