Men's Senior National Team

USA Men Lose Heartbreaker To Australia 17-16 In Shootout; Will Play For Bronze At FINA Men's Intercontinental Tournament

Josh Samuels scored three goals in the loss to Australia
April 3, 2015

Newport Beach, CA - April 3 - The USA Men's National Team lost a heartbreaker to Australia, falling 17-16 in a shootout. Team USA rallied from three goals down in the final three minutes to force the shootout. They will now move on to the Bronze Medal match on Saturday when they take on China at 12:00pm on Saturday. Australia will meet Brazil for the Gold Medal at 1:30pm pt. In other action Brazil downed China 14-12, Japan edged Canada 11-10, and Kazakhstan downed Argentina 19-8. Complete tournament schedules, results, scoresheets, and live video is available by clicking here

Two evenly matched teams, Australia and Team USA battled it out in the first quarter. Australia started out the scoring-action off a goal by Jarrod Gilchrist. Within 20 seconds, Jesse Smith (Coronado, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) answered and generated the first tie of the game. Australia came back and scored on a power-play by Aidan Roach. Team USA was not going to let Australia have the lead long. Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/Stanford), Josh Samuels (Villa Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC), and Jackson Kimbell (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/Stanford) all scored in the quarter for Team USA. Richie Campbell scored for Australia later in the quarter. Team USA converted on three power-plays.

The second quarter didn't change much from the first. Team USA held the lead the entire quarter ahead by one or two the whole quarter. Janson Wigo (Ft. Lauderdale, FL/Stanford/Olympic Club) started the quarter out scoring on a power-play, followed by another converted power-play by Australia's Joel Swift. Bowen scored, then on the next possession Swift drew a penalty on Kimbell, giving Cotterill an opportunity to score. Cotterill hammered in the goal. Australia's Rhys Howden and Lachlan Edwards both scored later in the quarter and Bowen scored for Team USA.

After a frantic scoring-half of water polo, both teams seemed to focus a bit more on their defensive game. Swift scored almost immediately off an assist from Campbell. Luca Cupido (Newport Beach, CA/California/Newport) followed with what looked like a pass to John Mann (Newport Beach, CA/California/NYAC), but barely tipped his fingertips and ended nicely in the back of the net. Not until the last 16 seconds of the quarter did Cupido score again putting Team USA up by one. Otherwise, the rest of the quarter was purely defensive.

The beginning of the fourth quarter hit Team USA hard. Australia immediately went on a quick 3-0 run. Roach, Miller and Campbell scored all within 1:18 minutes of one another. Coach Udovicic called his only timeout of the quarter to break-up Australia's run. It worked and two Australian players were called for exclusions. Roach (2 goals) was ejected. On the power-play, Samuels took advantage and rocketed in a goal. Soon after, Kimbell was ejected and Cotterill made his second penalty shot of the night. Now Team USA was in trouble. They were down three with roughly three-minutes to play.

With the clock on Australia's side, Team USA needed three goals fast. With resilience and determination, this young team did not quit. Off a pass from Wigo, Bowen scored for Team USA with 2:05 to play. Australia turned the ball over, and Tony Azevedo (Long Beach, CA/Stanford/NYAC) passed to Samuels for another goal. Finally, with :32 left in the game, Team USA headed back on offense and Bret Bonanni (Huntington Beach, CA/Stanford/Stanford) came through and scored tying up the game with :14 left to play. Team USA held on for the remaining seconds and went into a shoot-out.

Howden for Australia was the first to shoot and scored. Azevedo followed and his shot was saved by goalkeeper, James Stanton-French. The next six shots were made (Campbell, Bonanni, Cotterill, Cupido, Gilchrist, Bowen). Team USA was then in a `do-or-die' situation. McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/USC/Regency, USA goalkeeper who had eight saves, came through with the save over Miller. John Mann had to make his shot to tie the game. Instead, Stanton-French for Australia stopped the shot. The final score was 17-16, Australia a winner.





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