In First Game Since Olympics, U.S. Men’s Water Polo Falls to Greece

Stanford, CA; October 6, 2018; Men's Water Polo, Stanford vs USC.
Ben Hallock; Photo Courtesy: Hector Garcia-Molina

In First Game Since Olympics, U.S. Men’s Water Polo Falls to Greece

The U.S. men’s water polo team suffered a 16-13 defeat to Greece on Wednesday in its first match since last summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

The match in Volos, Greece, was tied at seven at halftime. But the Tokyo Olympic silver medalists pulled ahead with a 5-3 edge in the third quarter.

Ben Hallock scored four times for the USA. Alex Bowen added a hat trick, and Ben Stevenson and Dylan Woodhead scored twice each. Drew Holland made eight saves in the first half before yielding to Jack Turner (five saves) in the second half. The match marked the return of Thomas Dunstan, a 2016 Olympian, to the pool for the first time since the 2017 World Championships.

Holland is one of several U.S. men’s water polo players who play professionally in Greece. Woodhead played there last year.

The United States lost to Greece, 14-5, in group play at the Tokyo Olympics before exiting in the quarterfinals.

Injuries and illnesses limited the Greek team, which handed out two debuts. Greek captain Ioannis Fountoulis scored all five of his goals in the second half, including three consecutive strikes in the third quarter to open the gap to 11-9. He also buried the final two goals of the game after Max Irving clawed the U.S. back to within 14-13 with 3:33 to play.

Stylianos Argyropoulos scored five goals in the first half for the Greeks. Alexandros Papanastasiou added a hat trick.

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Carl MasterSanJiacomo
7 months ago

USA can’t beat Greece? WTF?