Cardinal grad Tony Azevedo and Stanford senior Bret Bonanni each scored three goals but the United States men's senior national water team dropped a 13-9 decision to Hungary on Thursday at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
The loss puts the Americans into the seventh-place contest against Australia on Sunday. The U.S. is winless in five tries against the Aussies this season, though the Americans lost each of the last two meetings by a single goal.
Team USA fell behind 5-2 early in the second quarter and could never catch up, though a goal by Bonanni, the highest goal-scorer at last year's FINA World Cup in Almaty, closed the gap to 7-6 at one point.
"We wanted to go to the fifth play-off and finish on a high note," Stanford's Jackson Kimbell said. "Our goal was solid team defense and offense, put shots on cage and make them block, not go over and stop their counter attack. I don't think we did that."
The U.S. (18-19-1) can still finish the season with a .500 record by beating the Aussies.
"I am proud of my guys. This is the third tournament in a row and we are running out of energy," USA coach Dejan Udovicic said. "If you don't have energy and power, you don't have control. You need to be fresh. It is not easy to play. We are more than satisfied with our goals this year. We qualified to the Olympic Games, played good in the tournament at Bergamo (World League Super Final). We have one year in front of us to prepare well."