USA Water Polo Men’s and Women’s Junior Teams Cruise

BOCA RATON, Florida, August 15. AS anyone will tell you, home cookin' is always best.

At the 2002 Junior Pan American Championships in Boca Raton (Fla.), the U.S. men's and women's junior squads are brewing it up by the cauldron, having gone
undefeated through the first four days of competition. Today (August 15), the men cruised to easy victories over Canada and Puerto Rico, while the women ousted Brazil before the USA faithful at Florida Atlantic University.

In the men's game against Canada, Team USA jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on a goal by Trevor Clark. Vladamir Cocic tied the score at 1-1 on an extra-man goal with 3:39 to play in the period, but the U.S., vehemently disapproving of ties after reaching a 6-6 impasse against Argentina, took the lead for good on a goal by James Shin with 43 seconds remaining in the
opening quarter.

The U.S. got the better of an ejection-riddled game (26 between both teams), going 6 for 17 on the man-advantage on its way to a 9-4 win. Chris Pulido finished with four goals for the U.S., while Cocic netted three for Canada.

The men weren't finished. In the afternoon, the U.S. juniors man-handled Puerto Rico for a 13-6 win. Puerto Rico held the momentum for all of about two minutes. A score by Yodi Torres with 6:18 on the clock gave Puerto Rico a 1-0 lead in the first quarter. Unfortunately, it also woke a sleeping giant. A six-goal first quarter in which Brandon Borso and Thomas Hopkins each had two to give the U.S. a 6-1 lead, was too much for Puerto Rico to overcome. The U.S. couldn't, however, find much of an answer for Gilberto Alfonso, who drilled the cage for four goals on the day. Nine different players scored for Team USA.

The U.S. women have been able to sleep easy so far this week. Tonight certainly won't be any different. A 9-2 win over Brazil kept the U.S. record unscathed at 4-0 and has made the Red, White, and Blue a bull's eye for opposing teams in the playoffs.

Lauren Heineck broke loose for three goals in the win for the U.S., while teammate Kelly Rulon scored two. Team USA struggled a bit on the player-advantage, shooting 1 for 5 on the afternoon.

The women will have the day off tomorrow in preparation for the playoffs, which begin on Saturday (August 17). The U.S. is currently first in the women's bracket at 4-0, and is slated to play the fourth place team in the first round. Brazil and
Puerto Rico are currently tied for third in the win-loss column at 1-2, and will play each other tomorrow to settle the difference. Mexico remains winless at 0-3.

The U.S. men are in first place following today's games, just a net's thread ahead of Argentina. The U.S. is at 5-0-1 (11 pts.), while Argentina holds a mark of 4-0-2 (10 pts.). Tomorrow (August 16), the U.S. will hit the water against 1-5 Mexico, while Argentina will splash down with 2-3-1 Venezuela. Brazil, who plays Colombia (2-2-2), is poised to finish in third place, taking a record of 4-2 into the final day of pool play.

USA Junior Women
Box Score

United States 3 2 3 1 — 9
Brazil 0 1 1 0 — 2

Individual Scoring
USA: Heineck 3, Rulon 2, Figge 1, van Norman 1, Hayes 1, Gregorka 1
Brazil: Camalo 1, Sablit 1

Player Advantage Scoring
USA: 1 for 5; 1 for 1 on penalty shots
Brazil: 2 for 9

USA Junior Men
Box Score

United States 2 3 1 3 — 9
Canada 1 1 1 1 — 4

Individual Scoring
USA: Pulido 4, Hopkins 2, Shin 1, Clark 1, Matthies 1
Canada: Cocic 3, Palin 1

Player Advantage Scoring
USA: 6 for 17
Canada: 3 for 9

Box Score

United States 6 3 3 1 — 13
Puerto Rico 1 2 3 0 — 6

Individual Scoring
USA: Hopkins 4, Borso 2, Hale 1, Foley 1, Pulido 1, Varellas 1, Mann 1, Offsay 1, Shin 1
Puerto Rico: Alfonso 4, Torres 2

Player Advantage Scoring
USA: 2 for 4; 0 for 1 on penalty shots
Puerto Rico: 0 for 0; 1 for 1 on penalty shots

Tomorrow's Schedule
Day 5
August 16, 2002 7:30 a.m. USA vs. Mexico (Men) FAU
August 16, 2002 8:40 a.m. Puerto Rico vs. Canada (Men) FAU
August 16, 2002 9:50 a.m. Canada vs. Mexico (Women) FAU
August 16, 2002 11:00 a.m. Brazil vs. Puerto Rico (Women) FAU
August 16, 2002 12:10 p.m. Argentina vs. Venezuela (Men) FAU
August 16, 2002 1:20 p.m. Colombia vs. Brazil (Men) FAU
August 16, 2002 7:30 a.m. USA vs. Mexico (Men) FAU
August 16, 2002 8:40 a.m. Puerto Rico vs. Canada (Men) FAU
*All Times Eastern Standard.

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