Written by Evan Oscherwitz
The U.S. Open Men’s Water Polo squad earned a spot in the gold medal game Friday in Netanya, edging Hungary by a score of 14-13.
Adam Gross scored the game-winning goal as the clock expired to secure the Americans’ spot in the final.
“It wouldn’t have been possible [for me to score] if my teammates hadn’t gotten me open like that,” Gross said. “They were telling me to go in the pocket all game and they gave me their trust and I made it happen.”
Gross’ buzzer beater capped off a furious comeback bid by the Americans, who trailed 5-1 in the first quarter. The United States managed to pull within a goal at halftime, before surrendering three straight goals to open the second half.
Trailing 10-7 midway through the third quarter, the Americans embarked on another furious run, out-scoring Hungary 7-3 in the final 15 minutes to steal the win. The run was punctuated by four goals from Brian Bacharach and several impressive saves by goaltender Sam Monette, in addition to Gross’ game winner.
“We’ve always been somewhat of a second half team,” Gross said. “Very rarely in this tournament have we gone up early on, but we just tell ourselves that there’s more quarters to play, that we just have to play our game… and we’ve done that.”
The United States will face off against Israel in the gold medal game Sunday at 9 A.M. EST.