BTH Family and friends,
An eventful and fun Nationals came to a close yesterday, capping the 2017-2018 season with success for BTH. The team spirit during these Nationals was probably the best we have ever experienced, and both teams played handball at a high level. Moreover, the evenings were filled with team bonding activities, pool time, common dinners, making this trip memorable for all.
Our Men’s team competed as usual in the highest (ELITE) division, and finished 4th place. Hard-fought team wins against DC and Houston got us off to a good start. We then lost against NYAC in the group stage, so we faced first-seeded NYC in the semis. Apart from a slow 1-5 start, we played a really great game with a fantastic defense against NYC. Facing NYAC again in the 3rd place game, we won the first half with 13-11, but we couldn’t keep up the strenuous defense and eventually lost the game due to a bad 10 minutes in the second half. However, in all three losses we won one half, and lost the other, showing that we can compete and are close to the top teams in the country. This now keeps the streak of 5 consecutive semifinal appearances in ELITE alive!!!!
Our Woman’s team had a higher load, playing 7 games overall. Easy wins in the group stage over Houston, WP Gold, SF Calheat and an unfortunate tie against Carolina showed that our woman are among the top teams in the country, playing disciplined and with great spirit. The only loss in the group stage came to the tournament winners, the USA National team ROGUE. Of note, our ladies played extremely tough and started with a 2-0 lead and were in reach of a win for long stretches of the game. Again, it showed that we can compete with the top teams in the country, and it is no disappointment to loose to the 14 best players in the country. We then lost the semifinals against our NETHL foe NYC. This got us into the game for 3rd place. After 6 games and few injuries, we lost the 3rd place game to a well-run, and physically-dominant Quebec. Nevertheless, this has been one of the best standings of the woman’s team in recent club history, something we are very proud of!
But our pride goes beyond the results: While almost all top teams recruit several stars from Europe or US National players to improve their rosters, we at BTH play, develop and train our own players. This is handball at its best, and as it should be. We play, win and loose as a team. And this is recognized at the highest level of handball in the US, as I have heard several times over the course of the tournament.
( Rest assured that there will be discussions before next Nationals to contain the absurdity of teams like LATHC adding 9 (!!!) USA players before the Nationals, who never played before for them. )
For now, let’s thank Amir for coaching the woman’s team and Cedric for coaching the Men’s team at Nationals—these are stressful days for coaches. Moreover, thanks to Lucie for organization, Robin for money matters, and all the players for competing hard and helping with everything—it’s been great.
We will follow up with a season-recap soon, as there are many other achievements we can be proud of at BTH this season.
BTH Men ELITE division: 4th place
vs. DC Diplomats (group game): W: 21:17
vs. Houston (group game): W: 29:25
vs. NYAC(group game): L: 18:24
vs. NYC (semifinals): L: 19:23
vs. NYAC (for third place): L: 25: 34
BTH Woman Open division: 4th place
vs. Houston Firehawks (group game): W: 21:9
vs. Carolina Blue (group game): Tie: 14:14
vs. WP Gold (group game): W 25:7
vs. SF Calheat (group game): W: 21:14
vs. Team Rogue (National team, group game): L 16:24
vs. NYC (semifinals): L 14:18
vs. Quebec (for third place): L 14:30