While the U.S. women's national soccer team was securing one of the biggest team-sports wins of the 2012 Summer Olympics on Thursday, another team of American women -- the U.S. women's water polo squad -- earned the nation's first gold medal in the pool in their event.
The U.S. topped Spain, 8-5, in the gold medal match on Thursday, scoring four goals in a four-minute stretch in the second quarter to go up for good. They held Spain to just five scores on 28 shots.
Maggie Steffens, only 19 years old, scored five goals on five shots and added an assist to lead the U.S. to its first gold, and third medal overall, in women's water polo. The U.S. women missed the medal stand when the sport made its Olympic debut in Sydney in 2000; in the three competitions since, the program has gone from bronze in Athens to silver in Beijing to gold in London.
The only other gold medal for the U.S. in water polo came from the men's team -- in 1904, when only American teams competed in the event.
In the bronze medal match, Australia topped Hungary, 13-11.