Army Black takes first at Blue Cup

Feb. 17, 2009, 3:50 p.m. (ET)
Army Black won first place Sunday at Carolina Team Handball's 21st annual Blue Cup. Atlanta Team Handball United took second in the Gold Medal Match; New York City Team Handball Club, winner of the West Point Invitational in January, came in third.

Eight teams competed in the Blue Cup during the weekend at the University of North Carolina's Fetzer Gymnasium. The bleachers were filled with fans from West Point and New York, cheering as the teams competed in four matches on Saturday. All of the squads moved on to the placement round on Sunday. The matches were marked by intensity and speed.

"We felt like we were watching a tennis match; the guys were going from one end of the court to the other with fast breaks and quick scoring," said Dominique Dumont, USA Team Handball's Southeast Regional Director. "It was very exciting to watch the pace of the Army Black team. They're highly fit; I saw great improvement after their training with Marko, our West Regional Coach. They exuded comfort and confidence on the court. They're a good, solid team."

ATH United, however, gave Army Black tough competition during the Gold Medal Match; the squad from Georgia gave its best effort but couldn't catch up in the last 10 minutes after a few two-minute penalties and a red card expulsion.

Other tournament highlights include Atlanta's Thomas Schaefer, a centerback, securing ATH United's spot in the Gold Medal Match by throwing a last-second goal from nine meters to win the match against NYC. The crowd went wild. In addition, Carolina Blue and North Pitt both showed great potential.

The Blue Cup was sanctioned by USATH. USATH would like to thank the referees from New York, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City as well as tournament organizers for their efforts.