USC's Buckner Scores First Olympic Goals
Aug. 2, 2012
USC saw all three of its Trojan men's water polo Olympians make an impact today (Aug. 2) in London. USC grad Shea Buckner scored his first Olympic goals for Team USA in a U.S. victory over host Great Britain. Meanwhile, in Australia's matchup with a tough Spain squad, USC grad Joel Dennerley started the day in goal for the Aussies, giving way to incoming Trojan James Clark for his Olympic debut.
Australia took to the pool for the first match of the day in London, forcing California fans to follow along at 2 a.m. PT. USC fans were rewarded in getting to cheer on both Trojan goalies, as four-time USC All-American and national champion Joel Dennerley made six saves for the Aussies before handing the reins to incoming Trojan James Clark late in the third period of play. In his Olympic debut, Clark made three saves for Australia. The Aussies would wind up with a 13-9 loss to Spain in their third game of group play. Australia will next face Croatia at 3:20 a.m. PT on Aug. 4.
In the USA's 13-7 win over Olympic host Great Britain, Shea Buckner broke through with his first Olympic goal in the first period of action. The two-time NCAA champion as a Trojan would add to his count in the second to put Team USA up 7-0 on its hosts. With Buckner's two goals in the mix, the U.S. team finished up with a 13-7 win to improve its standing as group leader with six points. Buckner and the United States are next up against Serbia at 11:40 a.m. PT on Aug. 4.
A 2008 and 2009 NCAA Champion and a three-time All-American at USC, Shea Buckner is making his Olympic debut this year in London. His call-up to Team USA has taken him most recently to international appearances at the 2011 and 2012 FINA World League Super Finals as he now prepares to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games. Buckner played three seasons at USC, helping anchor the Trojans' undefeated finish in 2008, which kick-started USC's historic run to four consecutive national championships.
A four-time national champion and the recipient of the 2011-12 Peter J. Cutino Award as the nation's top collegiate player in his senior season at USC, goalie Joel Dennerley is playing in his first Olympic Games. While anchoring USC's run to a historic four straight NCAA titles, Dennerley emerged as the Trojans' all-time leader in career saves. He is the first-ever goalie to win the Cutino Award on the men's side, and also claimed back-to-back honors as the MPSF Player of the Year -- also a first for a goalie. For his native Australia, Dennerley was called up to compete in the 2010 FINA World Cup and 2011 FINA World Championships and was recently named Australia Water Polo Inc.'s Male Player of the Year.
Follow all the Trojan Olympians in their quests for Olympic gold at www.usctrojans.com/london2012