AUGUST 3, 2012
The Men’s USA Water Polo Team has had a fantastic start to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Our first game against Montenegro was a battle. Those of you who got to watch on NBC saw the great defensive effort that our team put forth in the game. We also had some great outside shooting from key players, causing the Montenegro coach to sub out his starting goalkeeper. Our team captain, Tony Azevedo, hit an amazing outside shot to put us ahead by two goals with little time left. Montenegro came back with a quick goal to make it a one point game. We ended up winning the game 8 to 7 when Montenegro’s last attempt was halted by our relentless defense.
Our next game was against Romania. On paper, Romania is a team that we should have no problem beating, but in the Olympic Games every team is a threat. We started the game a little flat and went down at halftime 5 to 4. In the third quarter we started heating up as a team and held them scoreless while putting 3 points up on the board to take the lead 7 to 5. We kept the pressure on them in the fourth quarter by scoring from the outside and keeping them contained on defense. We made some mental mistakes at the end of the game that cost us a few goals, but we came away with the victory, 10 to 8.
The third game pitted us against the host country of Great Britain. The game had a lot of energy as the stands were packed with red, white, and blue flags from both countries. We came out very strong, both offensively and defensively, taking a quick 5 to 0 lead. We eventually increased our lead to 7 to 0 before the British finally started putting some points on the board. In the end, we came away with the victory 13 to 6 and accomplished our goal of guaranteeing a spot in the quarterfinals.
Tomorrow will be our biggest game of the tournament thus far. We play Serbia at 7:40pm London time, broadcast live on NBC. If we win, we are guaranteed to advance first in our bracket, meaning a quarterfinal game against the fourth place team in the other bracket. Please watch and cheer us on as loud as you can. We love all the support in the stands and from home. Keep the good vibes flowing and we will keep playing or hearts out to accomplish our dream of winning a gold medal for our country.