USA Men Drop Second Straight Match To Croatia

Los Angeles, CA – December 20 – The USA Men’s National Team dropped their second straight match to Croatia, this time at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatic Center by a final score of 14-9. Bret Bonanni (Huntington Beach, CA/Stanford/Stanford) scored three goals in the win while Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) and McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/Regency) combined for eight saves in net.

Croatia scored the first goal of the match to go up 1-0 but Team USA roared back with three goals coming from Luca Cupido (Newport Beach, CA/California/Newport Beach WPC), Jesse Smith (Coronado, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) and Bonanni for a 3-1 lead with 1:49 left in the period. The high scoring continued in the second period with Croatia outscoring Team USA 4-3 to tie the game at 7-7 at halftime.

Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) scored early in the third to put Team USA ahead by one but that would be as close as the team would get to victory. Croatia proceeded to score the next six goals in the period to open a 13-8 lead. In the fourth Bonanni stopped the run with a goal to make it 13-9 but Croatia had the match in control. They added a goal as time expired to cap the victory at 14-9.

Team USA went 2/10 on power plays and 3/3 on penalty shots while Croatia went 5/12 on power plays and 1/2 on penalty shots.

Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 9 (4, 3, 1, 1) B. Bonanni 3, L. Cupido 2, T. Azevedo 1, N. Vavic 1, N. Carniglia 1, J. Smith 1
CRO 14 (3, 4, 6, 1) A. Petkovic 3, D. Buric 2, M. Jokovic 2, A. Setka 2, S. Sukno 2, P. Muslim 1, B. Pavlovic 1, A. Vukicevic 1
Saves – USA – M. Moses 5, M. Baron 3, CRO – J. Pavic 4, M. Bijac 4
6×5 – USA – 2/10 – CRO – 5/12
Penalties – USA – 3/3 – CRO – 1/2

Swimming news courtesy of USA Water Polo.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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