The semi rounds are of special significance for Team USA as they once again face Hungary who defeated them in the gold medal match at the 2005 World Championships in Montreal, Canada. With their advancement to this year's semi-finals, Team USA adds another medal round finish to their rich competition history, surpassing all other women's national teams with a staggering eight consecutive appearances since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Out of those eight performances, the USA Women have medaled in five of those events taking gold at the 2003 World Championships, silver in the 2000 Olympic Games, 2002 World Cup, and 2005 World Championship and bronze in the 2004 Olympic Games.
With their new coach, Gabor Godova, two-time World Champions (1994 and 2005) Hungary will be looking to defend their world title this year in their rematch against Team USA. The Hungarians are led by captain Mercedes Stieber and their leading goalscorers Aniko Pelle and Agnes Primasz.
Guy Baker, who has led the U.S. Women’s program to two Olympic medals and the 2003 World Championship title, will again lead the team with the help of assistant coaches and Kyle Kopp, Heather Moody and Bernice Orwig.
This year Baker has put together a strong team with depth and unity unlike any other. Veteran players like two-time Olympians Brenda Villa, Heather Petri and Ericka Lorenz along with 2004 Olympian Natalie Golda have been working hard with newer stand-out athletes such as Lauren Wenger, Kami Craig and Betsey Armstrong to create a dynamic force that will pose a threat at both ends of the pool.
About USA Water Polo: USA Water Polo, Inc. is a non-profit corporation organized for the purpose to serve as the national governing body for the sport of water polo in the United States under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). For more information please visit www.usawaterpolo.com.