Courtesy: USA Water Polo
BUDAPEST, Hungary – A day after toppling World Champion Croatia to finish group play undefeated at the FINA World League Super Final, the USA Men’s National Team saw their medal hopes come to an abrupt end following a 11-10 loss to Japan in quarterfinal play.
Ben Hallock (Westlake Village, CA/Stanford/LA Premier) led the way with four goals while McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/NYAC) and Alex Wolf (Huntington Beach, CA/UCLA/Bruin) combined for 11 saves in net.
Team USA will now meet Croatia once more, this time in the 5th-8th place semifinals at 9:15am et/6:15am pt. The match will stream LIVE on FINA TV, click here to watch (subscription required). Click here to watch a replay of the USA-Japan match. For more information on the FINA World League Super Final, click here.
After losing all three games in group play Japan came out strong grabbing a 2-0 lead over Team USA in the first. The United States battled back with three straight scores to take a 3-2 lead into the second quarter. In the second Japan outscored Team USA 4-3 to leave the match tied at 6-6 at halftime. The back and forth match continued into the third quarter where Japan took an 8-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
Late in the fourth Japan went ahead 10-8 and Team USA had one last rally. Hallock and Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/NYAC) delivered goals to tie the match at 10. Japan had one last push as Adachi Seya scored the winning goal with less than two minutes to play. Team USA went 3/11 on power plays and 1/1 on penalties while Japan was 4/16 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty.
USA – 10 (3, 3, 1, 3) B. Hallock 4, L. Cupido 2, J. Hooper 1, A. Obert 1, A. Roelse 1, M. Irving 1
JPN – 11 (2, 4, 2, 3) Arai 2, Inaba 2, Okawa 2, Adachi 2, Shiga 1, Koppu 1, Araki 1
Saves – USA – M. Baron 9, A. Wolf 2 – JPN – Tanamura 11
6×5 – USA – 3/11 – JPN – 4/16
Penalties – USA – 1-1 – JPN 0-0