The United States women’s water polo team — with an assist from a former Fresnan — has its first world championship since 2009 in hand, beating the Netherlands 5-4 for the gold.
Dan Klatt, whose father, Rick, still runs the Fresno Dolphins Swim Team, is an assistant for the U.S.
With two goals from tournament MVP Rachel Fattal and a dominant performance in goal from Ashleigh Johnson, who stopped 12 of 16 shots, the win on Friday puts the U.S. in a strong position as it prepares to try to retain its Olympic title next year.
The Dutch were up 1-0 after the first quarter, but Fattal and 17-year-old Maddie Musselman responded with goals for the U.S.
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Lieke Klaassen of the Netherlands tied it before halftime, but goals by Kiley Neushul and Courtney Mathewson gave the Americans enough to hold on.
Team USA is the first country to hold Olympic, world championship, World Cup and World League crowns at the same time.
Klatt starred at Clovis West and played for UC Irvine, where he has been the women’s coach for the past 11 seasons and won five Big West Coach of the Year awards. He played for the U.S. men’s senior national team that included a seventh-place finish at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Klatt is also the head coach the U.S. Women’s junior national team.
Serbia defeated Olympic champion Croatia 11-4 for the the men’s championship Saturday.