Monday, August 11, 2008

From My Inbox

 
In the weeks leading up to the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, USABA will preview each team on their road to Beijing.  Up first, Women's Goalball:  
 
 
 
USA Women's Goalball Seeks Podium Again 
 
The 2008 Paralympic women's goalball competition is shaping up to be an exciting series of match ups in Beijing.  The eight team pool includes USA, Brazil,
Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Japan and Sweden.             
 
So far, the 2004 silver medalist USA team has faced each of their upcoming Paralympic competitors (with the exception of Brazil) in the lead up to Beijing. 
The team captured a gold medal in a double-overtime game against China at the Malmo Intercup Tournament, held in Sweden, June 2-5.  However, an up-and-coming
Denmark team recently defeated the 2004 Paralympic Gold medalists, Canada, for the win at the Lakeshore Foundation's International Goalball Classic, held
July 10-13.  Team USA won a bronze, respectively.  Clearly, there is no predictable front runner in the eight-team field heading into the games.             
 

"Those are the top four ranked teams (USA, China, Denmark and Canada) and the expected favorites," said U.S Head Coach Ken Armbruster.  "The other four
teams cannot be overlooked though.  They all have their strong points too."           
 
According to Armbruster, the women will have to focus on defense throughout each game to be successful in Beijing.             
 
"I am confident that our offense will be effective," said Armbruster.  "But our defense will be what wins games for us.  All teams have strong defenses
at this level, and we will need to match the defensive intensity of our opponent in each game."           
 
Team USA is stacked with veteran talent led by five-time Paralympian Jen Armbruster (Colorado Springs, Colo.).  Three-time Paralympians Lisa Banta (Boonton,
NJ) and Asya Miller (Lapeer, Mich.) will also add depth and experience to the team.  Two-time Paralympians Robin Theryoung (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and
Jessica Lorenz (Berkley, Calif.) and first-time Paralympian Jackie Barnes (Wadsworth, Illinois) round out the group.  The coaching staff includes Ken Armbruster
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Sharon Gunderman (Dubois, PA) with support staff including Gwyneth Short (Lakewood, Colo.) and Lou Tompson (Landrum, SC). 
           
 
Team USA attended a final training camp this past weekend at Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. for a final tune up before Beijing.  The
team will head back to Colorado Springs on August 25 for a mini-camp and team processing before traveling to Beijing on September 1.             
 
The women begin pool play on September 7, the top four teams after pool play advance to the semi-final and final rounds on September 14.  All games will
be played at the Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium.           
 
Good Luck Team USA!  For more information and updates on U.S Women's Goalball during the Paralympic Games, log on to
www.usocpressbox.org
.  For live audio coverage of all the games visit the Audio network at
www.sports.pressakey.net.    

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