U.S. Women Begin Pan American Championship with Loss to World Champion Brazil

May 22, 2015, 5:30 a.m. (ET)


Karoline Borg (3) rejoins Team USA for the 2015 Pan American Championships in Cuba. Borg scored five goals against Brazil on Thursday.

By: Dave Gascon
USA Team Handball Director of High Performance

HAVANA, Cuba – The U.S. Women’s National Team began their 2015 Pan American Championship campaign Thursday, May 21, 2015, against the defending Women’s world champions, Brazil. The outcome was expected, but the journey was surprising.

Brazil started the match with a 6-0 run against Team USA. The U.S. looked somewhat nervous, and while not intimidated, their play was overly cautious. Suddenly Team USA found some offense from the hot hand of right back Karoline Borg. Borg fired in three quick goals to spark the team’s confidence. 

After a few exchanges, Team USA began to chip away at Brazil’s lead. U.S. players Kathy Darling (pictured, left), Julia Taylor, Desiree Nguyen, and Borg each scored in the first half, as Team USA matched each remaining Brazilian first-half goal. Team USA also played a very tough defense, forcing many Brazilian turnovers and blocking shots. At the end of the first half, the Brazilians held only a 12-9 lead. 

Unfortunately, the U.S. Women’s Team would begin the second half as slow as the first. Brazil struck for five unanswered goals before Team USA scored one. In contrast to the first half, Brazil did not exchange goals with the U.S. Rather, they scored goals and found answers for to the stingy U.S. defense. Team USA scored only five goals in the second half, and the world champions scored 15.

While a final score of 28-14 would be a discouraging loss for Team USA under most circumstances, this loss was to a very experienced and talented Brazil team, and it came with several encouraging signs. The U.S. Women’s defense looked very strong, especially in the first half, and was played with a variety of different player combinations. Team USA Head Coach Christian Latulippe gave his players significant court time against Brazil, and they received valuable experience against a very formidable opponent.

Final Score: BRA – 28, USA – 14

Goals: USA – Borg (5), Darling (4), Taylor (2), Nguyen (2), Elder (1)
Goals: BRA – Piedade (4), Constantino (4), Souza (3), Rocha (3), Andrade (2), T. Araujo (2), Quintino (2), Anastacio (2), Coppi (2), Diniz (1), Rocha (1), L. Araujo (1), Macedo (1)

Official Score Sheet (PDF)

Notes:
– Team USA last faced Brazilian Women’s National Team in the 2013 Senior Women’s Pan American Championship (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). Brazil defeated the U.S. Women 44-10 (21-3 in the first half), went on to finish first out of ten teams in the “Panamericano”, and ultimately captured the gold medal in the 2013 IHF Women’s Handball Championship (Serbia). Team USA finished eighth in the 2013 Panamericano.

– Seven players on the current U.S. Women’s Team, along with current head coach Christian Latulippe, were on the 2013 team that competed against Brazil.

– Team USA faces Paraguay today (Friday, May 22, 2015) at 11:00 am EST. Paraguay is currently 1-0-0 after defeating Greenland yesterday, 25-18.

– Paraguay finished fourth in the 2013 Senior Women’s Panamericano and also qualified for the 2013 IHF Women’s World Championship. Paraguay finished 21st out of the 24 National Teams in Serbia.

– Team U.S. did not compete against Paraguay in the 2013 Women’s Panamericano. According to available records, Paraguay and the U.S. last met in the 1991 Women’s Pan American Championship.

– USA Team Handball would like to thank the Pan American Team Handball Federation for broadcasting the first half of the Women’s match against Brazil. The first half can be viewed on YouTube. To our knowledge, the second half has not been made available for viewing, nor has there been a link provided to watch the upcoming Panamericano matches. More information will be made available as it is provided. 
Visit PanAmHandball.org for more information about the 2015 Senior Women's Pan American Championship.

USA Team Handball would like to thank Santiago Russo of Play Handball for his photography services during the event. For more photos by Play Handball, please visit Facebook.com/PlayHandball.



Last updated: May 22, 2015