Game 1 – USA 13, Brazil 3
When Makenzie Fischer threw in a goal from the center of the pool on an extra player shot in the third quarter, Fischer, the player with the No. 9 cap, became the ninth different player for the U.S. to score a goal as they jumped out to a 9-0 lead over Brazil.
Not only was the American team dominant all game against host Brazil, but every player got involved, with nine different players scoring on the way to a 13-3 victory to move on to the semifinals of the Rio Games.
Fischer finished with two goals, one of four Americans to come away with a pair of scores in the game. Captain Maggie Steffens also scored twice, upping her already Rio leading goals total to 12.
The 10-goal win is the largest margin of victory in a women’s water polo Olympic knock-out round game. The previous largest margin dates back to 2004 when Greece defeated Australia 6-2 in the semifinals. In four Olympic games, the U.S. has upped their goal differential to 30, outscoring opponents 47-17.
The U.S. was firing on all cylinders. The dominance on offense was equally matched by outstanding play on defense. Brazil didn’t score a goal until five minutes remained in the fourth quarter. They shot just 12.5 percent on the night. The U.S. had 12 steals and five blocked shots.
Goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson was a force between the posts. She stopped shots ranging to her left, to her right, even straight up, grabbing high lob shots effortlessly out of the air with one hand. Johnson came away with six saves on six shots – two from the center position and four from beyond five meters.
The loss eliminates Brazil (0-4) from medal contention. The U.S. will now move on to the semifinals where they’ll take on the winner of the game between Australia and Hungary, a game set for 2:30 p.m. ET today.
The U.S. will play in the semifinals on Wednesday, with game time to be announced later today.