USA Men’s Water Polo Suffers First Loss at World Championships

Courtesy: USA Water Polo

GWANGJU, South Korea – The USA Men’s National Team suffered their first loss at the 2019 FINA World Championship dropping a 17-7 decision to defending gold medalist Croatia. Chancellor Ramirez (Pasadena, CA/UCLA/NYAC) scored two goals to lead the offense with Alex Wolf (Huntington Beach, CA/UCLA/Bruin) and Drew Holland (Orinda, CA/Stanford/Olympic Club) combining for eight saves. Team USA closes out group play on Friday when they meet Australia at 7:10pm local time/6:10am et/3:10am pt. The match will air live on Olympic Channel and can be streamed by clicking here (cable login required).

Croatia stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the first before Johnny Hooper (Los Angeles, CA/California/LA Premier) got Team USA on the board late for a 4-1 deficit after eight minutes. In the second quarter the United States cut the margin to three goals at 6-3 and 7-4 on tallies from Hannes Daube (Long Beach, CA/USC/North Irvine WPC) and Alex Obert (Loomis, CA/Pacific/NYAC) but would get no closer. Croatia expanded the lead in the third going in front 10-4 and ending the period with a goal with one second left to lead 13-6. In the fourth quarter it was Croatia outscoring Team USA 4-1 to build a ten goal advantage on the way to the 17-7 victory.

Team USA went 2/9 on power plays with no penalties attempted while Croatia was 3/7 on power plays and 1/2 on penalty shots.

For more on the USA roster at the FINA World Championships, click here for the roster announcement. For more on broadcast coverage, click here.

Scoring – Stats
USA 7 (1, 3, 2, 1) C. Ramirez 2, H. Daube 1, J. Hooper 1, A. Obert 1, A. Bowen 1, B. Hallock 1
CRO 17 (4, 5, 4, 4) H. Benic 3, M. Jokovic 3, J. Vrlic 3, A. Vukicevic 3, A. Buslje 2, A. Setka 1, J. Garcia 1, L. Loncar 1
Saves – USA – A. Wolf 6, D. Holland 2 – CRO – M. Bijac 11, I. Marselic 5
6×5 – USA – 2/9 – CRO 3/7
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – CRO 1/2

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Billy

We (USA) got clobbered. Croatia seemed to be able to almost score at will. Hopefully we’ll be able to advance out of the group play, we need a win against the Aussies.

I watch the games on the NBC Olympic channel. So far, the coverage has been great!

Sam

why are you plugging NBC? They are horrible: they cut to commercials in the middle of the game, not even the break and when the commercial ends, 2 minutes later (out of 10!) the score is completely changed and we miss a lot of action!! Awful, disrespectful….. at least they could PAUSE the game for the commercial.

Billy

You want perfect coverage? So do I, but we’re not going to get it. The coverage could be better, but it’s a lot better than nothing or the NBC commercial avalanche we get during the Olympics.
It’s the US and we get commercials….. Whadyagonnado?

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