U.S. falls to Puerto Rico in second match of PATHF Division I tournament

Nov. 23, 2008, 12 a.m. (ET)
MEXICO CITY - The USA Team Handball women's national team fell to Puerto Rico Sunday in its second match of the PATHF Division I tournament, 32-24.

Team USA opened the game Sunday with hopes for a better effort against 0-1 Puerto Rico in Game 2 of the Mexico City Pan Am Championships qualifier. Unfortunately, the Americans were not able to prevent penetration by the Puerto Rican offense. Team USA tried several different combinations, but the Puerto Ricans played a very physical and tenacious defense.

The halftime score was 18-11, with the smaller but much quicker team from Puerto Rico in control.

During the break, Coach Marko Brezic spoke of the need for improved defensive pressure. He also reminded the team to be physical and to attack gaps in the Puerto Rican defense at every opportunity.  

The second half opened with the United States trying to mount a comeback. Every time the Americans looked to make a run, the Puerto Ricans would counter attack in waves. As the game drew to a conclusion, Brezic was able to light a fire under his team resulting in closing the gap to the final score of 32-24.

The Americans were led by Kathy Darling scored a game high nine goals, with Jennifer Haubrich and Megan Ballard each contributing three goals.

Next up for the 0-2 Americans is a game against undefeated Mexico at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.