July 7, 1999
Palma de Mallorca, Spain - With their eyes on the medal round, Team USA water polo beat Australia, 15-10, in the first round of the World University Game's second bracket, evening their record to 2-2.
Four players shared the high-scoring title - Adam Wright (UCLA/Seal Beach, Calif.), Ryan Flynn, Bryan Heifferon (Fullerton, Calif.) and Sean Kern (UCLA/Honolulu) each scored three against Australia. Team captain Layne Beaubien (Coronado, Calif.) recorded two, and Patrick Cochran scored his first goal of the Games. Goalie Merrill Moses (Rancho Palo Verdes, Calif.) added six to his tally of saves at the WUG.
The U.S. advanced out of the first bracket Tuesday despite a disappointing loss to Yugoslavia that was decided in the last few minutes. The big win against Australia illustrates to Beaubien that the team is getting better. "We're getting used to each other now and getting used to each other's ways," he added. This group of 13 players only played together a week prior to coming to Spain and has had to use their first games to become team.
Thursday's match is against Cuba, which will be one of Team USA's toughest opponents. But Beaubien declared, "We're looking forward to the next few games. We have to win all three of our remaining games now."
The challenge begins Thursday at 8 p.m. at the UIB water polo pool.