Boston claims bronze at the Men’s Elite Nationals

Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City hosted the 2011 US Handball Championships on the weekend of May 13-15. The competition was split into 3 divisions: Men’s Elite (10 teams), Men’s Open (9 teams) and a Women’s Open (9 teams). Boston had claim the second spot allotted to the Northeast league after beating Army Black in a decisive match in the last leg of the league, in April.

The first round of the Elite Championship consisted of two pools with 5 teams in each:

Pool A Pool B
Boston New York City
Army Black Cal Heat
Carolina Miami
West Point Chicago Inter
Los Angeles (1) Salt Lake City (1)

Boston’s first game was a rematch of the 2010 final, against LA. Boston avenged their loss to the 2010 Champion, beating LA 29-23. The second game of the day pitted Boston against West Point (WP). Boston played the first half without their center player, Amael Madec, one of the team’s strongest weapons against WP’s 3-3 defense, giving WP some advantage and allowed them to lead most of the game. Despite Madec’s participation in the second half, WP emerged victorious at the end of the game (30:28).

Day 2 of the championship started with a very close match against Carolina. With 90 seconds left on the clock, at the end of the match, Amael Madec scored for Boston to break the 24:24 tie in the score. On defense, Boston lost Jonathan Gill for a 2-minute suspension, but they managed to put up a strong fight for the last minute and prevent Carolina from tying the game.

Boston’s last game of the first round was against Denver. Denver needed a win to keep their hopes of qualifying to the quarter final alive. They put up a tough fight and the game slowly drifted to becoming quite rough. Towards the end of the second half, Ignacio Arganda-Carreras picked up a red card after accidentally hitting a player on the face. Boston was down to 4 players, giving Denver the advantage on offence. However, Radoslav Delchev, Boston’s goalkeeper had the final word on that. With a couple of amazing saves, Rado kept the team’s net clean while the defense fought hard to close the gaps on the 6-meter line and waited for their teammates’ suspensions to end. Boston emerged with a well-earned victory 27:24 and got a deserving spot in the Elite semi-finals.

Having lost the game against West Point, Boston faced New York City in the first semi-final game while Chicago played West Point in the second. Boston lost to NYC 39:28 and West Point lost to Chicago 27:28. NYC went on to defeat Chicago in the final 33:13 and Boston avenged their loss to West Point in the first round, defeating them by two goals 32:30.

N. Shaar

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