USA Junior Men Stop Spain 7-6 On First Day Of Junior World Championships

SIBENIK, Croatia, August 22. THE USA Men's Junior National Team opened play today at the FINA Men's Junior World Championships with a 7-6 defeat of Spain. Josh Samuels (SoCal) led the offense with four goals while John Sibley (Lamorinda) did the job in net posting 11 saves.

The first quarter was dominated by strong defense from both teams. The USA scored the only goal of the quarter when Nikola Vavic (Trojan) capitalized on a penalty shot at 4:32 drawn by Griffin White (SoCal) on a drive.

Trailing 1-0 Spain answered early in the second with a counter goal by Carrillo at 6:42. The rest of the quarter was a defensive struggle until Samuels scored an outside shot with just eight seconds left in the quarter. USA held Spain to 0/4 on extra man in the first half and Sibley had 7 saves to hold a 2-1 advantage at intermission.

In the third quarter Spain scored on an outside attempt at 5:54 and again on an extra man opportunity at 2:51 to take their first lead 3-2. USA answered with a goal from Samuels off an extra man timeout play at 2:07 and a counter attack goal by Spencer Hamby (VC Premier) to reclaim the lead at 1:15.Spain scored the final goal of the quarter on an extra man opportunity at the :56 mark to tie the game at 4.

In the fourth quarter Hamby and Guiterrez traded goals from the center position to tie the game at 5. Guiterrez scored another goal from center at 2:21 to give Spain the lead 6-5. Samuels scored the final two goals of the match with a direct shot after a foul and a 6 on 5 to give the US team the win 7-6. The United States was 2/5 on man advantages and 1/2 on penalties while Spain was just 2/9 on man advantages and did not attempt a penalty. Team USA is back in action tomorrow against Serbia.

USA 1 1 2 3 7
ESP 0 1 3 2 6

Saves: USA Sibley 11

Goals: USA Samuels 4, Hamby 2, Vavic 1
ESP Carrillo 3, Guiterrez 2, Clols 1

Penalties: USA 1/2
ESP 0/0

6 on 5: USA 2/5
ESP 2/9

Team USA: 8 field blocks

Flash Quotes:
"Our game versus Spain was the most exciting game of the first day. We have been anxious to begin the tournament since arriving to Europe August 11. This is a big win for our team. We must now quickly shift our focus to our bracket game versus Serbia tomorrow."
-Josh Samuels

"I am very proud of the resilience and poise our team showed today. This group has very little experience, but a great deal of heart, and a terrific understanding of team. This was a fantastic start to the tournament, but we have to continue to improve throughout the tournament to compete with the best teams in the world"
-Doug Peabody

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