Water Polo


Water Polo was first played in 19th century England and was introduced in the United States in 1888 by English swimming instructor, John Robinson. The first women's water polo match was played in Harlem, Netherlands in 1906.

Water Polo competition in London begins on July 29th





Betsey Armstrong
Goalkeeper
DOB: January 31st, 1983
Residence: Long Beach, CA
2008 Olympic silver medalist. Anchored Team USA’s defense during its victory at the 2011 FINA World League Super final in Tianjin, China. Posted 28 saves in helping the USA win a gold medal and Olympic qualification at the 2011 Pan American Games - including 13 saves (two from penalties) in the final (a one goal, 27-26, victory over Canada). Named best female water polo player in the world by FINA in 2010.



Courtney Mathewson
Attacker
DOB: September 14th, 1986
Residence: Anaheim Hills, CA
1st at the Pan American Games, 2011; led team in scoring en route to the gold medal. 1st - FINA World League Super Final, 2011, scoring four goals. Majored in Sociology at UCLA where she won four consecutive NCAA titles with the Bruins. Named NCAA Player of the Year, 2008.



Heather Petri
Attacker
DOB: June 13th, 1978
Residence: Long Beach, CA
A four-time Olympian. Silver medalist at the Beijing Olympic Games. Bronze in Athens, 2004. Silver in Sydney, 2000. 1st - Pan American Games, 2011. Founded her high school’s women’s water polo team after having played on the men’s team. Has played professionally in Brazil, Greece and Italy. Scored four goals in the 2011 Pan Am Games gold medal game, and another four in the 2012 World League Super Final. A water polo legend.



Kelly Rulon
Attacker
DOB: August 16th, 1984
Residence: Point Loma, CA
Two-time Olympian. Redshirted at UCLA in 2004 to play in the Athens Games; scored four goals, including the game-winner, against Hungary in the opening game. Defeated Australia to claim the bronze medals. Member of world championship winning team in 2009.



Jessica Steffens
Utility
DOB: April 4th, 1987
Residence: Seal Beach, CA
Silver medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games. Shoulder surgery in 2010. Bounced back to play on the US team that was sixth at the 2011 World Champs. 1st - Pan American Games, 2011. 1st  - FINA World League Super Final, 2011. Named to the Olympic All Star Team, 2008. Father, brother, two sisters and several cousins played water polo.



Lauren Wenger
Utility
DOB: March 11th, 1984
Residence: Long Beach, CA
Silver medalist at the 2008 Games. One of the most versatile players in the game. Can play any position except goalkeeper. 1st - Pan American Games, 2011. 6th - FINA World Championships, 2011. 1st - FINA World League Super Final, 2011. Member of world championship winning team in 2009; silver medalist in 2005. Played professionally in Greece and Italy.



Shea Buckner
Attacker
DOB: December 12th, 1986
Residence: Villa Park, CA
Scored five goals at the 2012 FINA World League Super Final. Four goals in USA’s sixth place finish at the 2011 FINA World Championships. 4th - FINA World League Super Final, 2011. All American 1st Team at USC; Best Defender, 2008/2009




John Mann
Center
DOB: June 27th, 1985
Residence: Newport Beach, CA
Fourth place at the FINA World League Super Final, 2011. London is his first Olympics. Alternate on the Beijing team in 2008. Won the 2006-07 Peter J. Cutino Award as the nation's top male collegiate water polo player. Plays professionally in Spain. Favorite quote: “Ruthless striving overcomes all.” – Virgil



Merrill Moses
Goalkeeper
DOB: August 13th, 1977
Residence: Tracy, CA
Silver medalist, Beijing Olympic Games. Made 36 saves at the 2011 Pan Am Games, securing a gold medal and Olympic berth. 6th - FINA World Championships, 2011. 4th - FINA World League Super Final, 2011. Named Most Valuable Player of USA Water Polo’s Men’s National Championships, 2010. 4th - FINA World Championships, 2009. In December 2010, Moses’ 2008 silver medal was stolen during a hold-up. Played professionally in Italy and Croatia. USA Water Polo calls Moses, “one of the most exciting goalkeepers in the game today.”



Tony Azevedo
Attacker
DOB: November 21st, 1981
Residence: Long Beach, CA
Olympic silver medalist, 2008. 1st - Pan American Games, 2011. 6th - FINA World Championships, 2011. 4th - FINA World League Super Final, 2011. 5th - FINA World League Super Final, 2010. USOC Athlete of the Year three times. Among the world’s leading players. Born in Rio de Janeiro. Family moved to California when he was one month old. At age four, suffered a fall that severed his trachea and esophagus. Heart stopped beating on the operating table for four minutes. Played professionally in Italy, Croatia and Montenegro. Father, Ricardo, played on the Brazilian water polo team and was head coach of the US team and at Long Beach State University. Sister Cassie was a two-time All-American water polo player at Long Beach State and plays professionally in Italy. London is his fourth Olympic Games, a feat equalled by only one other US player (although the NYAC’s Tamas Kamas from Hungary will play in his fifth Games in London).



Ronald Layne Beaubien
Defender
DOB: July 4th, 1976
Residence: Coronado, CA
Silver medalist at the Beijing Olympics. Scored eight goals in that competition. One of the top all-rounders in the world. 1st - Pan American Games, 2011. 6th - FINA World Championships, 2011. 4th - FINA World Championships, 2009. Missed 2010 season due to a back injury. London is his third Olympic Games: 7th, 2004.



Jesse Smith
Utility
DOB: April 27th, 1983
Residence: Coronado, CA
Silver medalist at the Beijing Olympics, 2008. 1st - Pan American Games, 2011. 6th - FINA World Championships, 2011. 4th - FINA World Cup, 2010. Renowned as one of the game’s most naturally gifted players. Played professionally in Greece and Italy. Smith’s image adorns one of the enormous banners hanging from the ceiling in the NYAC gymnasium. London is his third Olympics.



Adam Wright
Attacker
DOB: May 4th, 1977
Residence: Seal Beach, CA
Silver medalist at the Beijing Olympics. 1st - Pan American Games, 2011. 6th - FINA World Championships, 2011. 4th - FINA World League Super Final, 2011. 4th - FINA World Cup, 2010. Also played on the 2004 Olympic team (7th). Head coach of the UCLA men’s water polo team. Three time Olympian. Played professionally in Italy and Russia. Favorite quote: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” - John Wooden




Peter Hudnut
Defender
DOB: February 16th, 1980
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Silver medalist, Beijing Games. Took two year hiatus after Beijing and started a food company before returning to the US team. Helped Team USA to a fourth place finish at the 2012 FINA World League Super Final in Almaty, Kazakhstan. 1st - Pan American Games, 2011 (scored twice). 6th - FINA World Championships, 2011. 4th - FINA World League Super Final, 2011.



Chay Lapin
Goalkeeper
DOB: February 25th, 1987
Residence: Long Beach, CA
One of the most decorated goalkeepers in UCLA history. Established the school record, 719 saves, through his senior season (2009). Backup goalkeeper for Team USA at the 2011 and 2012 FINA World League Super Finals.



Tamas Kasas (Hungary) Attacker
DOB: July 20th, 1976.
Born: Budapest, Hungary. Residence: Genoa, Italy
One of the finest water polo players in history. London will be his fifth Olympic Games. 4th, 1996; 1st, 2000; 1st, 2004; 1st, Beijing. Often described as the best defensive player of his era. Renowned for his shot blocking, strength in one-on-one situations, and the accuracy of his shooting and passing. Picked up the sport at age of six, being taught by his father Zoltán, an Olympic silver medalist from 1972.

       
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