TOKYO — The U.S. women’s water polo team, as dominant a team as any the United States has sent to these Olympics, became the first women’s team in the sport to win three consecutive Olympic gold medals with a 14-5 victory over Spain Saturday afternoon.
The Americans relied on a stifling defense to shut down Spain, led by goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson. Time and again, Johnson, who in 2016 became the first African-American woman to make the U.S. Olympic water polo team, swatted away Spain’s shots on goal.
In the second half, Spain did not score until the final two minutes, after the Americans had cleared their bench and Johnson had been replaced by U.S. reserve goalie Amanda Longan.
The United States is the only nation to win a medal at each Olympics since women’s water polo was added to the Games in 2000 in Sydney.
The Americans didn’t go through the Olympic tournament unscathed, however, losing to Hungary, 10-9, in group play earlier in the tournament for their first loss at the Olympics since 2008.