Trojan Teammates To Face Off In Olympic Action
Aug. 10, 2012
National champions together as Trojans in 2008 and 2009, USC grads Shea Buckner and Joel Dennerley will square off as Olympic opponents in the seventh-place game in London on Aug. 12. As members of the U.S. and Australian Olympic teams, respectively, the two Trojans wrap up their first Olympic Games out of reach of a medal following a tough field of action in London.
Today was the consolation semifinals for both teams, with frustrating finishes on both accounts, as well, for the Trojans with one-goal losses for each. Buckner and Team USA went up against Spain for the right to play for fifth, but Spain held off the Americans in an 8-6 decision.
In the Aussies' clash with Hungary -- winners of the past three Olympic golds until this year -- Dennerley stepped aside from his starting goalie duties to give way to incoming Trojan James Clark. Clark made nine saves down the stretch, but Hungary won the day with a late push to claim a 10-9 victory over Australia.
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.
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.
Follow all the Trojan Olympians in their quests for Olympic gold at www.usctrojans.com/london2012