The U.S. men's national team traveled to Ireland to compete in the inaugural KamaGames Tri-Nations Tournament from October 25-27, playing matches against Ireland and Great Britain in an event sponsored by KamaGames, lead sponsor of the Irish Olympic Handball Association. Team USA earned two victories to win the tournament.
In case you missed the action, please see below for game summaries provided by team leader JD Orr:
Friday, October 25: United States vs. Ireland
In the opening match of the Tri-Nations Games, USATH came ready to play.It started with excellent goalkeeping from Rene Ingram and excellent back court shooting from Sebastian Wheeler, Amir Seifert and Joey Stromberg.
The U.S. men attacked very quickly while on offense, which prompted Team Ireland to face a rather large deficit early in the game. USATH continued the strong defense and consistent offense throughout the first half and walked into the locker room with a 20-9 lead.
Team Ireland found success with quick shots during the second wave from the back court. The U.S. made some adjustments in the second half to lessen the number of shots from the Irish back court. Hendrik Schultze started between the pipes in the second half and was an absolute force.
Schultze held the Irish scoreless for quite a while, which helped USATH to continue and pull away. USATH saw contributions from the rest of the squad in the second half and kept up the intensity.
The Irish had a small surge late in the game, but were unable to make a dent in the gap. They relied heavily on scoring from their left backs who struggled to find openings in the strong USATH defense. USATH closed out the game winning 44-21.
Saturday, October 26: United States vs. Great Britain
USATH started the match off against Great Britain with less intensity than they did against Ireland. The offense needed to wake up after a slew of turnovers early in the first half. They were kept alive by an excellent performance from Ty Reed who finished the first half with seven goals.
The defense struggled against the stronger British attack, but found strength in their size. Drew Donlin and Paul Skorupa were the hosts of the block party, shutting down any British jump shots.
The British had good ball movement and agility from their back court, which lead to several scoring opportunities. The lack of size on defense, though, was difficult for them to hang with the Americans. They were able to hang around throughout the first half, only trailing 16-11 to USATH at halftime.
USATH made the same second-half goalie change as they did against Ireland by bringing in Hendrik Schultze for Rene Ingram. Ingram played a solid first half but Schultze came out on fire.
Schultze faced more shots after USATH was plagued by several two-minute penalties. The referees made an impact in the game by distributing many two-minute penalties to both teams, resulting in a red card for one British player.
USATH controlled the second half fairly well while cycling in many players from the bench. The British continued to struggle in finding holes in the American defense, even with the substitutes in the game. USATH closed out the game well and ended up winning the match 30-22.
U.S. Tri-Nations Tournament Roster
Rene Ingram, GK
Hendrik Schultze, GK
Sebastian Wheeler, LB
Gabe Redmond, RB
Nik Zarikos, LW
Drew Donlin, pivot
Paul Skorupa, pivot
Jonas Stromberg, RB
Michael Lee, LW
Amir Seifert, CB
Alexander Binderis, pivot
Antoine Baup, pivot
Ty Reed, RW
Robert Hedin, Head Coach
Mads Fjelddalen, Goalie Coach
JD Orr, Team Leader
Andreas Hertelt, Team Leader
Ford Dyke, Team Doctor
Brad Barez, Team Doctor