July 9, 1999
Palma de Mallorca, Spain - In the last game of the second bracket at the World University Games, Team USA solidly defeated France Friday night, 8-3. The U.S. shut out France in the first quarter and until the last 34 seconds of the first half. It wasn't until late in the fourth that France could even break through the U.S. defense again and try to score.
"We were pretty pumped up to play because we knew it was a do or die situation," goalie Merrill Moses (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) said.
The win puts the U.S. in fourth place in its bracket, ahead of France and Australia, and moves Team USA into the quarterfinals to battle the number one seed out of the other bracket - Russia. If they can pull off a win over Russia, Team USA will move into the top four and within sight of a World University Games medal.
"We know we are a good team," Moses said, "but we needed to make it into the top eight to prove to the other teams what we can do." Despite a win over Kazakhstan in the first contest of the Games, Moses thought that the U.S. had started out a little flat. Team captain Layne Beaubien (Coronado, Calif.) and Sean Kern (UCLA/Honolulu) both recorded two for the U.S. The other four points were shared among Brent Albright, Jeff Powers (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Ryan Flynn (Brentwood, Calif.) and Bryan Heifferon (Fullerton, Calif.).
The U.S. water polo team faces Russia Saturday at the Son Hugo aquatic complex at 9:30 p.m.