Six weeks ago, Laguna Beach High and U.S. youth women's water polo national team coach Ethan Damato called Newport Harbor High incoming senior Carlee Kapana the best youth goalie in the country.
After Kapana's performance at the FINA Youth World Championships, maybe it's time to change that to the world.
Kapana was named the top goalkeeper as Team USA's youth national team won the gold medal over rival Canada, 5-4, on Sunday in Madrid, Spain.
Incoming Corona del Mar High junior Maddie Musselman and Mater Dei High graduate Brianna Daboub, a Newport Beach resident bound for USC, also contributed for the Americans. The trio helped Team USA win its first Youth Worlds title in history. Greece won the initial tournament in 2012.
Kapana stopped the last Canada shot from the outside in the closing seconds, as Team USA clinched the gold. Aria Fischer of Laguna Beach scored four goals for Team USA, with her older sister, Makenzie, scoring the other.
Team USA went undefeated in the tournament and never trailed the gold-medal match.
The title wraps up a productive summer for all three of the locals. Kapana and Daboub helped the U.S. win the UANA Junior Pan American Championships, while Musselman helped the senior national team capture the Kirishi Cup in Russia.
— Matt Szabo