AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Paige Hauschild and Ryann Neushul scored three goals each to lead Team USA to a 14-7 win over China on Wednesday at the FINA Youth World Championship.
Hauschild is a senior at San Marcos High and Neushul a junior at Dos Pueblos. DP sophomore Abbi Hill and freshman Jewel Roemer are also on the USA squad.
Needing a big offensive output to win its group, Team USA started slowly, leading 4-2 after the first quarter. The team picked up the pace in the second, taking an 8-2 advantage at halftime.
“We wanted to make a lot of stops on the defensive end and capitalize and score a lot—as much as we could,” said Neushul in a post-game interview.
The United States continued to surge in the second half, grabbing an 11-5 lead at the end of the third quarter. Team USA tacked on three more goals in the fourth.
After two ties in Group C, Team USA and Greece ended group play with equal points and an equal goal difference. The fourth tiebreaker rule, overall goals scored, determined that Greece progressed as top of the group, capturing the bye and a spot in Friday’s quarterfinals. Greece scored 53 goals overall to USA’s 50.
USA will now face Germany and 805 Santa Barbara’s Lara Kostruba (SBHS alum) in Thursday’s play-in round, with the winner going to the Friday quarterfinal. Germany placed third in Group D with a victory over Mexico and losses to Canada and Hungary.
Russia, Netherlands, Greece, and Hungary advanced first out of group play and gained automatic berths in Friday’s semifinals. A Team USA victory against Germany will mean meeting a powerful Russian team in the quarterfinals.
Peter Neushul is reporting from Auckland, New Zealand.