With former Stanford standouts Tony Azevedo and Peter Varellas combining for more than half the team's goals, the USA Men's Senior National Team got away to a good start at the FINA World League Super Final with a 7-3 victory over Spain on Tuesday in Nis, Serbia.
Azevedo scored three goals and Varellas added one, while Jesse Smith added a pair of goals for Team USA (1-0), which will play China on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper Merrill Moses went the distance in net stopping 11 shots, including a 5-meter penalty shot.
The U.S. was solid throughout, opening a 2-0 lead after the first quarter and leading 4-2 at intermission. The third quarter was quiet on the offensive end for both sides as neither could find the cage. The USA offense returned in a major way in the fourth quarter as the Americans put the game away with three scores.
Power plays were key for Team USA as it converted five of eight opportunities while Spain made just three of nine. In addition, the U.S. added two penalty shot scores.
"It was a good start to the trip," said USA coach Terry Schroeder. "The guys played solid defense with some critical man down stops while we were also able to convert some man up chances."