Stanford junior Ben Hallock scored twice, including one which gave the U.S. men's senior national water polo team a lead late in the third period but Greece rallied to beat the Americans 11-9 in the second round of preliminary play at the FINA World Championships on Sunday.
Former Cardinal All-American Alex Bowen also scored for the U.S., which will be playing Russia in a 9-12 classification match Tuesday. Cal’s Johnny Hooper and USC’s Hannes Daube also scored twice.
Hallock’s goal with 2:11 remaining to play in the third period put the Americans on top 8-7. Cal’s Luca Cupido tied the match a minute earlier.
Greece responded with the tying goal on its next possession, following an American exclusion. Alex Wolf saved the first shot of the power play but the ball skipped to an open Greek player, who buried it.
Bowen and Cupido had chances to score in the opening minutes of the fourth period, each nabbing a rebound during a power play. The Greek goalie, who recorded nine saves, blocked the first try and saved the second.
Cupido and Bowen, two of USA’s top scorers, combined to convert two of 12 shot attempts (.167). The rest of the team generated seven goals in 17 attempts. Wolf made eight saves for the U.S.
Greece took the lead for good, on a power play with 4:38 left to play. The Greeks scored again just over a minute later. Hooper’s goal brought the U.S. within 10-9 with 2:32 left but Greece scored again in the final minute.
There were four lead changes during the match and it was tied on six other occasions. The U.S. was 6 of 12 on the power play and did not attempt a penalty shot. Greece was 6 of 10 and converted both of its penalty shots.