LONDON -- Maggie Steffens, a Danville resident who attends Stanford, made a dazzlingly Olympic debut Monday as she scored seven goals to lead Team USA to a 14-13 victory over Hungary in a women's water polo preliminary-round game.
"She's a stud. I mean, come on, seven goals?" said U.S. captain Brenda Villa, another Stanford product. "She's a youngster, but you could never tell in the water. She plays like she's been playing at this level for a long time."
Steffens also added an assist. UCLA product Courtney Mathewson, another player making her Olympic debut, chipped in four goals -- including two late in the fourth quarter, to give the U.S. the cushion it would need against Hungary.
There are seven women from the Bay Area on Team USA. Villa and Cal grad Heather Petri are competing in their fourth Games, leading a veteran team that has seven players back from a Beijing squad that four years ago won a silver medal. But the team is one of the favorites to win its first-ever gold in London, and it looks like youth might lead them.
At 19, Steffens is the youngest member of the team.
And her seven goals -- six of which came in the first half -- caused jaws to drop at the packed water polo arena as she put on a display of sizzling outside shooting
"Surprised? No," older sister and teammate Jessica Steffens said. "She has so much potential in her and I think she's been waiting to bust out of her skin. Was I happy?
The win puts the U.S. even with Spain at the top of Group A.