The Los Alamitos-based U.S. men's national water polo team, loaded with local players, defeated Argentina, 13-3, Friday night in the UANA World Aquatics Championship Qualification Tournament in Calgary, Alberta.
Nikola Vavic (Rancho Palos Verdes), J.P. MacDonell, and Jeff Schwimer (Beverly Hills) each scored twice. Gonzalo Echenique of Argentina opened the scoring 42 seconds into the game, but the U.S. scored the next six goals. Vavic, MacDonell and Ryan Bailey (Long Beach) scored in the first quarter and Griffin Lerman and Alex Bowen in the second, giving the U.S. a 5-1 halftime lead.
Schwimer scored the first goal of the second half. German Yanez scored 15 seconds later for Argentina, but Bret Bonanni (Huntington Beach), Schwimer and Jeff Powers scored later in the quarter as the U.S. increased its lead to 9- 2.
Tommy Corcoran, Scott Davidson (Seal Beach), MacDonell and Vavic scored in the fourth quarter as the U.S. completed its third victory over Argentina in 10 days.
The U.S. previously defeated Argentina, 16-6 and 14-8, in exhibitions Jan. 23 and Saturday at USC and Northwood High School in Irvine. The teams will meet again Saturday in a semifinal - with the winner receiving a berth in the world championship, which will be held in Barcelona, Spain this summer.
The U.S.-Argentina winner will play the winner of the semifinal between Canada and Brazil for the championship Sunday, while the semifinal losers will play for third place.