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USA WOMEN’S GOALBALL DEFEATS DEFENDING CHAMP TURKEY TO FINISH PRELIMINARY PLAY AT TOKYO PARALYMPICS

Posted August 30, 2021  Tokyo 2020

Quarterfinals begin Tuesday for USA Men’s Goalball

TOKYO, Japan (Aug. 30, 2021) – The USA Women’s Goalball Team is heading into the quarterfinal round of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on a high note after rallying to defeat defending gold medalist Turkey, 4-3, on Monday to close out pool play with a 3-1 record. The U.S. finishes the preliminary round second in Group D and will face the third-seeded Russian Paralympic Committee from Group C in Wednesday’s quarterfinal beginning at 7:30 p.m. local time (6:30 a.m. EDT).

“We just kept pushing and staying in our gameplan and just kept going for it,” said Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.). “We didn’t play very well against them in 2016 or 2018 so to come back and win a really tight, close game just helps us see all our hard work and growth.”

After falling behind 2-0 in the game’s opening four minutes, it was Mason’s conversion of a penalty throw that got the U.S. started. The two teams then traded goals with Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.) tallying the second American goal to make it 3-2 in favor of Turkey at the half.

The tournament’s leading scorer, Sevda Altunoluk scored all three of Turkey’s first-half goals but was neutralized by the U.S. defense in the second half. Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Ga.) tied the game on a penalty throw and then rammed home the game-winner with 2:12 left to play.

“We had a gameplan going in there to be patient and the goals will come, and we followed and executed the gameplan perfectly,” Dennis said. “We’re fearless. This is the word that I chose for the week. We’ve beat Russia and we’re playing them for a quarterfinal. We’ve now beaten Turkey and we only have one way to go which is up. We’re excited, we’re going to stay aggressive and we’re going to play really good defense.”

Earlier in the day, the USA Men’s Goalball Team ended the preliminary round with a record of 2-2 after a 13-3 defeat at the hands of defending gold medalist Lithuania. The U.S. finishes third in Group A and will play the second seed from Group B Ukraine in Tuesday’s quarterfinal.

Heading into Monday’s matchup with Lithuania, the U.S. men were locked into the third seed for Group A. Meanwhile, Lithuania needed a win to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals and they played like it, opening up a quick 4-0 lead before the Americans could respond.

“We definitely still wanted to win that game,” said Zach Buhler (Huntington, Ind.). “We always have the mindset to win, never to lose There wasn’t really any pressure on our shoulders to win or lose but getting mercied kind of stings a little bit. Focusing on quarterfinals is pretty high on our mind right now.”

After leading 9-3 at the half, Lithuania scored the final four goals in the first six minutes of the second half to immediately end the game on the 10-goal margin. Matt Simpson (Smyrna, Ga.) scored twice for the U.S. while Calahan Young (Irwin, Pa.) added his team-leading 13th goal of the tournament.

The U.S. men’s Tuesday quarterfinal against Ukraine begins at 3:00 p.m. local time (2:00 a.m. EDT), while the U.S. women’s Wednesday quarterfinal against the Russian Paralympic Committee will start at 7:30 p.m. local time (6:30 a.m. EDT). All games are live-streamed at https://www.nbcolympics.com/schedule/sport/goalball/paralympics.

GAME SCHEDULE:

USA Women’s Goalball:

August 25th USA v Brazil 8:30 PM (JST) 7:30 AM (EDT) 4:30 AM (PDT) – Won 6-4

August 27th USA v Egypt 7:00 PM (JST) 6:00 AM (EDT) 3:00 AM (PDT) – Won 10-0

August 28th USA v Japan 1:15 PM (JST) 12:15 AM (EDT) 9:15 PM (PDT) (Aug 27th) – Lost 3-2

August 30th USA v Turkey 7:30 PM (JST) 6:30 AM (EDT) 3:30 AM (PDT) – Won 4-3

September 1st quarterfinals vs Russian Paralympic Committee 7:30 PM (JST) 6:30 AM (EDT) 3:30 AM (PDT)

September 2nd semifinals

September 3rd medal matches

USA Men’s Goalball

August 26th USA v Brazil 1:15 PM (JST) 12:15 AM (EDT) 9:15 PM (PDT) (Aug 25th) – Won 8-6

August 27th USA V Japan 1:15 PM (JST) 12:15 AM (EDT) 9:15 PM (PdT) (Aug 26th) – Lost 11-1

August 29th USA v Algeria 5:30 PM (JST) 4:30 AM (EDT) 1:30 AM (PdT) – Won 13-5

August 30th USA v Lithuania 1:15 PM (JST) 12:15 AM (EDT) 9:15 PM (PDT) (Aug 29th) – b

August 31st quarterfinals vs Ukraine 3:00 PM (JST) 2:00 AM (EDT) 11:00 PM (PDT) (Aug. 30)

September 2nd semifinals

September 3rd medal matches

Goalball Schedule: https://olympics.com/…/schedule/para-goalball-schedule…


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