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New York AC Wins US Open Water Polo Crown -- November 5, 2001

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Nov. 4. THEY may have played the first game of the day in a downpour rain, but the sky cleared up by midday and the stalwarts of the NYAC "A" team shined brightly, winning the championship at the Men's US Open on Sunday.

NYAC "A" defended last year's Men's US Open Championship by beating Olympic Club 9-5 in front of a sizeable crowd at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, California.

Wolf Wigo, the USA National Team captain and two-time Olympian, led NYAC with four goals and was named Co-MVP and All-American in the tournament. Wigo, who played with ongoing backpain throughout the tournament, bee-bee'd a power play goal and then added three counter attack goals for NYAC.

"We continuously played better as the weekend went on," said Wigo. "It feels good right now."

NYAC "A" entered the tournament as the team to beat, coming off its championship at the Men's Summer Nationals in Annapolis in August. It was also riding an emotional roller coaster after the September 11th attacks, in remembrance of which there was a moment of silence before the national anthem at the start of the championship game.

"We kept reminding ourselves that we were three to four goals better than everyone else," said coach Scott Schulte. "The guys came out and got the job done in addition to having a lot of fun."

"It was a great final game and the guys were fresh off a good summer," said goalie Dan Hackett, who was also named co-MVP and All-American for the tournament.
"It's important for us to win in California to show that the East Coast has teams to beat."

The 3rd place matchup between Newport Water Polo Foundation and Long Beach Shore ended in a 5-5 tie in two overtime periods and went into a shootout. In dramatic ending, Long Beach Shore's Merrill Moses, a member of the USA National Team, blocked the fifth and final shootout attempt from four meters to win the game. On the third shot of the shootout, Moses' leg cramped up so badly that a LB Shore player had to aid him in stretching out as much as possible before the next shooter came to the line. After the fourth shot, Moses writhed in pain, and for a moment, summoned a teammate to substitute in the cage. But Moses stayed in, and "on instinct" dove to the left low corner of the cage on the fifth shot, deflecting the ball from a Newport score which sealed the LB Shore victory.

"It was only the second shootout I have played in and lost that one," said Moses after the game. "This time, I was hurting, but at that point it was mind over
matter. I noticed that he lined up off center and as a lefty that usually means they are going cross-cage. So I went left."

USA National Team member Dan Klatt led Newport with three goals in the game, including a bullet, cross cage shot with 1:11 to tie the game at five. USA
National Team Member Larry Felix led LB Shore with two goals in the victory with a team that had no coach the entire tournament. Moses acted as team captain and
coached the team his position in goal throughout the tournament.


1 2 3 4 F
CHAWP 3 0 4 7 14
Calgary 2 2 2 0 6


CHAWP: Gall 1, Blizzard 2, Clements 1, Durbin 1, Guerrero 1
Calgary: Hardisty 2, Cosic 5, Deffett 3, Murtha 2, Miller 1, Gordon 1


1 2 3 4 F
Cal Baptist 0 3 0 0 3
Vancouver 2 2 4 3 11


CB: Comfort 1, Smalley 1, Milic 1, Barry 2, Kunac 1
Vancouver: Lazeravic 2, Mitchell 3, Block 2, Thompson 1, Sabo 1


1 2 3 4 F
NYAC "A" 2 2 2 1 7
Newport 1 1 1 0 3


NYAC "A": Wigo 4, Janov 1, Wright 1, Csaczar 1
Newport: Andrews 1, Evans 1, Hunt 1


1 2 3 4 F
LB Shore 1 0 1 1 3
Olympic Club 0 2 2 0 4


LB Shore: Brown 1, Netherton 2
OC: Klass 1, Schumacher 1, Chase 2


1 2 3 4 OT F
CHAWP 3 3 2 3 1 12
Cal Baptist 3 3 3 2 0 11


CHAWP: Gall 1, Blizzard 1, Clements 3, Salvinski 1,
CB: Youngquist 1, Comfort 3, Phiripes 1, Spankle 1, Peterson 1, Barry 1, Kunac 3

1 2 3 4 F
Calgary 1 0 5 2 8
Vancouver 2 1 2 2 7


Calgary: Hardisty 1, Cosic 1, Deffett 1, Murtha 1, Miller 2, Gordon 2
Vancouver: Mitchell 2, Block 2, Uni 1, Sabo 2

3rd Place Match
1 2 3 4 OT F
Newport 1 1 2 1 0 5
LB Shore 0 2 3 0 1 6


Newport: Amr 1, Klatt 3, Evans 1
LB Shore: Felix 2, Brown 1, Netherton 1, Kocur 1

Championship Match

1 2 3 4 F
New York A 3 2 1 3 9
Olympic Club 1 1 1 2 5


NYAC "A": Wigo 4, Janov 1, Wright 1, Cizmic 1, Csaczar 1, Satchkov 1
OC: Rousseau 1, Everist 1, Klass 3