Water Polo: Team USA Men Falls to Hungary 13-9

The USA Water Polo Men’s Senior National Team closed to within a goal in the second half but couldn’t complete their rally, losing to Hungary 13-9 earlier today in Russia.

Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) and Bret Bonanni (Huntington Beach, CA/Stanford/Stanford) each scored three goals in the match while McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/Regency) posted 10 saves in the loss. Team USA now moves on to a meeting with Australia on Saturday to determine seventh place. The match is set for 2pm local time/4am pt. There will be no streaming or television coverage but live updates will be available via Twitter by following @USAWP.

Hungary opened the match with a hot hand scoring in the opening minute on a score from Balazs Harai, the first of his four goals, for a 1-0 lead. Azevedo responded with a goal to tie the match at 1-1 but moments later Hungary turned to Daniel Varga to grab a 2-1 lead. Balazs Erdelyi connected for a score not long after to put Hungary up 3-1 but Bonanni returned fire to make it a 3-2 match with a little over a minute to play in the period. On the next possession for Hungary they ended the period as they started it with a goal from Harai and a 4-2 lead.

It was more Harai early in the second period as Hungary went up 5-2. Team USA tried to rally with a score from Josh Samuels (Villa Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) around the five minute mark but again Hungary had a response with a goal from Denes Varga for a 6-3 lead. Bonanni scored with less than two minutes to play but then Daniel Varga connected for another goal and Hungary maintained the three goal lead at 7-4 going into halftime.

The United States made their big push in the first three minutes of the third quarter. Luca Cupido (Newport Beach, CA/California/Newport) scored in the opening minute of play and then Bonanni delivered another goal and it was quickly a one goal game at 7-6. Unfortunately for Team USA they would get no closer as Hungary countered with two more goals to close out the period grabbing a 9-6 lead going to the fourth.

Hungary tacked on a goal in the opening thirty seconds of the fourth to grab a 10-6 advantage. Team USA would again try to rally as Azevedo countered with a goal but Hungary answered with two more goals to go up 12-7. Azevedo and John Mann (Newport Beach, CA/California/NYAC) would score two of the final three goals but by that point the damage was done as Hungary took the match 13-9.

Team USA went 2/10 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty while Hungary was 2/5 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty shot. By reaching the seventh place match Team USA has already improved upon a ninth place finish at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Scoring – Scoresheet

USA 9 (2, 2, 2, 3) T. Azevedo 3, B. Bonanni 3, J. Mann 1, L. Cupido 1, J. Samuels 1
HUN 13 (4, 3, 2, 4) B. Harai 4, De. Varga 3, Da. Varga 2, N. Hosnyanszky 2, N. Madaras 1, B. Erdelyi 1
Saves – USA – M. Baron 10 – HUN – A. Decker 4
6×5 – USA – 2/10 – HUN 2/5
Penalties – USA – 0/0 – HUN 0/0

Water Polo News is courtesy of USA Water Polo.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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