TORONTO – The U.S. Women’s Goalball Team produced a third shutout while the U.S. Men’s Goalball Team had us on the edge of our seats.
Offense prevailed in the Women’s game against Guatemala this morning as the women shutout another Americas team, 10-0, in the first half. Parapan new-comers, Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.) and Marybai Huking (Plain City, Utah), both became more familiar with the court.
“The whole experience has been really cool and amazing. Just being here – in the village, part of the U.S. delegation and participating in the Games,” said Mason, who scored her first goal of the tournament against Nicaragua on the second day of competition.
“Defense is always our priority but to be able to score, it always feels successful,” Mason said. And success they are feeling, having scored 10 goals against the Guatemala Women’s Team in just over 10 minutes.
The team will play Canada at 3:15 p.m. tomorrow in the final game of preliminary round robin play.
“Tomorrow will be a good warm-up game because we already know we’re playing them Friday for the semifinals,” Mason said. “So our team focus tomorrow is to get a feel for the team and for the court so that we can win the one that really matters on Friday.”
The Men’s team gave us another nail-biter against Argentina. The game was back and forth for 24 minutes. The men were tied 2-2 at 7:17 in the first half, the U.S. led in the second half after a 4-goal scoring streak by Joseph Hamilton (Sacramento, Calif.) and Donte’ Mickens (Delray Beach, Fla.). Argentina answered by tying up the score 9-9 with 5:02 left in the second half. The final score was 11-10.
“They throw really hard,” said U.S. Men’s team member, Andrew Jenks (Wilmington, Del.). “This is a much improved team than the Argentina we saw in 2011 and 2013. They are no joke. But we were able to play defense when it counted.”
After the team’s loss to Canada on Sunday, “it was really important for us to come out with a ‘W’ against Argentina,” Jenks said.
The U.S. Men’s team will play Puerto Rico tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. to close out round robin competition.
“’Defense first’ is a mentality that we have as a team,” Jenks said. “We can talk about offensive strategy but what really punched our ticket to Rio was defense.”
“This was our highest scoring game so far,” he continued. “We’re going to really work toward strengthening up our defense, both in the gaps and on the lines.”
Both teams will compete in a final day of preliminary round robin competition before enjoying a day of rest on Thursday. U.S. Men will play Puerto Rico at 11:30 a.m. EST. U.S. Women will play Canada at 3:15 p.m. EST. For the full 2015 Parapan American Games Goalball schedule, visit the Toronto 2015 website.
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