U.S. Women’s Goalball Team Earns First Win Against China Since Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
June 5th, 2018
FORT WAYNE, IN (June 4, 2018) – Defending world champions, U.S. Women, are proving their strength on the court in Sweden with a 3-0 record so far in round-robin play but in Group B, U.S. Men are struggling to keep up with the competition.
Following their first win against Greece on day one, U.S. Women took the court again opposite China. It was a tough game between two very strong teams but in the end, Team USA prevailed. This was their first win against China since the U.S. Women’s Goalball Team topped them in the gold medal game at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
“Not all of us have played China before but we know that USA has not put up a win against them in 10 years,” said two-time Paralympian Amanda Dennis who played the entire game. “It was important to us to go out there and remind China who we are. We had good execution on offense and defense and very good team communication and positivity.”
On their second day of round robin play, U.S. Women continued their winning streak with a 4-2 win over Algeria despite an uncharacteristic high ball penalty on Lisa Czechowski. Dennis and Asya Miller had the goals in this low-scoring game.
It’s been a different story for U.S. Men who faced defending world champions, Brazil, as their first opponents at the tournament. Brazil was ahead 4-1 in the first half with the singular U.S. goal from Grej Pesjaka. Multiple mistakes in the second half, including a missed penalty shot and an own goal lead to a 7-2 loss for U.S. Men. Next up, the U.S. Men faced Germany where they allowed nearly double the goals they scored for another loss of 13-7.
“During the Brazil game, we had some problems with spacing between players,” said U.S. Men’s Goalball Team player John Kusku. “We made a focus to stay connected on the court to correct that problem. I think in the Germany game, we did a much better job with that.”
The following day, U.S. Men faced Iran where they kept up with the competition and even had a three-point lead on their opponents with three minutes left in the game. Unfortunately, U.S. Men allowed Iran to catch up for a final score of 8-8. U.S. Men are currently 0-2-1 in round robin play.
Team USA is competing against 15 men’s teams and 11 women’s teams at the IBSA Goalball World Championships, June 3-8. A podium finish for both teams would mean becoming one of the first nations to qualify to compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Competition continues tomorrow starting at 8:30 a.m. local (2:30 a.m. ET) when U.S. Men take on Egypt. Watch games and find the full tournament schedule on the event website: http://www.wcg18.se/.
ABOUT TURNSTONE: Now in its 75th year of service, Turnstone’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential by providing one of the most comprehensive offerings of services and programs to people with disabilities and their families under one roof in the United States. Thanks to generous support and compassionate staff, Turnstone’s legacy of advocacy and innovation continues to contribute to a world that accepts and values people based on their abilities. This legacy now includes the privilege of functioning as the home training facility for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Goalball Teams and the goalball resident program through a partnership with the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). www.turnstone.org | Twitter: @TurnstoneCenter | Facebook: Turnstone Center of Children and Adults with Disabilities | Instagram: @TurnstoneCenter
ABOUT UNITED STATES ASSOCIATION OF BLIND ATHLETES (USABA)
Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. In addition to providing grassroot and development opportunities in multiple sports, USABA serves as the high performance management organization for the Paralympic sport of goalball in the U.S. Through a partnership with Turnstone Center, USABA established the first-ever long-term goalball resident program in the country where members of U.S. Men’s and Women’s Goalball National Teams train full-time. USABA’s mission: to empower Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation and physical activity, thereby educating and inspiring the nation. www.usaba.org | Twitter: @USABA | Facebook: United States Association of Blind Athletes
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