Sydney University’s national women’s water polo representatives Keesja Gofers and Hannah Buckling will return home with silver medals from the FINA Women’s Water Polo World Cup, played in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, after the United States accounted for Australia 10-6 in the final.
The US made it back-to-back gold medals having beaten Australia at the 2010 World Cup in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Australian Stingers won the gold medal at the 2006 World Cup played in Tianjin, China, where Gofers’ sister Taniele was a member of the winning side.
Australia opened the 2014 tournament with a 10-7 win over Hungary, before suffering an 8-6 loss to the US on Day 2. The Stingers then dominated the host nation, Russia 20-2 to reach the quarter-finals where they defeated Russia 10-8 to move to the semi-finals. They earned a berth in the final with an 8-2 win over Spain in their semi-final.
While the Stingers opened the scoring in the final, the US retaliated to lead 3-1 at the first break. They went to half-time with a 7-3 lead and led 10-5 going into the last quarter.
Gofers, a former Sports Scholarship holder on the Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scored in every game, while Buckling, an EAP member, enjoyed plenty of game time during the tournament.
Spain defeated China in the play-off for the bronze medal.
United States 10 (Melissa Seidemann 3, Courtney Mathewson 2, Kiley Neushul 2, Rachel Fattal, Maggie Steffens, Kami Craig) d Australia 6 (Rowena Webster 2, Glencora. McGhie 2, Keesja Gofers, Bronwen Knox).