The first quarter was all Team USA as it jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) started off with a score and then Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/Stanford) ripped the net from deep for an early lead.
The Netherlands got on the board with a power play strike with 3:58 to go in the period to trail 2-1. Team USA had an answer with two straight goals to close out the period. KK Clark (Menlo Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) hit on a power play and then Alys Williams (Huntington Beach, CA/UCLA/HBWPC) buried a shot with just :12 left in the period for a 4-1 advantage.
The Netherlands came back strong in second period. The Dutch scored three of the first four goals in the period, sandwiching their efforts around another Clark goal to get within 5-4 with 4:25 to go in the half. Williams added her second of the day and Seidemann scored less than a minute later to rebuild a three goal lead at 7-4 with 2:06 to play. The Netherlands had the last word in half scoring with :18 left to trail 7-5 at halftime.
Seidemann kept it rolling in the third, scoring the first goal of the period less than thirty seconds in for an 8-5 lead. The Netherlands picked up some momentum halting a penalty shot try and then following up with a goal to draw to within 8-6. Jillian Kraus (Santa Ana, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) answered on the next USA possession with a power play strike for a 9-6 lead. The Netherlands scored two of the next three to close out the period and kept things close trailing 10-8 going to the fourth.
Much like the third period, Seidemann started off the fourth with a goal. The Netherlands answered with a goal on their next possession but would get no closer. Fattal connected for a power play goal with 2:37 left in the match and the United States went ahead 12-9. They would take the match by the same score and move to 1-0 in Holiday Cup play.
Team USA went 4/6 on power plays and 0/1 on penalty shots while the Netherlands went 6/8 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty tries.
In earlier Holiday Cup action Russia defeated Canada 15-12 and Greece edged Australia 8-6. Full tournament information including results and scoresheets can be accessed by clicking here.
Scoring - Scoresheet
USA 12 (4, 3, 3, 2) M. Seidemann 4, A. Williams 2, R. Fattal 2, K. Clark 1, J. Kraus 1, P. Orozco 1.
NED 9 (1, 4, 3, 1)
Saves - USA - B. Armstrong 10
6x5 - USA - 4/6 - NED - 6/8
Penalties - USA - 0/1 - NED 1/1
<p><i>Story courtesy of USA Water Polo</i>