Men Wrap Group Play With Quarterfinal Action Ahead For Greece|
Aug. 14, 2016
Early today, two Trojan titans were pitted against one another in an important Olympic face-off in Rio. Four-time NCAA champion and 2010 Peter J. Cutino Award winner Joel Dennerley — in his second Olympic Games — saw his Australian squad square off against fellow Cutino Award winner and a three-time NCAA champ, Kostas Genidounias and Team Greece.
The group leaders, Greece was already secure in a spot in the quarterfinals. But Australia needed a win to have a shot at moving on, and the Aussies got it in the form of a 12-7 victory over the Greeks. From there, however, it was out of Australia’s hands, and Serbia and Hungary’s respective wins would bump the Aussies to a fifth-place finish in the group to fall short of a spot in the quarterfinals.
Later, Team USA — with two Trojans teammates in tow — had a clash with Italy to wrap up its run in Rio. The United States was already out of the running for a quarterfinal spot, but had something still to prove in today’s closer against Italy. Current USC goalie and All-American McQuin Baron capped up in the cage to start the match, collecting four saves in his appearance. Incoming freshman Thomas Dunstan would plug in his first goal as an Olympian, scoring and equalizer in the second quarter as Team USA pressed on to beat the Italians 10-7.
That would close down the Trojans’ work in Rio for the final day of group play. Baron and Dunstan will next trade out their USA caps for USC gear as they will next focus in on their 2016 season as the Trojans take aim at a 10th NCAA Championship this season.
Quarterfinals for the men in Rio are set for August 16, with matchups still to be posted (https://www.rio2016.com/en/water-polo).