Stanford senior Alex Bowen scored a goal but the United States men's senior national water polo team dropped a 7-5 decision to Hungary in the semifinal round of the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Saturday.
The Americans (14-16-1) meet Croatia for the bronze medal on Sunday. It will be the first meeting of the year between the two teams. Croatia lost to Serbia, 7-4, in the other semifinal.
Serbia meets defending Olympic gold medalists Hungary for the gold medal. The Hungarians will play without leading scorer Denes Varga, who was ejected from the game against the U.S. with just over two minutes to play.
Bowen had is penalty attempt tipped away, which would have given the ball back to the U.S. Instead it was ruled a miss and Hungary was able to run out the clock.
The Americans, playing without several of its stars this year, seemed to have closed the gap against the best in the world; encouraging news as the U.S. prepares for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The U.S. suffered 11 of its losses to Serbia and Hungary this season. The Americans are 14-5-1 against the rest of the world entering the bronze medal contest.