Comeback falls short in USA men's water polo loss to Greece


Johnny Hooper scored three goals but the United States men's junior national water polo team dropped a 7-6 decision to Greece in the second day of competition at the FINA Men's Junior World Championship in Belgrade, Serbia on Monday.

Hooper scored as many goals as Greece allowed in its first two contests. The Greeks have outscored their opponents 51-9 in taking command of Group A.

The Americans (1-1) are tied for second with games remaining against Puerto Rico (0-2) on Tuesday and Iran (1-2) on Wednesday. Greece is 3-0 with one game remaining against Russia. Quarterfinals begin Thursday.

Greece took control of the match early, scoring twice before Beck Jurasius got Team USA on the board with 3:38 to play in the first period. Greece took a 4-2 lead into halftime.

Stanford sophomore Dylan Woodhead closed the gap to 4-3 midway through the third period but the Greeks added two more goals and eventually built a 7-4 advantage with just over two minutes remaining in the contest.

The United States answered with a Hooper goal on the next possession and then, with less than a minute to play, Hannes Daube scored on a power play to make it 7-6.

Team USA was set to have one more chance following a defensive stand but an exclusion called with 19 seconds left erased the possibility.

Team USA went 4-of-11 on the power play while Greece was 3-of-11. American goalie Alex Wolf added 10 saves in net.

Menlo School grad Nick Bisconti, in his second year at California, is serving as team captain. Incoming Stanford freshman Tyler Abramson is also on the roster.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA water polo

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