December 9, 2012
Italy (men) and Greece (women) crowned World Youth Champions in Perth (AUS)
4. USA; 5. CANADA; 6. NEW ZEALAND; 7. AUSTRALIA; 8. BRAZIL; 9. ITALY; 10. CZECH REPUBLIC; 11. SOUTH AFRICA; 12. UZBEKISTAN; 13. INDONESIA; 14. ZIMBABWE; 15. INDIA
4. CROATIA; 5. GREECE; 6. ROMANIA; 7. AUSTRALIA; 8. USA; 9. BRAZIL; 10. NEW ZEALAND; 11. CANADA; 12. IRAN; 13. UZBEKISTAN; 14. EGYPT; 15. COLOMBIA; 16. KAZAKHSTAN; 17. SOUTH AFRICA; 18. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO; 19. PERU
USA Women Earn Fourth Place At FINA Youth World Championships Following Loss To Russia
Perth, Australia - December 9 - A resurgent Russia fought back from three goals down half way through the third term to defeat the United States of America 13-12 in their bronze medal playoff on Day 9 at Challenge Stadium, Perth.
The game was played at a ferocious speed with both teams scoring the majority of their goals in action play.
Elvina Karimova and Natalia Perfilyeva were the stars for Russia, while both US centre forwards – Mackenzie Barr and Devin Grab – were dominant.
Karimova said it was “wonderful” to win the match and said it was a fantastic feeling to share the bronze medal with all her teammates.
“The game was very hard for us to play today,” Karimova said.
“I am the captain. I have to play hard and put in goals but behind me is a strong team. All the girls did their best during the game. We played like a team.”
The two nations exchanged early goals with the pace picking up with each possession. Russia landed the first through the tournament’s leading scorer Karimova, before Grab powered home two at centre forward.
The USA employed a strong defensive press in the early stages, terrorising the Russian attack while also causing headaches for their defence.
Barr and Stephanie Mutafyan each found the back of the net to cancel out scores from Alina Tuchina, Nadezhda Yarondaykina and Karimova; 4-4 at quarter time.
The defensive pressure eventually dropped off in the second and goals started to flow.
The USA was unable to contain the shooting prowess of Karimova – 38 goals for the tournament – and Natalia Perfilyeva – 24 goals for the tournament – while the Americans continued to work the two metres with Barr, Melissa Bergesen, Makenzie Fischer and Emily Loughlin all capitalising.
Russia scored early in the third to level at 8-8, before the Americans opened a two goal advantage through a third centre forward strike to Barr and a first to Alys Williams.
Bergesen then converted from within five metres on the right hand post to increase the lead to three.
Not for the first time Russia was able to rebound with two goals to Karimova and Perfilyeva to restore the one goal half time deficit.
The final term was played at an even quicker pace with both teams racing up and down the pool. Karimova and Perfilyeva continued to carry the burden of their team’s attacking options, while the USA’s focus was again centred on a quick break and strong 2m offence.
That strategy ultimately failed with 1:10 remaining as Daria Ryzhkova and Perfilyeva pressurised the ball carrier eventual stealing possession – only for Perfilyeva to flick the ball to her partner in crime allowing Ryzhkova to slot home for 13-12.
The Americans had one last chance to power home an equaliser – and after coach Kyle Kopp called a timeout with 14 seconds remaining – the USA had a chance, but their attempt was deflected wide leaving the Russians to celebrate in delight.
A dejected Barr said her team had given their all, but unfortunately fell short as Russia proved too strong
“I feel bummed, but we definitely learned a lot. This is our first big tournament, we put a lot of time into training and preparing for this. Of course we’re disappointed, but we were neck and neck the whole time, and Russia was able to capitalise on our mistakes,” Barr said.
“We came to win, but you can always learn from these games. We’ve had a taste at the medal and this is just going to give us more drive. I now know what it feels like to come this close and not get the medal, so next time I want to do everything in my power to get the medal.”