Goalball loses heartbreaker to Canada
LONDON – The U.S. Paralympic Women's Goalball Team lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to Canada on Tuesday afternoon at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
A scoreless tie seemed imminent between the two evenly matched teams until the last seconds of the game. With only 1.9 seconds left, Nancy Morin’s shot found its way between the outstretched bodies of Americans Amanda Dennis and Asya Miller, giving Canada the only goal it needed.
“Well, it’s unfortunate because you have no time to do anything about it…," said Miller, who was a part of the squad that won the gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. "You almost have no recourse for it.”
Some confusion followed the goal when the referee and staff of the Copper Box, the venue used for goalball, miscommunicated. As Jen Armbruster took Team USA’s final shot, music started playing over the public address system. And as the horn sounded, an official also called an official timeout.
Thinking the action was over, Armbruster began to take off her eye shades, used the level the playing field for this visually impaired game.
The official was prepared to let Team USA shoot again because of the music but could not allow it after Armbruster touched her eye shades. Instead of giving Team USA the final shot, Canada was awarded a penalty shot.
Armbruster "was pretty amped up about wanting to come back and get us tied and she was probably focused more on that than listening for the actual referee saying ‘game’," Miller said.
In a gesture of sportsmanship, Canada declined the penalty shot and opted to let the time run out.
Team USA finished group play with a record of 2-2, which leaves the defending Paralympic Games gold medalists in fourth place in Group D. On Wednesday, the team starters quarterfinal action with China, which cruised through group play finishing with a record of 4-0.