THOUSAND OAKS, California, June 11. IN the last of a three game exhibition set with the visiting Australian Men's National Team, the USA Men's Senior National Team allowed a tie game at half to slip away as Australia went on to a convincing 9-5 victory. This was the final game for Team USA as they prepare for the upcoming FINA World League Super Final in Italy.
As for this game it started out well enough when Brian Alexander found the net just under two minutes into the game to give Team USA a lead. Australia would quickly erase that scoring back to back goals and led 2-1 after the first period. In the second the Aussies added another quick goal and with 6:02 left in the half they were up 3-1. Team USA began to chip away as Peter Hudnut connected from downtown which was followed by Jeff Powers putting one home from out front and the game was quickly tied at 3-3. Australia added a goal by Tim Neesham to take a one goal advantage but less than thirty seconds later JW Krumpholz drew a five meter penalty which Adam Wright converted for a goal to tie the game at 4-4 at the half.
The start of the second half signaled the start of hard times for Team USA. Australian team captain Thomas Whalan hit on back to back scores to build back a two goal lead for the Aussies. This was followed by Tony Azevedo uncharacteristically missing a five meter penalty shot and as played moved to the fourth it was 6-4 in favor of Australia.
In the fourth Australia just added as Whalan hit on his third goal to make it 7-4. USA goalie Merrill Moses halted a five meter penalty try with a little over six minutes remaining but even that couldn't jumpstart the USA offense. Australia would add two more goals and led 9-4 with around two minutes left to go. Krumpholz would get loose inside for a score in the waning seconds but that was for Team USA on this night as they fell 9-5.
Special thanks to USA Water Polo for contributing this report.