An exciting and successful weekend has come to an end. Los Angeles Team Handball Club hosted the first ever women’s invitational in Los Angeles; the SELECT Big 4 Handball Challenge. The tournament started with 4 competitive games on Saturday and saw LAWTHC and the Denver Dynamo go undefeated in the first day of competition.
Prior to the gold medal game Sunday morning, the West Point Black Knights and San Francisco Smurfs faced off for the Bronze medal. West Point academy got off to a fast start and quickly held a comfortable 4-goal lead, but the Smurfs never gave up and overcame the deficit to go into Halftime with the lead. Both teams turned it up a notch, leaving everything on the court over the intense 30 min half, but in the end the Smurfs emerged victorious with a final score of 18-17. Tanja Tambrow of SF led all scorers in the game with 6 goals.
Up next was the Gold Medal game. Denver came out full of energy and heart, scoring the first two goals of the game. However, after their slow start, LAWTHC fought their way back and by half time had a comfortable 14-7 lead. As the second half went on, the emotion and intensity rose and Denver’s goalkeeper Andi Radu had to leave the game after receiving a red card for a blind tackle on a defenseless player during an LAWTHC fast break. Despite the ejection, Denver continued fighting their way back but in the end came up short and were defeated by a final score of 24-19. Agnes Arnadottier was the top scorer for Denver as her determination and hard work had the LAWTHC defense on its heels, allowing her to score 7 goals. LAWTHC biggest contribution on the offensive side came from its newest addition to the team, Trine Bay Larsen. Trine outworked the Denver defense all game along and was simply too much for them to handle on her way to a 10-goal performance in the final.
Agnes Arnadottier was an invaluable asset to the Denver team and was deservingly awarded tournament MVP. Jennie Johansson, the talented right wing for LAWTHC, was the top overall scorer of the tournament with an impressive 17 goals, edging out fellow teammate Trine Bay Larsen’s 16. Los Angeles’s goalkeeper, Staci Self took her play to a completely new level over the tournament and had a 45% save efficiency, earning her the Most Valuable Goalkeeper honors. Her numerous saves and high level of intensity played a vital role in leading the LAWTHC to some key victorious through the tournament.
Up next for LAWTHC is a two game matchup at home against Las Vegas on March 8 and 9.