Aug. 7, 2012
LONDON -The United State's women's water polo team, featuring Golden Bears Elsie Windes and Heather Petri, has earned the right to battle for an Olympic gold medal with an 11-9 overtime win versus Australia in the semifinals Tuesday (Aug. 7) at the Water Polo Arena. Team USA - which has won silver, bronze and silver in the three prior Olympic Games - will have another chance for the gold when it plays Spain on Thursday, Aug. 9 in the London Olympic final.
Team USA veteran Petri, the veteran of the national team, played 16:02 minutes against Australia. Windes, who joined Petri for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, saw action in 22:13 minutes and had two field blocks and a steal in the semifinal match.
It should be an outstanding Olympic final as the Americans are now 4-0-1 in London with victories over Hungary (14-13), China (7-6), Italy in the quarterfinals (9-6) and Australia (11-9 OT) in the semifinals. The United States' only blemish is a 9-9 tie with Spain, also 4-0-1, on Aug. 1. In the earlier match against Spain, Windes had a pair of assists and scored a goal Aug. 3 versus China. Petri has recorded two assists and a field block during the 2012 London Games.
The United States has medaled in the three prior Olympic competitions for women's water polo, winning a silver medal in 2000 in Sydney, a bronze medal in 2004 in Athens and a silver medal in 2008 in Beijing when it fell to the Netherlands.
Windes' score against China was her second career 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 and had a goal and two assists during the 2008 Olympics. Petri and Brenda Villa are the first U.S. women to compete in four consecutive Olympic Games in water polo. Women's water polo first became an Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Petri lettered at Cal from 1997-99 and returned to finish her degree and eligibility in 2001. Windes had a stellar career for the Bears, earning All-America honors from 2005-07.