AP Wire and Star Report
The U.S. women’s water polo team is golden again.
Ashleigh Johnson made nine saves and Kiley Neushul scored three times, helping the United States beat Italy 12-5 in the Olympic final. The Americans stretched their win streak to 22 games with their sixth victory in Rio by a combined score of 73-32. On the team is Santa Ynez Valley native Kami Craig.
The U.S. also won gold in London in 2012. It’s the only two-time winner since the tournament was added to the Games in 2000.
Federica Radicchi scored two goals for Italy, which also won its first five games in Rio.
Russia captured the bronze with a wild 19-18 win over Hungary in penalty shots.
In another Olympics dominated by U.S. women, Maggie Steffens and company shined brightly. The water polo team currently holds each of the major titles in the sport, adding a second Olympic gold to its world championship, World Cup and World League Super Final titles.
Craig grew up in the valley and started her water polo career at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School for two years before transferring to Santa Barbara High and then attended University of Southern California.
In 2008 Craig earned the Silver medal at the Beijing Olympics, and then won the Gold medal during the 2012 London Games.
Craig also won the Peter J. Cutino Award, the most prestigious individual award a collegiate water polo can receive, in 2009 and 2010 and she’s the only female player to win twice.
For more information about the USA Water Polo team log onto usawaterpolo.org.