USA Men Win Silver At FINA World League Super Final

Courtesy: USA Water Polo

Tbilisi, Georgia – July 1 – The USA Men’s National Team took silver at the FINA World League Super Final following a hard fought loss to Montenegro, 9-8, earlier today. Hannes Daube continued to pace the Team USA offense with three goals while Drew Holland played strong again in net recording nine saves. Holland was named goalkeeper of the tournament for his efforts. This is the third silver medal in Super Final history for the men’s program joining second place finishes in 2008 and 2016. Stats are available for each match by clicking here, with streaming replays available of the final three days of competition via FloSports, by clicking here (subscription required). Nominees to the U.S. Olympic Men’s Water Polo roster will be announced tomorrow, July 2 at 11am pt.

Montenegro took a quick start in this one grabbing a 2-0 lead after the first quarter. Daube and Ben Hallock got Team USA back in the mix with two straight goals to start the second quarter, tying the game at 2-2 with 5:26 to play. Montenegro answered with two more of their own, including one of five goals on the day from Aleksander Ivovic, for a 4-2 edge at halftime. Daube scored the first goal in the third quarter to draw within 4-3 but Montenegro fired back with two straight for a 6-3 lead with 1:59 left in the period. Alex Bowen and Max Irving delivered on penalty shot scores to make it 6-5 with time running out in the quarter. Montenegro added another Ivovic goal with just four seconds left to secure a two goal lead headed to the fourth.

In the final quarter it was Ivovic scoring first to put Montenegro ahead 8-5. Johnny Hooper and Hallock answered to cut the deficit down to one at 8-7 with 3:05 to play. After Montenegro went ahead 9-7, Daube scored his final goal with :39 left to make it 9-8. A final hope for Team USA was thwarted when Montenegro drew a perimeter exclusion with :32 left and then got their own rebound on a missed shot to run out the clock.

Team USA and Montenegro both struggled on the advantage going 1/7. Team USA went 2/3 on penalty shots while Montenegro was 2/2.

Scoring – Stats
USA 8 (0, 2, 3, 3) H. Daube 3, B. Hallock 2, J. Hooper 1, A. Bowen 1, M. Irving 1
MNE 9 (2, 2, 3, 2) A. Ivovic 5, M. Petkovic 2, V. Spaic 1, D. Matkovic 1
Saves – USA – D. Holland 9 – MNE – S. Kandic 8
6×5 – USA – 1/7 MNE – 1/7
Penalties – USA – 2/3 – MNE – 2/2

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2 years ago

Montenegro, small country (600,000 people) but a waterpolo giant with horrible swimming. You ask a Montenegrin to swim or run between lines and you can forget about it. But put a ball between him and an opponent and they turn into artists.

2 years ago

I assume we’ll see them in Tokyo!
What a great day that will be!!