The United States men's national water polo team leaves Budapest with a much better outlook than when it started.
Stanford grad Alex Bowen scored twice, USC's McQuin Baron recorded 11 saves and the Americans beat France, 11-8, Tuesday to finish 13th overall at the FINA World Championships.
Alex Bowen. Photo by Kelley L Cox/KLC fotos.
The U.S. entered the world championships on a five-game losing streak and then extended that to seven before beating Russia and nearly making the quarterfinals.
With a three-game winning streak in hand, the Americans (11-14, 3-2) can feel a lot better about where they stand in the world. The U.S. played this year without several key players, lost through retirement and leaves of absence.
There will also be a different look when Team USA competes at the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan beginning Aug. 18. Bowen, Baron and Cal's Luca Cupido, who scored three times against France, for example, won't be making the trip.
In fact, the most familiar names are Cal's Nic Carniglia and Pacific's Alex Obert, the lone Olympian on the roster.
Pacific coach James Graham will be in charge of the University Games team that will carry players from eight different colleges, though none of them are from Stanford (or USC).
Long Beach State and Pacific each have three players on the roster and California has a pair. Pepperdine, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Coastline CC are also represented.
Several players will also be in Serbia for the Junior World Championships, including Johnny Hooper.
Stanford sophomore Dylan Woodhead and Atherton resident Nick Bisconti, now at Cal, are also headed to Belgrade.
After spotting France a pair of goals, UCLA's Alex Roelse, Carniglia and Max Irving scored for the U.S. France added a goal and the match was tied at halftime.
The game was tied on four more occasions in the second half, the last at 8-8 with 4:22 remaining in the contest. Bowen scored the go-ahead goal and Lupido and Irving tacked on insurance goals.
The United States went 2-of-8 on power plays and converted a penalty shot. France was 2-of-7 on power plays.
Women's water polo
In contrast to the men, UC Irvine coach Dan Klatt will be taking eight Stanford players to the World University Games, with Olympians Kiley Neushul and Aria Fischer leading the way.
National team members Jamie Neushul, Jordan Raney and Gabby Stone will also making the trip, along with Dani Jackovich, Kat Klass and Madison Berggren.
National team member Alys Williams (UCLA) and Mia Rycraw, the Arizona State goalie who has seen action with the national team, are also among those playing for the U.S.
UC Irvine's Mary Brooks, USC's Brigitta Games and Cal's Stephanie Mutafyan fill out the roster.
Incoming Cardinal freshman Sarah Klass will play for the U.S. at the Junior World Championships in Volos, Greece beginning Sept. 3.
Sacred Heart Prep grad and incoming Michigan freshman is an alternate for the team, coached by Coralie Simmons.
Other familiar names among the junior national team are USC goalkeeper Amanda Longan, UCLA goalkeeper Carlee Kapana, Paige Hauschild, Lexi Liebowitz and Ryann Neushul.