July 31, 2009

USA women grab world water polo gold

Kelly Rulon hit a penalty shot with 3:42 left Friday to give the United States a 7-6 win over Canada in the title game of the World Water Polo Championships.

The Americans won the gold medal for the third time, having defeated Italy in the 2003 finals and Australia in 2007.

Women's water polo has been contested three times at the Olympics and the United States has had to settle for two silver medals in those competitions.

The United States scored four times in the second period Friday to take a 5-4 halftime lead and the game turned into a defensive struggle during the final two quarters. Rulon's winning goal came just 16 seconds after Emily Csikos had tied the game for Canada on a penalty shot.

Russia, which handed the United States its only loss of the tournament during group play, captured the bronze medal with a 10-9 win over Greece.

The U.S. men will play for the bronze medal Saturday against Croatia. Spain and Serbia will meet for the gold.