PODGORICA, Montenegro, June 22. SERBIA rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat the United States 9-7 and claim the Bronze Medal at the 2009 FINA World League Super Final. The two teams were meeting for the fifth time in the last two weeks on the heels of an exhibition series in Northern California and a preliminary game in this tourney. Tony Azevedo and Layne Beaubien led the scoring with two goals apiece while Merrill Moses posted a strong effort with 13 saves and two penalty shot blocks.
The two teams traded goals in the first quarter and after one it was tied at 2-2. In the second period the United States moved ahead outscoring the Serbians 2-1 to post a 4-3 halftime advantage. It was the third quarter where Serbia made their push outscoring the United States 4-2 to take the lead and then go up 7-6. They capped off the game with two more goals in the fourth and were able to keep the red, white, and blue at bay with just one score to take the game 9-7.
The USA converted a host of player advantages going 6/14 on the day while Serbia was only 2/6. The USA went 1/2 on penalty shots and were able to deny two Serbian attempts. Along with Azevedo and Beaubien the scoring came from Brian Alexander, Tim Hutten, and Justin Johnson who all added a goal each.
"It was a much more solid game. There were some errors and our failure to convert 6×5 definitely cost us this game, however we are moving in the right direction," said USA Head Coach Terry Schroeder.
Next up for the United States will be a return home as they prepare for the World Championships. They open on July 20 against Italy in Rome.
USA 7 (2, 2, 2, 1) T. Azevedo 2, L. Beaubien 2, B. Alexander 1, T. Hutten 1, J. Johnson 1
SRB 9 (2, 1, 4, 2)
Saves – M. Moses 14
6×5 – USA 6/14 – SRB 2/6
Penalties – USA 1/2 – SRB 0/2
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