Olympics: Stanford Players Scoring Not Enough for U.S. Water Polo
Stanford’s Bret Bonanni had four goals while Cardinal teammate Alex Bowen added three but the U.S. men’s water polo team is in trouble after a 10-9 defeat to Spain at Maria Lenk Aquatics Center.
The Americans (0-2) are in jeopardy of failing to reach the quarterfinals as they need to finish in the top four in their group to advance.
“We have to win out now, that’s it,” former Stanford star Tony Azevedo told reporters. “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we have to go and take control of our games immediately.”
The Americans still play France on Wednesday, then Montenegro and Italy. The United States finished eighth in London four years ago after winning the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics.
Azevedo, playing in his fifth Games, screamed at his teammates near the end of the first quarter.
“I was just trying to wake us up,” he said. “We have to start playing as a team and not as individuals. If you look at today’s game our problems were defense and mistakes, we gave up some stupid goals. We played worse this game than we did in the first and that is unacceptable.”
Azevedo, a native of Rio de Janeiro, had one goal as did Cal’s Luca Cupido. But Spain built a 10-7 lead with 4:11 left and the United States didn’t have enough to catch the Europeans despite late goals from Bonanni and Bowen.
“This is the most equal playing field that we’ve had in a really long time,” Azevedo added. “If you make two or three mistakes in a game you can’t win. We made more mistakes than the other team today and you’re not going to win that way.” Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow Elliott Almond on Twitter at Twitter.com/ElliottAlmond .