BEIJING, China--The U.S. Women's Goalball Team consisting of Jen Armbruster (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Lisa Banta (Boonton, N.J.), Asya Miller (Lapeer, Mich.), Robin Theryoung (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Jessica Lorenz (Berkley, Calif.) and Jackie Barnes (Wadsworth, Ill.) beat Denmark in sudden overtime to play China for the gold. The U.S. team then beat China, 6-5, in a sold-out Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium to win the gold medal.
The game between USA and Denmark went into two overtime periods tied 3-3 at the end of regulation. Winning the coin toss, the U.S. team elected to throw the first ball. Neither team was able to score during the first three minutes, going into another three-minute overtime period.
Asya Miller (Lapeer, Mich.) threw the winning ball ending the game in sudden death, 4-3.
"I've played in four Paralympics prior to coming to Beijing, this game was a continuation of the unfinished business in Athens where we won silver; winning the gold tonight is finishing what we started four years ago," said Jen Armbruster, (Colorado Springs, Colo.), U.S. team captain.
"The U.S team was ready, and it showed tonight," said head coach Ken Armbruster (Colorado Springs, Colo.). "Tonight was like a boxing match, hitting and countering for 10-20 minutes, we were fortunate, we got the last punch in."
The coaching staff includes Ken Armbruster (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Sharon Gunderman (Dubois, Pa.) with support staff including Gwyneth Short (Lakewood, Colo.) and Lou Tompson (Landrum, S.C.).
Goalball is a Paralympic sport played by athletes who are blind and visually impaired. Developed after WWII as a way to keep blinded veterans physically active, it has become the premier team sport for athletes who are blind and visually impaired. Played competitively by men and women, it is a very fast paced, physically challenging, strategic and exciting game.