U.S. scores a big victory over Montenegro at FINA World Cup


The youth movement seems to be working out quite well, thank you for the United States' men's senior national water polo program.

With Stanford grad and four-time Olympian Tony Azevedo, and a few other of America's top water polo players, taking some time off this season the U.S. has turned to the college ranks to refuel and refit for the future.

Stanford senior Alex Bowen and Cardinal junior Bret Bonanni each scored two goals and the Americans came up with their biggest win of the season Wednesday, beating Montenegro, 11-7, on the second day of the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The U.S. faces an even sterner test on Thursday with defending Olympic champion Serbia next on the schedule. The Americans are 0-5 against Serbia this year.

The U.S. had not beaten Montenegro until Wednesday. The Americans are now 1-1-1 against last year's World Championship runner-up.

The Montenegrin players beat Team USA for third place in last year's FINA World League Super Final and own a European Championship from 2008 and a FINA World League title from 2009.

The United States is using two Olympians, giving the younger players a chance to shine. They have not disappointed despite a 13-14-1 overall record.

Olympic goalie Merrill Moses recorded 11 saves in the contest and the Americans were 5 of 10 in power-play situations. Montenegro was limited to 2 of 6 in man-up opportunities.

The U.S. scored the game's first three goals before Montenegro was able to regain some ground, coming within 6-4 by halftime.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA Water Polo


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