Team USA scores in final seconds to beat Australia, 8-7

Rachel Fattal scored on a shot from the perimeter with just eight seconds left to give Team USA an8-7 win over Australia before a standing-room-only crowd at the Elings Aquatic Center at Dos Pueblos High on Friday. The Americans won the three-match series 2-1.

Dos Pueblos graduate Kiley Neushul returned to her home pool and paced the offense with three goals while her high school teammate Sami Hill earned the win in net posting 11 saves. Sami’s sister and DP alum, Kodi Hill, and Santa Barbara High alum Kami Craig played in the match for Team USA.

Team USA got off to a hot start, going up 4-0 with 3:24 left in the first half. Maggie Steffens opened up the scoring with a power-play strike and Neushul followed with three straight to build the advantage. Australia rallied with four straight goals spanning the rest of the second quarter and all of the third to even the match at 4-4 going to the fourth.

Makenzie Fischer and Courtney Mathewson opened the fourth with a goal each to give the United States the lead back at 6-4. Bronwen Knox and Rowie Webster responded for Australia to even the score at 6-6 with 2:29 left. Maddie Musselman countered with a lob shot score for a 7-6 lead with 55 seconds left. Gemma Beadsworth brought the Aussies back with a score with :29 to make it 7-7. That set the stage for Fattal’s heroics in the final moments.

Team USA went 3/12 on power plays while Australia was 4/11 on the player advantage with neither team attempting a penalty shot.

All three games in the series were decided by a final score of 8-7.