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.
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