Armstrong & USA Settle for Silver; Knox & Australia Take Bronze at 2008 Olympics
BEIJING, China -- The Collegiate Water Polo Association saw two of its former athletes step down off the Olympic award stand with medals as former University of Michigan goalie and 2008 CWPA Hall of Fame inductee Betsey Armstrong led Team USA to a silver medal in a 9-8 loss to the Netherlands and former Hartwick College standout Bronwen Knox keyed the Australian National Team to a 12-11 shootout victory against Hungry in the Bronze Medal game.
In Australia's 12-11 shootout win, Knox led a comeback bid that saw the Aussies climb out of a 5-2 hole 14:58 into the game. She started the rally with a goal at the 15:15 mark to pull the Australians to within 5-3 before the team chipped away to knot the score at 7-7 31:52 into the contest.
Knox gave Australia its first lead of the day since a 2-0 margin at the 5:13 mark as she pounded home a shot on an exclusion opportunity at the 33:30 mark to put her team ahead 8-7 in the first overtime period.
Hungry responded to tie the game at 8-8 before Australia's Melissa Rippon put her team back in front at 9-8 on an exclusion opportunity with 34:39 gone off the clock.
However, Hungary countered to tie the game in the second OT period as Dora Agnes Kisteleki found the back of the cage on a man-up chance at the 37:43 mark to force a shootout.
Hungry scored first in the shootout, but Knox tied the score at 10-10 for the first of the Aussies three goals outside the rule of the clock for the 12-11 win and the Bronze Medal.
In the gold medal game, Danielle de Bruijn scored seven goals in her final Olympic game, including the game-winner with 26 seconds remaining, as the Netherlands shocked the United States 9-8 in the Gold Medal match.
De Bruijn scored three of the first
four goals of the match, helping stake the Dutch to a 4-0 lead. She
scored two more right after halftime, giving her team a 7-5
advantage, and saved her best for last, scoring twice on power
plays that turned out to be the difference.
The left-hander starred for a team that did not qualify for the 2004 games in Athens, but shocked the international community. The #9 ranked Dutch knocked out defending Olympic gold medalist Italy in the quarterfinals, sent Hungary to the bronze medal game in the semifinals and delivered their biggest upset in the finals against a USA team which entered the Olympics ranked #1 in the world.
Team USA had a chance to tie the game and force overtime, but Elsie Windes missed an outside shot and Brenda Villa couldn't put home the rebound in the waning seconds.
In goal, Armstrong made 14 saves on 23 shots against.
The medal marks the third straight for the Americans as Team USA captured bronze in Athens and silver in Sydney.