We had a quick video review this morning of our practice game against Australia as well as South Africa. After that we were ready to head to the pool and play our best.
At the pool we did our dry land warm up and an apnea exercise to warm up our body, lungs and minds. We headed to the locker room with some sweet jams and suited up. We were the first team on the pool deck and were able to comfortably organize our gear before heading to the warm up area.
Once allowed, we jumped in the pool to get started on our water warm up. Luckily, during the warm up days we practiced our technique to warming up in only one lane. It was a bit tight, but we are now a well oiled machine. Only one minor fin/mask collision!
Practice days prepared us well for what was coming. We breezed through gear check, and then did our standard "Team USA" cheer. We were in the zone. We went out strong driving it directly into the the offensive corner. Shortly after we had our first goal! This was a penalty goal which is due to Elsa shooting a huge flick into the opponent's hand. We held our ground for quite some time, but had minor breakdown that Australia took advantage of and went blazing to our goal. We managed to re-group and had a great group effort starting with a nice drive from BAM (Beth Ann) up mid pool with a pass to Ianna with a sweet under the body move to ever present Tyera. With speed and grace, Tyera picked up the puck and and slid it easily into the goal.
We ended the first half up 2-1. Spirits were high at half time and we got a well earned break before diving right into the next half. The battle was furious ping ponging up and down the wall and occasionally across the pool. Kim got a 2 minute penalty for some reason, we are still not sure after reviewing the video! After the Aussie advantage puck, they took advantage of our missing player and swarmed the goal, alas they put the puck in the goal and tied the game.
With our fans now sitting on the edge of their seat, they managed to break it off the wall and sneak through our last line of defense and score another goal. With the score now 3-2 in favor of Australia, things were looking dire. We only had 2:20 left on the clock. We knew we had to get it together. Coming out of the strike we pushed hard and pushed it onto the wall and down into their corner. Along the way, with one minute left on the game clock, one of the Aussies got kicked out for the remainder of the game. We fought ferociously in the corner until we could finally break it off to the side to Elsa, where she drove it across the goal and did a fast curl to pass it under the fins of the Aussies, straight to BAM who slammed it in the goal, tying the score. With only 30 seconds left, we took the next strike and held it on the wall until the clock ran out.
We finished tied 3-3, and were relieved. We circled up and cheered for a hard fought game, and thanked the players for the good match.
Overall our forwards did an amazing job shutting down the Aussie swings. The back line put up a solid defense and had some heroic drives up the wall. It was a great game, we are looking forward to facing off with New Zealand tomorrow!
We play in black suits tomorrow morning at 7:40 am. This is game number 33 in pool number 1.
Here is the link to the live stream of our game: