Danville, CA - February 27 - The first weekend of the 2017 National League wrapped up this past Saturday at San Ramon Valley High School and things picked up where they left off in 2016 with the New York Athletic Club leading the way. The 2016 champs went 2-0 on the weekend to pull into first place alongside rival Olympic Club who also turned in a 2-0 performance on the weekend. For complete Week 1 results including box scores from The FOSH, click here.
Now on to the round-up!
Week 1 Results
USA Junior 15 vs. USA Collegiate 9
Olympic Club 7 vs. Alumni 5
New York Athletic Club 15 vs. USA Collegiate 5
USA University 14 vs. USA Junior 9
LA Athletic Club 9 vs. Olympic Club 10 F/SO
Alumni 11 vs. USA Collegiate 9
New York Athletic Club 8 vs. USA University 7
USA Junior 7 vs. LA Athletic Club 11
Best Game We Saw: This is an easy choice as the battle between The Olympic Club and the LA Athletic Club went into a shootout with O-Club winning 10-9. Patrick Fellner scored the go-ahead goal in the shootout followed by goalkeeper Lazar Andric making the winning save to seal the deal. Fellner scored three goals on the day.
La La Land: There was no foul-up with who won in the National League this past weekend but there was a new team on the scene. We aren't sure if they have the singing or dancing moves of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone but the Los Angeles Athletic Club made their debut in the National League in 2017. The relatively new club will be featured in an upcoming USA Water Polo TV profile and has many names you know from the world of water polo including former UCLA keeper Garrett Danner.
Colak Shines: Engin Colak from the USA Junior squad had a standout performance on the weekend piling up nine goals as the Junior team went 1-2 in three games of action.
Samuels Leads: While Colak may have the most goals through 1 week of National League, it's 2016 Olympian Josh Samuels who leads in scoring average. He scored 7 goals through two games for the New York Athletic Club to currently average 3.5 goals per game.
Lazar Focused: In addition to his big save in the shootout victory for The Olympic Club, keeper Lazar Andric also leads the National League in goals against average (5.50) and save percentage (.694). Not a bad couple of months for Andric coming on the heels of an NCAA Championship with Cal back in December.
The Ryder Roberts Giveth...and Taketh Away: It's still early but Ryder Roberts (LAAC) is in the top three in both goals scored (6) and steals (5). The two-time NCAA champ at UCLA scored four goals in the win over University along with two steals.
Olympians In The Mix: The National League has always featured contributions from Team USA Olympians and 2017 is no different. In addition to Josh Samuels, 2016 Olympians John Mann (NYAC) and Luca Cupido (University) combined for 10 goals in Week 1. Goalkeepers Merrill Moses (NYAC) and McQuin Baron (University), teammates in Rio, both had double figures in saves on the weekend.
Close Competition: Out of eight games on the weekend, four were decided by two goals or less including one going to shootout. A nice sign of competitive things to come as the 2017 season rolls along.
You Down With ODP? Yeah You Know...USA Academy: The USA Academy squad did not take part in National League Week 1, but they had a great reason. The athletes on the team were competing in the ODP Boy's National Championship which was taking place at the same time in Northern California. More information on athlete selections on the ODP scene available this week at USAWaterPolo.org.
Get Your Gear: National League gear is available including t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and beanies. Click here to pick up your #USAWPNL gear.
Show Your Support: Show your support for the USA Water Polo National League by using the hashtag #USAWPNL when talking about the league on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We'll be highlighting support on our weekly Counter Attack program.
Looking Ahead: The National League returns to play on March 11-12 at the Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, CA. Admission is free for both days of action and live stats will be available via The FOSH. Click here for a complete schedule.
National League Championship/Live Streaming: The 2017 National League Championship will also be held at the Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine, CA. The event is set for April 1-2 and all games will be streamed live via USA Water Polo TV and through Facebook.com/USAWP. Click here for a complete schedule.
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