GWANGJU, South Korea – The USA Men’s National Team lost a tight match to Greece, 11-9, in the crossover round at the FINA World Championship. The setback sends Team USA into the 9th-12th place bracket with two more matches to play in Gwangju.
Ben Hallock (Westlake Village, CA/Stanford/LA Premier), Hannes Daube (Long Beach, CA/USC/North Irvine WPC) and Johnny Hooper (Los Angeles, CA/California/LA Premier) all scored two goals in the loss with Alex Wolf (Huntington Beach, CA/UCLA/Bruin) recording eight saves in net. Team USA will now take on the loser of South Africa-Germany on Tuesday at 12:30pm local time/11:30pm et/8:30pm pt (July 22). The match will likely stream on FINA TV and can be accessed at FINATV.Live (more details will be shared when available).
Team USA had a strong start going up 2-1 behind goals from Hooper and Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/NYAC). After Greece tied the game at 2-2, Daube scored and then Alex Obert (Loomis, CA/Pacific/NYAC) cleaned up a loose ball in front of the cage for a 4-2 advantage. Greece scored the next four in a row to go up 6-4 with 3:49 left in the second quarter. Hallock and Daube returned fire with consecutive goals and the match was tied at 6-6 at intermission.
Greece went in front 7-6 in the third quarter only to see Team USA come back with two straight from Luca Cupido (Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy/California/Olympic Club) and Hallock for an 8-7 lead. Greece responded by scoring three straight to go ahead 10-8 with 2:59 to play in the match. Hooper brought it back to one goal at 10-9 on a power play strike with 2:32 to play but Team USA would get no closer. Kostas Genidounias scored his first and final goal with a minute to play to seal the victory for Greece at 11-9.
Team USA went 6/12 on power plays with no penalties attempted while Greece was 6/10 on power plays and 2/2 on penalties. Both teams fell victim to own goals throughout the match as deflections off both goalies and a field player resulted in two goals for Greece and one for Team USA.
Scoring – Stats
USA 9 (4, 2, 2, 1) B. Hallock 2, H. Daube 2, J. Hooper 2, A. Obert 1, A. Bowen 1, L. Cupido 1
GRE 11 (3, 3, 2, 3) K. Genidounias 4, K. Mourikis 2, A. Gounas 2, I. Fountoulis 1, D. Skoumpakis 1, C. Kolomvos 1
Saves – USA – A. Wolf 8 – GRE – E. Zerdevas 9
6×5 – USA – 6/12 – GRE 6/10
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – GRE 2/2