USA Looks to Grab Double Gold in Water Polo at Pan American Games

Courtesy: USA Water Polo

USA Men 17 Argentina 1

LIMA, Peru – The USA Men’s National Team will play for gold at the 2019 Pan American Games after defeating Argentina 17-1 in the semifinals. Johnny Hooper (Los Angeles, CA/California/LA Premier) scored a game-high seven goals while Alex Wolf (Huntington Beach, CA/UCLA/Bruin) piled up 13 saves including one penalty shot block.

Team USA now advances to the gold medal game where they will meet Canada on Saturday at 7:30pm central time/5:30pm pt with the winner earning a berth to the 2020 Olympic Games. For more on the Pan American Games including schedules and results, click here.

Team USA wasted little time getting in the scoring column as Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/NYAC) connected on a penalty shot just 21 seconds into the match for a 1-0 lead. Hooper would follow with his first two goals of the night and Hannes Daube (Long Beach, CA/USC/North Irvine WPC) would finish off the quarter for a 4-0 advantage after one. Hooper continue to fill it up as he opened the second quarter with two straight goals for a 6-0 lead with 5:33 to play. Ben Hallock (Westlake Village, CA/Stanford/LA Premier) and Luca Cupido (Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy/California/Olympic Club) followed with goals just about a minute apart and it was an 8-0 score going to halftime.

Argentina got on the board in the third quarter with their lone goal of the match but Team USA controlled the rest of the game adding on six more goals in the quarter. The period started a lot like the second did for Team USA with Hooper scoring the first two goals to go up 10-0 after Wolf turned away an Argentina penalty attempt. Argentina scored with 2:58 to play in the quarter to make it 12-1 in favor of Team USA. The United States answered with two more goals to close out the period coming from Hooper and Bowen to lead 14-1 going to the fourth.

The scoring settled down in the fourth as the United States outscored Argentina by a margin of 3-0. In the first four minutes of the quarters, Team USA saw Cupido, Daube and Bowen all connect for goals for a 17-1 lead. That would hold up the rest of the way as the United States advanced to the finals. Team USA went 7/11 on power plays and 2/3 on penalties while Argentina went 1/6 on power plays and 0/1 on penalties.

Team USA met Canada earlier at the Pan American Games winning a 13-11 match in group play.

Scoring – Stats
USA 17 (4, 4, 6, 3) J. Hooper 7, L. Cupido 3, A. Bowen 3, H. Daube 2, A. Obert 1, B. Hallock 1
ARG 1 (0, 0, 1, 0) C. Camnasio 1
Saves – USA – A. Wolf 13 – ARG – D. Malnero 5
6×5 – USA – 7/11 – ARG – 1/6
Penalties – USA – 2/3 – ARG – 0/1

USA Women 31 Cuba 7

The USA Women’s National Team will play for gold at the 2019 Pan American Games after defeating Cuba 31-7 in semifinal action. Aria Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) led the way with a game-high seven goals while Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, FL/Princeton/NYAC) recorded six saves in net.

Team USA goes for their fifth straight Pan Am Games title on Saturday when they meet Canada at 12:30pm central/10:30am pacific. Follow @USAWP on Twitter for live updates of the match. For more on the Pan American Games including schedules and results, click here.

The match was close early as Maddie Musselman (Newport Beach, CA/UCLA/CdM Aquatics) opened the scoring with a goal only to see Cuba tie the game moments later. Musselman went right back to work scoring again and the United States grabbed a 2-1 advantage. From there the flood gates began to open as the United States delivered eight more goals in the quarter. Maggie Steffens (Danville, CA/Stanford/NYAC) and Makenzie Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Stanford/SET) followed with goals for a 4-1 lead. After Cuba cut the deficit to 4-2, Team USA answered with five more goals capped by Johnson beating the buzzer of the first with a full-court goal that bobbed into the cage for a 9-2 lead.

Team USA and Cuba traded goals to start the second quarter and then the United States went in front 13-3 on goals from Jamie Neushul (Isla Vista, CA/Stanford/NYAC), Stephania Haralabidis (Athens, Greece/USC/NYAC) and Musselman. Cuba scored two of the next three goals cutting the deficit to 14-5 at halftime. In the third quarter the United States put the match away outscoring Cuba 11-0. It was a quarter of individual runs as Aria Fischer started the quarter with three straight goals for a 17-5 lead. After sister Makenzie scored to make it 18-5, Rachel Fattal (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/SOCAL) scored two in a row for a 20-5 lead. Then Haralabidis scored two straight for a 22-5 lead followed by Makenzie Fischer adding three straight to close the quarter with Team USA leading 25-5.

In the fourth the United States scored six more goals as Aria Fischer finished off the game delivering three straight scores en route to the 31-7 win. Team USA went 6/9 on power plays with no penalties attempted while Cuba went 1/2 on power plays and 1/1 on penalty shots.

Scoring – Stats
USA 31 (9, 5, 11, 6) A. Fischer 7, M. Fischer 5, M. Musselman 4, S. Haralabidis 4, R. Fattal 3, M. Steffens 2, J. Neushul 2, A. Willilams 2, M. Seidemann 1, A. Johnson 1
CUB 7 (2, 3, 0, 2) M. Chavez Pena 3, M. Bernal Villa 2, A. Gonzaelz Sanchez 1, D. Carrasco Leyva 1
Saves – USA – A. Johnson 6 – CUB – M. Zunzunegui Morgan 8
6×5 – USA – 6/9 – CUB 1/2
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – CUB 1/1

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