ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN – USA captain and former Cal standout John Mann was the ultimate hero in a penalty-shootout, scoring the final goal in an 11-9 victory over Australia Friday during 2014 FINA World Cup action in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Additionally, incoming Golden Bear Luca Cupido also made a penalty shot during Team USA’s quarterfinal overtime victory over Australia.
The Americans will next play Hungary Saturday in the tournament semifinals. Mann, who played at Cal from 2003-06, ended up scoring two goals in the match versus Australia. Luca Cupido, the younger brother of former Bear Giacomo Cupido (2010-13), also notched two goals in the quarterfinals.
One of the top players in school history, the 6-6, 250-pound Mann was a 2012 USA Olympian at the London Games and was the first Bear to capture the Peter J. Cutino Award as the nation’s top collegiate water polo player in 2006. The award was named after the former Cal water polo coaching legend, Peter Cutino. As a senior in ‘06, Mann led the Bears to a 31-4 record and both the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and NCAA titles.
Luca Cupido is a 6-4, 190-pound attacker from Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. He was a 2013 first-team high school All-American at Newport Harbor High School and was a member of Italian squads that won gold medals at the 2013 LEN Junior European Championship and the 2013 FINA Junior World Championship.