Estes' three goals lead USA

Updated: August 27, 2004, 7:10 AM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- The United States won the bronze medal in women's water polo, edging defending champion Australia 6-5 on Thursday.

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

Italy, on a lob goal in the waning minutes of the second overtime won the gold medal, beating Greece 10-9.

After beating the United States with two seconds left to get to the final, Italy kept up its heroics against the Greeks by rallying from two goals down in the extra periods to seal the victory.

Australia won the women's water polo gold medal in Sydney by edging the Americans 4-3.

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 5:30 left.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press