Aug. 5, 2012
LONDON -The United States' women's water polo team, which has garnered medals in all three of its prior Olympic experiences, made a huge step towards another appearance on the podium with a 9-6 victory over Italy in Sunday's (Aug. 6) quarterfinals. Team USA was bolstered by the play of Cal alumnae Heather Petri and Elsie Windes. The two Golden Bears registered assists in the second quarter when the Americans broke away from a 3-3 tie and outscored the Italians, 3-0, to take a 6-3 halftime advantage on the way to the 9-6 win.
Team USA will next play Australia in the semifinals of the 2012 London Games on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Australia earned a hard-fought 20-18 win over China in another quarterfinal contest. In the other side of the bracket; Hungary defeated Russia, 11-10; and Spain defeated Great Britain, 9-7.
Petri, competing in her fourth Olympics, played 16:50 of the match versus Italy and added a blocked shot. Windes, playing in her second Olympics, saw 9:19 minutes of action.
The United States has medaled in the three prior Olympics for women's water polo, winning a silver medal in 2000, a bronze medal in 2004 and a silver medal in 2008. If the Americans are able to defeat Australia on Tuesday, it would play the winner of Hungary and Spain for the gold medal on Thursday, Aug. 9. In pool play, the United States defeated Hungary, 14-13, July 30; and tied Spain, 9-9, Aug. 1.
Windes' goal Friday against China was her second Olympic goal. The Portland, Ore. native notched a goal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well. Petri, competing in her fourth Olympics, is the oldest member of the 2012 Olympic squad at 34.