CA, Santa Clara, 16 July In a thrilling finish to a three-game series, the United States Men’s National Team prevailed 21-20 in a shootout against Italy earlier tonight at Santa Clara University.
US vs Italy Water Polo Results
A combined four goals were scored by Hannes Daube and Chase Dodd, and goaltender Adrian Weinberg made 15 saves. The United States let Italy come back from two goals behind in the final 18 seconds to force overtime. Ben Hallock scored in the fifth and final round of the shootout, and goaltender Weinberg made the only save.
The match will be rebroadcast on ESPNU on Sunday at 11:30 et/8:30 pt. The U.S. squad is getting ready to compete in the FINA World League Super Final in Strasbourg, France on July 22. On Monday, the United States squad will be revealed.
After Suffering a Defeat to Italy the Day Before at Stanford,
Team USA came out firing on all cylinders and took an early 2-0 lead on goals from Chase Dodd and Dylan Woodhead. After Italy scored two in a row to equalise the game, Alex Bowen scored on the power play to give the Americans a 3-2 advantage. Italy scored with a minute left in the first to make the score 3-3 going into the second.
It was a repeat of the first quarter, with the United States taking a two-goal lead before Italy staged a comeback. With 5:44 left in the first half, Italy took the lead for the first time on a touchdown by Edoardo Di Somma after trailing for the first time, 5-3. Not long after, Daube scored to make the score 6-6 at the break.
With 8-7 Advantage and 6:19 remaining in the Third Quarter,
Tyler Abramson scored two of the first three goals. Over the next few minutes, Marko Vavic scored twice, the second time with :25 left in the period, to give Team USA their highest lead of the game, 11-8. For Italy, Luca Damonte scored in the final seconds to make the score 11-9 heading into the final period.
The United States team had a four-goal lead twice in the last period, giving them the impression of a comfortable victory. Dodd’s 13-9 goal and Jake Ehrhardt’s 14-10 goal separated two separate scoring rallies. When Italy tried to close the gap, the United States always appeared to have a response, and when Dodd scored with 2:27 remaining, the Americans were up 16-13. Obviously, the cliff’s edge isn’t stable.
Italy went 7-on-6 after cutting the deficit to two (16-14), sending goalkeeper Gianmarco Nicosia into the offensive zone. He scored from close range 18 seconds later to make it a 16-15 game. The next time the United States had possession, Italy applied pressure, and the cunning Damonte dove under the sea to steal the ball with time running out. With only four seconds remaining, the left-handed player scored the equalising goal as Italy staged a miraculous comeback. After extra time, Damonte was given the first penalty kick, but Weinberg blocked it. The last goal, scored by Hallock, concluded a successful shooting effort by all the other players.
USA 21 (3, 3, 5, 5) (5) H. Daube 4, C. Dodd 4, A. Bowen 3, T. Abramson 3, M. Vavic 2, B. Hallock 2, D. Woodhead 2, J. Ehrhardt 1
ITA 20 (3, 3, 3, 7) (4) F. Ferrero 5, F. Cassia 3, L. Damonte 3, F. Condemi 2, A. Mladosich 2, V. Renzuto 2, G. Cannella 1, E. Di Somma 1, G. Nicosia 1
Saves – USA – A. Weinberg 15 – ITA – G. Nicosia 8
Penalties – Regulation – USA 1/1 – ITA – 1/1 – Penalty Shootout – USA – 5/5 – ITA 4/5