LOS ALAMITOS — Goalie Tumua Anae, a former Corona del Mar High standout, recorded six saves to help the U.S. women's water polo team defeat Canada, 11-7, in the Americans' first match since winning gold at the 2012 Olympics, during the first day of the FINA World League Prelims.
Melissa Seidemann scored three goals to lead a balanced offensive attack, while Anae went the distance in net. Team USA is back in action Saturday against Brazil at 3 p.m. in a match that will be webcast live.
The two teams went back and forth in the first half with the United States scoring first on an inside score from Kami Craig about a minute into the first period. Canada, led by a familiar face in former longtime USA Coach Guy Baker, scored the next two goals for a 2-1 lead. Seidemann and Lolo Silver scored the next two to grab the lead back at 3-2 with 4:19 to play. With less than two minutes to play Canada scored two straight and took a 4-3 lead into the second period.
Canada took their largest lead of the game going up 5-3 on a counterattack goal with 4:22 left in the first half. The United States responded by kickstarting a six-goal run that lasted into the fourth period. Annika Dries and Kiley Neushul closed out the half with goals to even the match at 5-5.
In the third period, the United States took over. After Kelly Rulon scored on a penalty shot, the USA defense killed off a six-on-four advantage for Canada to preserve a 6-5 lead. That was followed by a Seidemann power play goal, a Maggie Steffens tally, and another power play goal from Seidemann for a 9-5 lead with 6:30 left in the fourth.
Canada stopped the bleeding with a power-play goal of their own but Silver and Steffens answered with goals to put the match away, grabbing an 11-6 lead with a little over three minutes left. Team USA would go on for the victory 11-7.
In other FINA World League Prelim action, the Canada women topped Brazil, 17-4, and the Brazil men topped Canada, 11-1.
FINA World League Prelims
USA 11, Canada 7
USA 11 (3, 2, 3, 3) M. Seidemann 3, L. Silver 2, M. Steffens 2, K. Neushul 1, K. Rulon 1, A. Dries 1, K. Craig 1
CAN 7 (4, 1, 0, 2) M. Eggens 2, K. Alogbo 1, E. Wright 1, D. Perreault 1, S. Vallin 1, M. Radu 1
Saves - USA T. Anae 6 - CAN - M. Relton 4
6x5 - USA - 4/7 - CAN - 4/9
Penalties - USA 2/2 - CAN 0/0