USA men clinch spot in Olympics water polo | August 16, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - August 16, 2019

USA men clinch spot in Olympics water polo

American women capture fifth straight gold medal

by Rick Eymer

Stanford sophomore Ben Hallock, Cardinal grad Alex Bowen and Cal's Johnny Hooper each scored five goals to help the United States men's national water polo team clinch a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, beating Canada 18-6 in the championship match of the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Alex Wolf recorded 13 saves for the Americans (17-4, 6-0), who will compete in their 10th consecutive Olympics next summer. The U.S. hopes to medal for the first time since earning silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Hallock scored just over a minute into the contest and Bowen added a goal 40 seconds later. The U.S. never trailed, breaking it open with a big second quarter that gave USA a 10-2 halftime advantage.

Hallock, with an assist from Bowen, scored 24 seconds into the second quarter to spark the rally. Bowen recorded four assists overall as the U.S. won its eighth straight.

The Americans were wildly successful with a man advantage, converting 12 of 19. They were 18 of 35 overall. Canada converted 4 of 7 of its power plays.

Brazil topped Argentina 9-6 to earn the bronze medal. Cuba edged Puerto Rico 8-7 in the fifth-place game.

Women's water polo

Canada did a good job of reaching the championship match of the women's water polo tournament at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. There was just no way to stop the U.S., which has won the past two Olympic gold medals along with nearly every other major international competition.

Stanford senior Makenzie Fischer scored six times to help the Americans swamp the Canadians 24-4 as the U.S. won it's fifth consecutive Pan Am gold medal.

The Americans (28-0, 6-0) played their last scheduled contest of the year, though that will likely change as the U.S. enters its final year in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Fischer has scored 11 goals over her past two games. She's always had the capability of producing big numbers, showing that with the Cardinal during their NCAA championship season. With USA, though, Fischer's role had been as one of the top defenders in the world. She's showing she can be one of the more versatile players in the nation, even taking a turn as goalie for a quarter.

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