Aug. 2, 2009
2009 FINA World Championships on usawaterpolo.org
ROME, Italy - It took an extra day to be made official, but the USA Women's National Team's 7-6 victory over Canada at the 2009 FINA World Championships was upheld by FINA officials Saturday, giving the U.S. a record third world championship and second in a row. Stanford alumnae Brenda Villa '03, Alison Gregorka '07 and Jessica Steffens '10 all played key roles in helping bring the world title to the U.S. side.
Villa scored five goals for the U.S. over its 6-1 run in the tournament. The Commerce, Calif. native added a goal in the title game victory over Canada, and earned her third world championship with the U.S., alongside teammate Heather Petri.
Gregorka led the three Cardinal alumnae with eight goals in the tournament, including a hat trick against Greece that helped the U.S. bounce back from its only defeat of the event, an 11-10 decision against Russia. The world championship gold was the second for Gregorka in her Senior National Team career.
Also getting in on the scoring was Steffens, who will enter her senior season on The Farm in 2009-10. Steffens scored four goals in the tournament, including one in a 9-6 quarterfinal victory over Spain, to earn her first Senior National Team world championship gold medal.
After defeating Canada by a goal in the title game, the U.S. celebration was temporarily put on hold after the Canadians filed a postgame protest regarding a game misconduct in the second period.
The Canadian side claimed that it should have received a 6-on-5 advantage following the misconduct called on Elsie Windes with 27 seconds left in the half. But FINA officials ruled that the referees correctly kept the sides at even strength following the penalty, and the U.S. could finally celebrate its victory.