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Huntington Beach’s Chase Dodd helps Team USA men’s water polo strike gold

Chase Dodd, left, and Ben Liechty are shown playing against each other in high school in March 2021.
Chase Dodd, left, and Ben Liechty are shown playing against each other in high school in March 2021. Both were on the roster of Team USA men’s water polo as it earned gold at the FINA Intercontinental Cup.
(Raul Roa )

Chase Dodd has been known as a clutch performer as he rose up through the water polo ranks.

At the FINA Intercontinental Tournament, he got a chance to play overseas at the highest level.

The Huntington Beach High graduate delivered.

Dodd scored three goals in the championship match as the U.S. men’s national team defeated Australia 7-6 in Lima, Peru on Sunday. Dodd, currently a freshman at UCLA, was named MVP of the title bout.

Newport Harbor High junior Ben Liechty, this year’s Daily Pilot Dream Team Boys’ Water Polo Player of the Year, was also on the roster for the United States.

The U.S. men, who avenged an earlier loss to Australia in the tournament, beat Canada 10-9 in the semifinals. Dodd again led the way with three goals.

Olympian Drew Holland made 11 saves in the final and was named the tournament’s top goalkeeper.

The Team USA women, featuring Newport Harbor High seniors Morgan Netherton and Taylor Smith and Laguna Beach High sophomore Ava Knepper, earned bronze. The U.S., which was coached by Laguna Beach High coach Ethan Damato, fell to tournament champion Australia 11-4 on the final day of the tournament, with Netherton scoring a goal.

Overall, the U.S. women finished 4-2 in the tournament. Smith scored 15 total goals, with Netherton netting seven goals and Knepper scoring three.

Newport Harbor senior foreign exchange student Bia Mantellato played for the Brazil women in the tournament. Brazil placed fourth among the seven teams competing.

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