USA Men Top Italy 11-9 To Finish Group Play at FINA World Championship

Kazan, Russia – July 31 – The USA Men’s Senior National Team capped group play at the FINA World Championship at 2-1 with an 11-9 victory over Italy.

 Nikola Vavic (Palos Verdes, CA/USC/Trojan) scored three goals in the win while McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/Regency) recorded 11 saves in net in the win. Today’s match will air later today on Universal Sports at 8pm et/5pm pt.

Team USA takes second in Group B action and now moves on to meet Brazil on Sunday in the qualification round at 5:30pm local time. The match will stream live on at 10:30am et/7:30am pt.

Italy got off to a hot start in this match scoring with a little over a minute into the game for a 1-0 lead. Vavic responded for Team USA with a score and a 1-1 match. From there Italy pushed ahead with two straight goals from Alex Giorgetti for a 3-1 lead with 4:37 to play in the first. Team USA battled back scoring three of the next four goals to tie the match at 4-4 with just :19 to play in the first period. Bret Bonanni (Huntington Beach, CA/Stanford/Stanford), Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC), and Josh Samuels (Villa Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) all came through in the run to even the score.

With 6:23 to go in the second period the United States took their first lead of the match on a Jackson Kimbell (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/Newport) goal in close on a dish from Azevedo. Italy tied the match moments later on a goal from Pietro Figlioli but Team USA answered with scores from Vavic and Alex Obert (Loomis, CA/Pacific/Sac Polo) to grab a 7-5 lead with 3:08 to play. Two minutes later Italy came back with another score leaving the United States ahead just a goal at 7-6 going into halftime.

Team USA began to pull away in the third as Bonanni and Azevedo scored the first two goals of the period to build a 9-6 lead with 3:20 to go in the period. Francesco Di Fulvio delivered one of his four goals on the night to make it 9-7 going to the fourth.

Stefano Luongo struck early in the fourth to again bring the game within a goal, this time at 9-8. Team USA warded off the rally with goals from Vavic and Alex Roelse (Maarssen, Netherlands/UCLA/Bruin) for an 11-8 lead with 1:24 to play in the match. A late goal from Italy didn’t factor in the decision and Team USA took the match 11-9.

The United States went 3/4 on the power play and did not attempt a penalty shot while Italy went 1/5 on power plays and 2/2 on penalty shots.


Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 11 (4, 3, 2, 2) N. Vavic  3. T. Azevedo 2, B. Bonanni 2, A. Obert 1, J. Kimbell 1, A. Roelse 1, J. Samuels 1
ITA 9 (4, 2, 1, 2) F. Di Fulvio 4, A. Giorgetti 2, P. Figlioli 1, S. Luongo 1, M. Aicardi 1
Saves – USA – M. Baron – 11 – ITA – S. Tempesti 9
6×5 – USA – 3/4 – ITA 1/5
Penalties – USA 0/0 – ITA 2/2

Swimming news courtesy of USA Water Polo

Leave a Reply

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently a coach at Loggerhead Aquatics …

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!