Men's Senior National Team

USA Men Open FINA World Championships With 9-7 Loss To Croatia


Matt DeTrane scored twice in the loss to Croatia

July 22, 2013

Barcelona, Spain - July 22 - The USA Water Polo Men's National Team fell to Croatia 9-7 earlier today to open play at the 2013 FINA World Championships. Team USA led late in the first half only to see Croatia use a four goal run that spanned the second and third quarter, building a lead they would never relinquish. John Mann (Newport Beach, CA/California/NYAC) and Matt DeTrane (Moraga, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) each scored twice in the loss while Merrill Moses (Palos Verdes, CA/Pepperdine/NYAC) stopped nine shots including a penalty shot. Today's match will air on delay on Universal Sports at 6pm et/3pm pt. Next up for Team USA will be South Africa on Wednesday morning. 

The first period saw Croatia, the reigning Olympic champions, strike first with a goal off a backcourt turnover less than a minute into the match. Leading 1-0 Croatia was able to hold off conescutive power play attempts by Team USA before Tim Hutten (Seal Beach, CA/UC-Irvine/Newport WPF) broke through with a natural goal from the perimter for a 1-1 match. That was the score in the second period when Croatia scored early on with a man advantage for a 2-1 lead. Mann responded less than a minute later with a cross-cage delivery on the power play for a 2-2 match. DeTrane followed with another extra man tally and the United States grabbed the lead 3-2 with 1:16 to go in the half. The lead was short lived as Croatia found the cage from distance to even the score at 3-3 going to halftime.

That goal proved to kickstart the Croatia offense as they rattled off three more goals to start the third period, the last two coming on extra man, for a 6-3 lead with 2:39 left. Once again DeTrane answered the call hitting from outside on a power play, and the deficit was reduced to 6-4 with play moving to the fourth.

For the fourth consecutive period Croatia would start the action with a goal, taking a 7-4 lead. Shea Buckner (Villa Park, CA/USC/NYAC) drew Team USA closer with a extra man score to make it 7-5 with 5:14 remaining. The United States kept things close when Moses stepped up and halted a penalty shot attempt by Croatia to keep the margin at two with 4:50 remaining in the match. At the 2:19 mark Croatia came back with a score from outside to go ahead 9-5 but Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/Stanford) answered moments later to close within two with two minutes to play. Croatia snuffed out any thoughts of a rally with a power play goal with just 1:22 left to go ahead 9-6. Mann added a goal with time winding down but it would not factor in the decision as Croatia picked up the 9-7 victory. 

The United States went 3/9 on power plays while Croatia was 3/8 and 0/1 on penalty shots. This was the sixth meeting for the two teams in World Championship play with Croatia winning the last five meetings.  

Scoring - Scoresheet
USA 7 (1, 2, 1, 3) M. DeTrane 2, J. Mann 2, A. Bowen 1, S. Buckner 1, T. Hutten 1
CRO 9 (1, 2, 3, 3)
Saves - USA - M. Moses 9
6x5 - USA - 3/9 - CRO 3/8
Penalties - USA - 0/0 - CRO 0/1

Flash Quote

"Obviously we didn't get the result we wanted but we are going to continue to grow throughout the tournament and try and finish as high as we can in the bracket. We'll take it one game at a time." - John Mann, USA Center 
 

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