Trojans Buckner and Dennerley Make Olympic Debuts|
July 29, 2012
Olympic debuts were the order of business today in London, England, for USC men's water polo players. Trojan grad Joel Dennerley was a force in the cage for Australia in the goalie's first Olympic appearance. Incoming Trojan James Clark serves as Dennerley's back-up for the Aussie squad, but Dennerley went the whole stretch in today's opener against Italy. For Team USA, USC grad Shea Buckner also debuted as an Olympian in a tense clash with Montenegro.
Dennerley certainly impressed in goal, coming up with huge saves throughout the game - a strength the four-time All-American showed through four straight national championship runs as a Trojan. Despite a whopping 13 saves made by Dennerley, Italy would get the win in this one, however, with an 8-5 decision in the first match of group play. Dennerley, Clark and the Aussies next face Kazakhstan on July 31.
Later in the day, Team USA took on a dangerous Montenegro squad in its first group play matchup. Buckner served up the assist on a key late goal by the United States, helping lift the U.S. squad to an 8-6 advantage in the final minute of play. That would be the clincher for an 8-7 win by the Americans, who also have former Trojan Olympian Robert Lynn on staff as an assistant coach. Team USA next faces Romania on July 31.
Follow the Trojans in their pursuit of Olympic gold at www.usctrojans.com/london2012
SHEA BUCKNER USA men's water polo
JAMES CLARK Australia men's water polo
First-time Olympian James Clark has signed on to join the Trojans this coming season.
JOEL DENNERLEY Australia men's water polo