Smit’s goal gave the Dutch a 1-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, before Fattal and 17-year-old Maddie Musselman responded with goals for the U.S. and Lieke Klaassen of the Netherlands tied up the game for halftime.
”This is a new team and it was my dream to step up,” Johnson said. She made a mistake when allowing Miloushka Smit’s opening goal for the Netherlands in the first quarter, and said the desire ”to fix what I did wrong” fired her up for big saves later, including on a penalty shot.
”Our defense was nailed and it led to our offense,” Fattal said. ”We have an amazing goalie behind us, you can trust her completely. … It’s so much fun to play like that.”
With two goals from tournament MVP Rachel Fattal and a dominant goalkeeping performance from Ashleigh Johnson, who stopped 12 of 16 shots with lightning reactions, the win puts the U.S. in a strong position as it prepares to try to retain its Olympic title next year.
KAZAN, Russia (AP) — The United States women’s water polo team won the world championship title Friday for the first time since 2009, beating the Netherlands 5-4 in the gold medal game.