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American Women Win Bronze in Water Polo

Friday, August 27, 2004; Page D15

The United States won the bronze medal, edging defending champion Australia, 6-5.

Ellen Estes scored three goals, including the tiebreaker in the final period after Australia rallied from a four-goal deficit.

Heather Moody of the United States fights Australia's Naomi Castle for the ball during their women's water polo bronze medal game. (Laszlo Balogh - Reuters)

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The United States scored four goals in the second period and took a 4-0 lead into halftime. Natalie Golda opened the scoring, converting on a 6-on-5 advantage. Estes, Robin Beauregard and Amber Stachowski scored within two minutes for the 4-0 lead.

Estes scored again in the third period, but Australia closed the gap to 5-3 on a shot by Elise Norwood and goals from Kate Gynther and Belinda Brooks.

Joanne Fox scored 32 seconds into the final quarter, and Brooks made a long shot to tie it with 5 minutes 30 seconds left.

In the gold medal game, Melania Grego's lob goal in the waning minutes of the second overtime gave Italy a 10-9 come-from-behind victory over Greece.

With the game tied at 7 at the end of regulation, Greece sent the home crowd of 12,000 into delirium with a goal by Kyriaki Liosi 28 seconds into the first overtime. Aikaterini Oikonomopoulou added another to give the Greeks a 9-7 cushion. But Grego cut the margin to a goal and Tania di Mario pulled Italy level at 9-9 with nine seconds left in the first extra period.

Grego's third goal was the clincher, breaking the 9-9 tie with a lob shot with 2:04 remaining in the second period of extra time.

-- From News Services

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