Victorian Institute of Sport

Stingers Captain Rowie Webster leads team to Silver

Monday, 01 April 2019

Victorian Institute of Sport’s Rowie Webster led the Australian Women’s Water Polo team to Silver at the FINA World League Inter-Continental Cup.

Facing the world and Olympic champions, USA, the Stingers fought back from a four-goal deficit to force the game to a penalty shootout.

The strong performance gives the Australians confidence heading into the FINA World League finals and the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea, both crucial tournaments in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

After USA scored three first quarter penalty goals, the Stingers combined with good teamwork to get off the mark. Goals were courtesy of Keesja Gofers and Hannah Buckling, and a cross pass from Gofers to Amy Ridge to level the scores 3-3 at the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the USA add a further 5 goals to their overall score, and Australia found themselves facing an uphill 4-8 deficit.

The Stingers clawed back in the third, and courtesy of their strong defence limited the USA to one goal, whilst scoring two of their own.

Gofers opened the scoring in the fourth, bridging the deficit to two goals and a number of influential saves from Gabrielle Palm, gave Australia a chance.

VIS’s Webster was cool under pressure and scored two crucial late goals to level the scores and take the game into penalties.

The penalty shootout went against the Aussies as they finished 12-14 (9-9 at full time)

Webster said there was plenty to take away from the performance, notably Australia’s ability to keep their counterparts to one goal in the second half.

“(At half time) we spoke about staying calm, staying positive, taking every opportunity and really being aggressive in attack. Our defence followed from that and we shut them out and they started to panic a little.

“To match the best in the world for four quarters is a real step forward for us.”

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