Alexander Wolf makes a save during the Men's Waterpolo Final match between United States and Canada during the Pan American Games Lima 2019 at Aquatic Center of Complejo Deportivo Villa Maria del Triunfo on Aug. 10, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
Three goals in the final five minutes weren’t enough for the U.S. men’s water polo team to rally past Montenegro for the gold medal in the FINA Water Polo World League Super Final, but Team USA did secure its best finish in the competition since 2016.
A 2-0 advantage after the first quarter held up for Montenegro, now champion of the World League for the second time. Scores were tied in the second and third quarters, leaving the U.S. facing the same two-goal deficit going into the fourth. Twice the U.S. got to within one goal, but ran out of time. Hannes Daube led the team with three goals and Drew Holland saved nine of 18 shots.
The U.S. men were seeking their first gold medal in World League play, which began in 2002. The silver medal is the third in team history, and first since 2016. The U.S. now has four medals all time in the competition.
The players of Team USA will now await the announcement of the Olympic roster on Friday. The World League team included five Olympians and 11 players who helped win the gold medal at the most recent Pan American Games in 2019. The U.S. is seeking its first official gold medal in Olympic play, having won in 1904 when water polo was a demonstration sport. In official Olympic play the U.S. men have won silver three times, most recently in 2008.