USA Team Handball News USA Men's Junior Nat...

USA Men's Junior National Team Hammers Haiti

May 09, 2018, 10 p.m. (ET)

Team USA followed its overwhelming victory against Dominica with a resounding victory against Haiti Wednesday evening in game two of the IHF Trophy Tournament.  The USA streaked out to an 11-0 lead before the Haitians got on the scoreboard.

Giona Dobrani scored four times, Nikolas Zarikos four times, and Sebastian Wheeler three times, before Haiti scored their first goal.  The Americans made the game feel like a track meet.  A sound defense resulted in blocked shots, turnovers, and stops by Goal Keepers Rene Ingram and Michael Zahour.  Nearly every change of possession resulted in an immediate transition to the running game for the Americans.

Justin Shores, Austin Koury, and Aaron Hamm scored the next seven goals with Shores having three and Koury and Hamm two apiece.  At 18-4, the Americans just kept running. Zac Reitz scored three straight goals, and William Kennedy had one before Haiti scored again.  Shores scored his fourth goal of the contest, followed by Zarikos with two and Dobrani two, as the Americans closed out the first half with a 27-7 lead.

Team USA opened the second half just as the had in the first.  The Americans never slowed down.  Their up-tempo attack resulted in a furious attack of a beleaguered Haiti Goal keeper who was both game and somewhat effective.  Yet, the Americans were relentless. Aaron Hamm scored six times in the half for a total of eight goals.  Shores tallied five times, for a game total of nine goals.  Dobrani also scored five times in the half for a game high total of eleven. Their 28 goals were double the overall total for Team Haiti.

In fact, every court player scored in the game.  The second half also saw Wheeler score four times for a game total of seven.  Paul Skorupa scored four times, Kennedy added three more for a total of four, Koury scored twice for a total of four, and Reitz scored two for a total of five.  Zarikos had a big game, scoring once in the second half for a total of seven. Joseph Saia also picked up a goal.  The USA total of 33 goals was the largest output in a half that anyone can remember.  The final score, USA 60 Haiti 14.

Lost in the offensive display is the ease with which the Americans shutdown the Haiti offense.   The Haitians turned the ball over an easy couple of dozen times and they could not deal with the aggressive American defense.  Team USA frequently swarmed the ball, employing a trapping defense which Haiti could not handle.  The Americans also keep their hands up and in the passing lanes, deflecting many passes and stealing pass after pass.

Head Coach Julio Sainz was pleased with the defensive effort and was not surprised by the American attack.  Sainz indicated his team will enjoy a well-deserved day off on Thursday, returning to action against the impressive team from Martinique on Friday.