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Coach Terry Schroeder discusses U.S.'s 8-5 loss to Italy in water polo

Fabforum U.S. men's water polo coach Terry Schroeder shares his thoughts on the team's 8-5 loss to Italy at the FINA world championships:

Tonight we played Italy.  We battled and fought but in the end just did not have what it takes to win the game.  We came out much better but were still down 2-1 at the end of the first quarter.   At the half, it was 4-2 Italy.   We played the third quarter poorly and lost that quarter 3-2 to make the score 7-4 going into the fourth.  Unfortunately, we gave up too may bad goals with mental errors.   While it was a better effort, we are just not clicking right now.  

Where do we stand?  We play South Africa on Friday.  Definitely a team we should handle well.  They are also 0-2 and have given up 31 goals to date. We will beat them and finish third in our bracket. This will cross us over with the No. 2 team in the C bracket, which is Canada.  The winner of that game advances to the quarterfinals more than likely to face Hungary.   We have our work cut out for us.  We have to find our groove.  Part of our problem is definitely conditioning and part of it is just we need more time together.  My sense is that we will improve each and every game here. 

My overall opinion is that we have a group of veteran players that have not put the time or energy into getting themselves into the best possible shape. They have become slightly complacent and it does not take much to be off your game.  We will work hard to find ourselves in this tournament.  That is all we can do right now and hopefully we have a few games to gain some confidence and strength before we go into the quarterfinals next week.  It is a long tournament and a lot can happen.  We have not been working like the team we once were but we will find it.  I am certain of it. 

Tonight our bright spots were our five-man defense.  We held Italy to three out of nine on power plays, which is pretty good for the five-man.  On the other side of that was our power play, which was a measly three out of 10.   We also gave up some pretty soft goals.  As our offense struggles a bit we need to find a way to keep teams from scoring so many goals

We have some work to do here.  No fun for anyone when you lose your first two games.  The mood is pretty blue.  Hopefully, we can right the ship and gain some confidence as we go forward here.  Our goal is to get better every game.  

Another gray day in Shanghai.  We had some thundershowers today but overall it was a pretty good day. Except for loosing of course.  The swimmers came in today and made quite a stir.  Everyone wants to see Michael Phelps.  Lots of media in the hotel tonight.  

OK, that is about it for tonight.  I am checking out and hitting the sack.  Better days ahead.

See you at the pool.

-- Terry Schroeder

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Photo: Terry Schroeder talks to the U.S team. Credit: U.S. Presswire.

 
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