Courtesy: USA Water Polo
Budapest, Hungary – The USA Men’s National Team got off a strong start at the FINA World League Super Final with an 8-6 win over Spain.
Ben Hallock (Westlake Village, CA/Stanford/LA Premier) scored two goals in the win and was named match MVP. Luca Cupido (Santa Margherita, Italy/California/Olympic Club) and Hannes Daube (Long Beach, CA/Orange Lutheran HS/North Irvine WPC) scored two goals each as well. McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/NYAC) added five saves in net. Team USA will take on Kazakhstan on Tuesday at 1:45pm et/10:45am pt. The match will stream LIVE on FINA TV, click here to watch (subscription required).
Spain started off strong building a 3-2 lead after the first quarter. They would go ahead 4-2 in the second before running into a drought that would last more than 12 minutes. During that the time Team USA took advantage, going from down 4-2 to ahead 6-4 in the third quarter. Spain eventually broke through with a tally, trailing 6-5 after three.
With 5:36 to play in the fourth it was Alex Bowen (Santana, CA/Stanford/NYAC) firing a shot from the perimeter for a 7-5 lead. Spain battled back with a score to make it 7-6, but with less than two minutes to play Hallock took a pass at two meters and delivered a quick shot for a score and an 8-6 lead. The Team USA defense held the rest of the way and Spain would get no closer.
Team USA went 2/5 on power plays and 1/1 on penalties while Spain was 1/8 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty.
USA – 8 (2, 3, 1, 2) B. Hallock 2, L. Cupido 2, H. Daube 2, A. Bowen 1, J. Hooper 1
ESP – 6 (3, 1, 1, 1) B. Mallarach 4, A. Munarriz 2
Saves – USA – M. Baron 5 – ESP – D. Lopez 10
6×5 – USA 2/5 – ESP – 1/8
Penalties – USA – 1/1 – ESP – 0/0