With former Stanford standout Thomas Hopkins scoring a pair of goals, the USA Men's National Team opened the FINA World Cup with a 10-6 water polo win over China on Tuesday in Oradea, Romania. Fellow Stanford grad Tony Azevedo contributed a goal to the victory while Tim Hutten and Michael Sharf added two goals each.
Team USA opened up a 1-0 lead after the first quarter and went up 3-1 in the second period before China rallied to within a goal at the 2:39 mark. The teams closed out the period exchanging scores and the United States went up 4-3 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Americans opened things up a bit by jumping out to a 7-3 lead with 2:03 to go in the period on a goal by Ryan Bailey.
Leading 7-4 to start the fourth, Team USA added a goal to go up 8-4 and seemingly put the game away. China looked to rally with a score to make it 8-5 but consecutive goals from Sharf put the match to rest and the USA came away winners.
The USA converted two of three power plays and one of two penalty shots, while China was four of eight on power plays.
"It was a good opener to get on a winning track," said USA coach Terry Schroeder. "We played well with a lot of opportunities, We just need to put the ball on the net. We have a big game against Serbia (Wednesday)."
Stanford Red opened defense of its title at the USA Water Polo Women's 20-Under Nationals in Orange County with a 14-1 victory over Long Beach Water Polo Club on Tuesday. Stanford came back a short while later and defeated SoCal Gold, 16-2.
Stanford team members include Tara Murao, Alexis Lee, Alyssa Lo, Cassie Churnside, Jillian Garton, Kaitlyn Lo, Kate Baldoni, Lizzie Abbott, Monica Coughlan, Caroline Hansen, Pallavi Menon, Vee Dunlevie, Julia Peters and Victoria Kennedy.