The Stingers have come from being three points down at half time to secure their second win in the premilinaries of the Women’s Water Polo. For all your Tokyo 2020 coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.
The Stingers keep up pace in quarter one
The Netherlands gained an early 1-0 lead with a reverse shot by Iris Wolves and showed early signs of a dominant performance to unfold.
With the Netherlands down a player, Hannah Buckling slotted the ball between three Dutch defenders to level the scores 1-1.
At this stage, the Stingers looked as though they could keep up with the energy of the Dutch, but they failed to carry the intensity during the first half.
Another goal was snuck in past Gabriella Palm who was unable to stop the ball in time, it heading into the net and giving the Dutch a 3-1 lead.
Abby Andrews, the left hander, curled the ball past the defenders to tighten the Netherlands lead 3-2.
Andrews levelled the scores 3-3 for the Stingers, gaining impressive height to find her team’s third goal and kept the levels scored going into the first break.
The Netherlands dominant
The Netherlands capitalised on Australia being a player down, and opened the scoring for the second quarter, 4-3.
Catharina van der Sloot slotted her second goal through a penalty and shortly after, Australia left Nomi Stomphorst without an opponent due to an exclusion, and forcefully found their sixth goal.
Australia struggled to keep up with the powerful Dutch bodies, doing their best to try and shut the attack down.
Palm felt the most pressure of the Dutch conceding eight of 10 goals going into half time.
Maud Megens secured her first goal through another penalty, her whole body in the shot to find the left corner of the next and extending the Dutch’s lead 7-3.
A goal by Zoe Arancini provided some relief for Australia bringing their deficit to 7-4, for the Dutch to again moments later double their lead.
Kitty-Lynn Joustra like her teammates used a powerful throw to find the corner left of the net.
In the final moments of the second quarter, Australia fought hard to find one more goal, and Buckling scored her double to go into the break 8-5.
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Stingers begin their fightback
Australia gained the first chance to attack in the third and looked optimistic to regain some control of the game, but a turnover gave the Netherlands their chance to take their early opportunity to score.
With the shot clock counting down, Palm was in the right place at the right time, defending well to stop the Dutch opening scoring in the third.
The Dutch were handed an exclusion and Australia needed to capitalise on the opportunity.
A perfectly timed pass to Hannah Buckling had her scoring a hat-trick and narrowing the Netherland’s lead 8-6.
From a decent distance, Andrews joined Buckling in scoring a hat-trick, beginning Australia’s hopeful comeback.
The Australian’s looked fiery in the third, playing a similar defensive game as the Dutch did in the first half.
Amy Ridge levelled the scored for Australia 8-8, placing the pressure on the Dutch.
Lena Mihailovic regained the lead for the Netherlands, for Bronwen Knox only to level the scores again.
With three fouls conceded, Vivian Sevenich, one of the Netherlands key attackers, was taken out of the match and severely disadvantaging her side.
Stingers’ captain Rowie Webster kept her side’s hopes alive, scoring a crucial goal, and rounding off the best quarter by the Australians.
They went into the fourth quarter holding a 10-all draw with the Netherlands.
Australia amazes with the win
Opening the fourth quarter again was a goal by the Netherlands, but Webster levelled again the match 11-11.
For the first time of the match, Australia found the lead through Arancini; and the Stingers looked like for the first time they could take control of the remainder of the match.
Ridge received her third foul of the game, heading to the bench for the rest of the game.
Her departure didn’t shake up the Aussie’s, with Webster once again leading her team and extending the lead 13-11.
Palm continued to best tested in the goal with the Netherlands desperate to score, however a complete 180 in performance by the goalkeeper saw her defensive work keep Australia in the lead.
Australia trying to use up time, held possession of the ball slightly longer than usual and with that, scored the final goal of the game to extend their lead 15-12 and to claim victory.
The win now takes the women two from two in the preliminary matches, and will face Spain next on Friday.
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