The Real Puerto Rican Recap by Lisa Dunn

April 18, 2014, 4:43 a.m. (ET)

The Real Puerto Rican Recap by Lisa Dunn

USA Team Handball Women's National Team Player, Lisa Dunn (right) shares her thoughts about her team's play in a friendly tournament in Puerto Rico.

The USA Team Handball Women's National Team is competing in a friendly tournament in Puerto Rico this week. Team USA is competing against teams from Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, and the Dominican Republic. 

You could read a third-person recount of the matches. Or you could read the real report from someone with a front-row seat to the action, Women's National Team player, Lisa Dunn.

Day 1

After a two-hour bus ride to a gym in Rio Grande, we stepped off the bus with excitement and energy. Hillary Plummer, our athletic trainer, went straight to work getting our team ready for the game. This event was the first international handball experience for a few of us, which added to the excitement of playing against the Puerto Rican National Team. During the warm up, the gym filled with at least 200 spectators, which increased our energy levels even more. Once the warm up was over, both teams quickly lined up to greet the crowd and each other, and to get the game started.

As soon as the whistle blew, we started with the ball and were ready for Puerto Rico’s very aggressive defense. Both teams started with a few missed shots that were due to our 6-0 defense and their 3-3 defense. After Puerto Rico made their first goal, the crowd became alive and got very loud. However, we responded right away with a goal made by our captain, Sarah Gascon. This sparked a fast-paced, back-and-forth competition between the two teams. The first half ended with a two-goal lead for Puerto Rico.

The second half of the game started off with Puerto Rico quickly building their lead in the first 10 minutes. We struggled to get into an offensive flow which created easy scoring opportunities for our opponents. After Coach Latulippe called a time out, we got it together, the offense and defense began to click, and we began closing in on Puerto Rico's lead. It was a fast-paced, hard-hitting, skilled second half of handball that we thoroughly enjoyed along with the crowd and our opponents.

The final score ended up being 24-21 with Puerto Rico getting the win. However, this leads me to believe that Team USA will come out very strong and eager to get the win in the re-match on Saturday.

At the end of the game, Coach Latulippe mentioned that this was not a great game for us. We turned the ball over way too often. However, we all know this is exactly what we came here for—to play against this type of aggressive defense.  

We can do better.