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Hotlanta Blazers, Manticores Capture Gold at Goalball Nationals

Posted May 26, 2019  Goalball

SMYRNA, Ga. (May 26, 2019) – A record 25 teams from across the nation convened in Smyrna, Georgia, over Memorial Day weekend for the 2019 USABA Goalball National Championships. The event featured three exciting days of action at the Smyrna Community Center and was sponsored by The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

Round robin play began Friday evening and ran through Sunday morning, with semifinals and medal rounds conducted Sunday afternoon.

Women’s division

In the women’s division, the Georgia Phantoms went undefeated in pool play to earn the top seed in the semifinal, but the Hotlanta Blazers pulled off a shootout victory in the semifinals over the Phantoms to reach the gold medal match. In the other semifinal, Avalanche got by the New Jersey Honeybees.

The gold medal match was a tightly-contested affair with the Hotlanta Blazers holding a 2-0 lead up until the final minute of the game. However, two quick goals by the Avalanche’s Eliana Mason knotted the game with just seconds remaining. With overtime looming and one last shot for the Blazers, Asya Miller found the back of the net with two ticks left on the clock to claim the gold medal in thrilling fashion. The Georgia Phantoms would go on to defeat the New Jersey Honeybees in the bronze-medal match.

Men’s division

When all shook out in the men’s competition, four teams rose to the top to reach the semifinals: Goon Squad, Manticores, Florida United Red and Columbus Chill. The semifinal matches saw Manticores with a sudden-death overtime victory over Florida United Red, while the Columbus Chill took down Goon Squad to reach the final.

The eagerly-anticipated gold medal final proved to be a runaway as Manticores manhandled the Columbus Chill, running out to an 11-2 halftime advantage and closing out the victory by the 10-point margin rule, 13-3, in the second half.

Goon Squad rebounded to win the bronze medal with a 9-5 win over Florida United Red.

Most Valuable Player awards were handed out to Jill MacSween of the Hotlanta Blazers and Josh Welborn of Manticores.

Congratulations to all teams, athletes and coaches who competed this weekend and THANK YOU to all of the volunteers and staff that made this tournament run so smoothly!


Final results:

Women’s division:
Gold – Hotlanta Blazers
Silver – Avalanche
Bronze – Georgia Phantoms
4th – New Jersey Honeybees
5th – DC Corruption
6th – Windy City Fire
7th – Maryland Raptors

Elite Men’s division:
Gold – Manticores
Silver – Columbus Chill
Bronze – Goon Squad
4th – Florida United Red
5th – DC Eagles
6th – New York Knights
7th – California Crown
8th – Atlanta Force

Men’s division:
1. Spittin Llamas
2. New Jersey Thunder
3. Atlanta Wolves
4. Florida United White
5. Maryland Raptors
6. New York Empire
7. USA Vets
8. Windy City Storm
9. Tennessee Tornadoes
10. Mavericks