Incoming Stanford freshman Tyler Abramson scored six goals and the USA men's junior national water polo team rebounded from a tough loss to beat Puerto Rico 18-7 in pool play at the FINA Junior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on Tuesday.
The Americans likely clinched a berth in the quarterfinals with Iran the final group play opponent on Wednesday. Iran has one win, an 8-7 decision over Puerto Rico.
Goals from Quinten Osborne, Hannes Daube, Jacob Cavano and Abramson fueled the start.
Puerto Rico's offense came to life to start the second quarter as they scored the first two goals to make it a 4-2 game with 4:54 left in the first half.
The United States answered with three straight goals, two from Ash Molthen, to build a 7-2 lead. Cavano added another goal with less than a minute to play and Team USA took an 8-3 advantage into halftime.
The two sides traded goals throughout the third period each finding the back of the net three times. Johnny Hooperscored two of the goals for the United States and they maintained a five goals advantage at 11-6 with play moving to the fourth quarter.
Team USA silenced any thoughts of a comeback from Puerto Rico in the fourth, exploding for seven straight goals to put the match out of reach. By the time the dust settled the United States held an 18-6 lead with 2:38 to go in the game.
Abramson started and finished that barrage of goals and added one more in the middle on the way to securing the victory.
Stanford sophomore Dylan Woodhead and Menlo School grad Nick Bisconti also scored for the
The United States went 5-of-7 on the power play and did not attempt a penalty while Puerto Rico went 2-of-11 on the power play and 1-1 on penalty shots.