U.S. Womens National Team Handball Team Falls to Mexico in First Game of the Final 2007 Pan American Games Qualifying Event

May 29, 2008, 2:47 p.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The U.S. Women's National Team Handball Team suffered a disappointing 29-20 point loss to host country Mexico in the final 2007 Pan American Games Qualifying Event last night in Mexico City, Mexico. The loss put Team USA's backs up against the wall as the team is no longer in control of its own destiny in qualifying for the 2007 Pan American Games, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 13-29.

In order to qualify for the eighth and final qualification slot for the 2007 Pan American Games, the U.S. must win the three team event, featuring Mexico, Chile and the U.S. The tournament winner will be decided by a point system. The three teams will play each other in a three game round robin tournament. The winning team for each game receives two points, the loser receives zero points. If the game ends in a tie, the teams each receive one point. If teams are tied in points following the conclusion of the round-robin tournament, the tie-breaker is determined by goal differential. In order to stay alive for 2007 Pan American Games qualification, the U.S. must defeat Chile tonight, Friday, March 30. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. The U.S. must then root for Chile to defeat Mexico tomorrow at 12:00 noon and hope that the point differential between the U.S. and Mexico comes out in favor of the U.S.

All games are being played at the Mexican National Olympic Training Center in Mexico City. All times are Central Standard Time, as Mexico does not switch to Daylight Savings Time until April 1.

In their first opportunity to qualify for the 2007 Pan American Games, the U.S. women fell short; losing two games to none to Canada in the North Region 2007 Pan American Games Qualification Event, January 4-7, 2007 in Lake Placid, N.Y. and Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Qualifying for the 2007 Pan American Games is a crucial step in the qualification process for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The gold medal winning team at the 2007 Pan American Games will receive an automatic berth into the 2008 Olympic Games.

Please see below for the Team USA Roster for this weekend's event:

Name; Hometown; Current Residence; University; Position
Megan Ballard; Atlanta, Ga.; Cortland, N.Y.; Colgate University; Back Court
Edina Batar; Budapest, Hungary; Cortland, N.Y.; Lehman University; Back Court
Erika Bohn; Rutland, Vt.; Cortland, N.Y.; University of Notre Dame; Goal Keeper
Sunny Chen; Virginia Beach, Va.; Cortland, N.Y.; U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Left Wing
Jennie Choi;Valencia, Calif.; Cortland, N.Y.; U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Right Wing
Anne Coulter; Cortland, N.Y.; Cortland, N.Y.; TBD; Circle
Kathleen Darling; Milford, Del.; Cortland, N.Y.; Johns Hopkins University; Back Court
Tomuke Ebuwei-Holmes; Ft. Washington, Md.; Cortland, N.Y.; Penn State University; Back Court
Jennifer Farrell; Los Angeles, Calif.; Cortland, N.Y.; Duke University; Circle
Sarah Gascon; San Pedro, Calif.; Cortland, N.Y.; University of Southeastern Louisiana; Back Court
Tabitha Lowey; Cortland, N.Y.; Cortland, N.Y.; TBD; Left Wing
Melanie McCormick; Sachem, N.Y.; Cortland, N.Y.; SUNY Cortland; Right Wing
Jacquelyn Messel; Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Cortland, N.Y.; U.S. Military Academy at West Point; Goal Keeper
Anca Stevens; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; TBD; Goal Keeper

Head Coach: Dawn Lewis
Assistant Coach: Thomas Brond

For more information, please contact Cecil Bleiker, United States Olympic Committee NGB Services Manager at 719-866-4608.