U.S. Olympic water polo team beats Russia in game at Cathedral Catholic High School

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Maddie Musselman scored on six of her seven shots, helping the U.S. Olympic women’s water polo team to a 16-5 victory over Russia Thursday at Cathedral Catholic High School

The U.S. never trailed, leading 4-1 at the end of the first period, with Musselman scoring twice. Musselman, who graduated from Corona del Mar High School last month, scored twice more in the second period, helping the U.S. to a 7-3 lead.

Musselman was among five players scoring in the third period, increasing the U.S. lead to 12-4. Melissa Seidemann scored twice in the fourth period and Musselman and Makenzie Fischer once each.

Goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson made eight saves as the U.S. improved to 29-2 for the year.

Courtney Mathewson scored three times, Maggie Steffens scored twice and Kami Craig and Kaleigh Gilchrist once each. Mathewson, Steffens Craig and Seidemann were members of the 2012 gold medal-winning team.

Musselman scored on each of her first three shots. Her fourth shot went wide and she scored on each of her final three shots.

The match was played at Cathedral Catholic High School because its boys’ water polo coach, Brett Ormsby, a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic men’s water polo team, volunteered to host a match in the area, a USA Water Polo official said.

The match was the first of a three-match series between the teams. They will play again Sunday at UCLA and Wednesday at Stanford in the last match for the U.S. before the Olympic Games.

The U.S. will begin play in the Olympics on Aug. 9 against Spain on the fourth anniversary of its 8-5 victory over Spain to win the gold medal at the London Olympics.

The U.S. is first in the rankings compiled by FINA, the international governing body for aquatics. It has won every major tournament since 2014, including the FINA World Championship, FINA World Cup, Pan American Games title and three FINA World League Super Final titles.

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