Stanford grads Janson Wigo and Tony Azevedo combined for five goals but the U.S. national men's water polo team dropped a 10-6 decision to host Spain on Sunday in the Round of 16 at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona.
"You can't win a game when you give up ten goals, you can't win a game when you give up eight goals," Wigo said. "That's something we need to work on the next couple of years."
Azevedo, a four-time Olympian and four-time All-American, converted a penalty shot with 6:38 remaining to play, bringing the Americans within 7-6.
Spain scored the final three goals on five shots to extend its lead while Team USA was 0 for 6 the rest of the way, including four misses with a man advantage. The Americans were 2 of 11 on power plays overall.
Spain extended its winning streak over the U.S. to four, which includes the 2010 FINA World Cup, 2011 FINA World Championships and the 2012 London Olympic Games.
"We tried to push ourselves to the limit and this is part of the process." U.S. coach Dejan Udovicic said. "We need time to have experience to win this type of game. The difference between Spain and us is just experience."
Wigo gave the Americans the early advantage with a goal just over a minute into the contest. Spain tied the score 30 seconds later but Azevedo, who also had two assists, scored on a counterattack to put the U.S. up, 2-1, with 3:39 left in the first quarter.
Spain scored the next three goals and never trailed again.
"They went on a little run and it was hard to catch up," Wigo said. "The whole game, everyone of us put in 120 percent but it just wasn't enough. They are a good team, they made all the shots they needed to make. They're a good team, we are a good team, and hopefully we'll see them again soon."