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USA WOMEN’S GOALBALL SUFFERS FIRST TOKYO PARALYMPICS LOSS TO HOST JAPAN

Posted August 28, 2021  Tokyo 2020

Amanda Dennis nets both U.S. goals in 3-2 defeat

TOKYO, Japan (Aug. 28, 2021) – The USA Women’s Goalball Team lost its first match of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Saturday, dropping a tight, defensive contest to host nation Japan, 3-2, in preliminary-round play at Makuhari Messe Hall C.

After a scoreless opening seven minutes, Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Ga.) broke the deadlock for the Americans with a shot just inside the post, but Japan immediately countered on the next throw to knot the match at 1-1.

What proved to be the game’s only penalty on a long ball call hurt the U.S. as Japan converted on the ensuing penalty throw to move in front, 2-1, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

“There are a lot of things we can control and things like that, like penalties, we just have to be ready,” said Marybai Huking (Salt Lake City, Utah) who made her first Paralympic start. “Obviously, we would have wished for a different outcome, but we gave everything we had, and we stuck to our gameplan, which is what our team is really focusing on right now.”

The U.S. strategy for Japan included starting Huking at center flanked by Dennis and Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.).

“We had a very specific gameplan,” U.S. Head Coach Jake Czechowski said. “Marybai came in and started in center instead of Amanda and she had a phenomenal game. You’ve got to give all the credit to Japan. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the world, if not the best. In a game like this, you’ve got to be clean, and Japan was just a little bit cleaner than we were on all phases.”

Japan added a second-half goal to open up a 3-1 lead before Dennis found the back of the net again with 5:53 remaining for her second tally, but that would end the scoring as Japan improved to 1-1-1 in preliminary round play while the U.S. dropped to 2-1.

“Thankfully this is pool play, we’ve got a lot of tournament left so we’re really excited for our upcoming games,” added Huking. “Sometimes it’s good to have a little bit of that negative momentum to make you more excited and make you realize just how important this is to you. You don’t really feel that when you just win all the time.”

The U.S. women’s team has a day off on Sunday before facing Turkey in their final preliminary match on Monday at 7:30 p.m. local time (6:30 a.m. EDT). The U.S. men’s team, 1-1 in preliminary round play, faces Algeria on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. local time (4:30 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 (EST) 4:30 AM (PST) – Won 6-4

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

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

August 30th USA v Turkey 7:30 PM (JST) 6:30 AM (PST) 3:30 AM (PST)

September 1st quarterfinals

September 2nd semifinals

September 3rd medal matches

USA Men’s Goalball

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

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

August 29th USA v Algeria 5:30 PM (JST) 4:30 AM (EST) 1:30 AM (PST)

August 30th USA v Lithuania 1:15 PM (JST) 12:15 AM (EST) 9:15 PM (PST) (Aug 29th)

August 31st quarterfinals

September 2nd semifinals

September 3rd medal matches

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


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