U.S. Women Lose Water Polo Gold to Netherlands

John HoumesSenior Analyst IAugust 22, 2008

With 26 seconds left in the match and her team tied at eight with the United States, the Netherlands' Danielle de Bruijn scored her seventh goal in the gold medal match. The last two U.S. shots were blocked in the final seconds, clinching the Netherlands' victory.

The Dutch scored four goals in the first four minutes of the match, three of them coming from de Bruijn. The U.S. answered, scoring five out of the next six goals to tie things up at halftime. Four of those U.S. goals came off of power plays.

In the second half, the Netherlands scored two, followed by two from the U.S.

The Dutch scored on a power play with 5:47 left in the fourth period, but the U.S. answered 30 seconds later to tie things up again.

With less than a minute left, the Dutch drew an exclusion foul and went into a power play situation up one player on the U.S.

The Dutch placed the ball in the hands of de Bruijn, who shot past U.S. goalie Betsy Armstrong and into the back of the net.

The Olympic gold medal continues to elude the world champion U.S. women's team. Captain Brenda Villa tried to remain optimistic after the match:

"...we've received three medals at three Olympics…it's a disappointment…but we have to be happy that we've got a silver medal."

U.S. archrivals Australia won the bronze medal over Hungary in a penalty shoot-out. The teams remained tied after the second over-time period. Australia missed their first and second penalty shots, but netted the next three to better the Hungarians two.