CALGARY, Canada, February 3. THE USA Men's National Team punched their ticket to the 2013 FINA World Championships this summer with a 15-8 victory over Argentina in the semifinals of the UANA World Aquatic Championship Qualification Tournament. The victory moves Team USA into the championship match against Canada on Sunday and assures them of no worse than a second place finish, all that was needed to earn a spot in the World Championships. Scott Davidson (Seal Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC) led the offense with three goals while Chay Lapin (Long Beach, CA/UCLA/NYAC) posted 12 saves in net as Team USA toppled Argentina for the second straight day.
It was close early on as the United States opened the match with a goal from Nikola Vavic (Palos Verdes, CA/USC/Trojan), but led just 2-1 after the first period. In the second, the two teams traded goals early on as Team USA went up 4-1 before Argentina scored back to back tallies to close within 4-3 with 3:46 remaining in the first half. The United States responded with three straight goals of their own to build a 7-3 advantage and would go on to lead 7-4 at halftime.
The offense continued to pick up for the United States in the third period as with less than three minutes into the quarter, Team USA scored three goals to grab a 10-4 lead. Argentina stopped the bleeding with a score with 4:57 left in the period, but the United States continued to build scoring three of the next four goals to grab a commanding 13-6 lead going into the fourth period.
Both offenses were quiet well into the final period until JP MacDonell (Redwood City, CA/Pepperdine/Olympic Club) broke through with his second goal for a 14-7 lead with 3:06 left in the match. Argentina would muster two more goals but Davidson put the cap on the match with a tally with just eight seconds left and Team USA had secured the victory at 15-8.
The United States went 4/10 on power plays and 1/1 on penalties while Argentina was 2/5 on power plays and 1/1 on penalties. Team USA once again had great balance on offense with nine different players finding the back of the net with five players scoring multiple goals. “With this win we qualified for World Championships,” said USA Head Coach Jovan Vavic. “It was a huge feeling of relief to do this. The guys played well and everyone on this team contributed.”
Scoring – Scoresheet
USA 15 (2, 5, 6, 2) S. Davidson 3, A. Bowen 2, J. MacDonell 2, J. Smith 2, J. Powers 2, N. Vavic 1, T. Corcoran 1, R. Bailey 1, B. Bonanni 1
ARG 8 (1, 3, 2, 2) G. Echenique 3, I. Carabantes 1, F. Demarchi 1, G. Yaenz 1, R. Veich 1, E. Lopez 1
Saves – USA – C. Lapin – 12
6×5 – USA – 4/10 – ARG – 2/5
Penalties – USA 1/1 – ARG 1-1
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