Inter Men miss final 4 in 2013 Nationals

May 28, 2013

This year the Chicago Inter men’s team was looking to clinch a new podium after getting silver in Salt Lake City in 2011 and bronze in Minneapolis in 2012.

The 2013 edition kicked off with a tough game against Boston, one of recent years’ strong opponents for Chicago. Faced with an excellent performance from their opponent, the Chicago players pulled together and came out with a very positive 23-21 win to boost their confidence.

The second game of the day pitted Chicago against LA Team Handball, 2012’s silver medalists. Once again, this was a strong opponent for Chicago in what was proving to be a very well-rounded 2013 US Nationals where all 7 elite teams had some quality plays. Unfortunately, a few mistakes let the game slip from the Midwestern team’s grip and, despite fighting back as much as they could, it was LA that would secure their second win of the day 33-30, ensuring their place in the final 4.

Day 2 of the Nationals would decide Chicago’s fate in the championship with a clash against their best-enemies: West Point. Having proven their thirst for victory with a convincing game win against Boston shortly after letting slip a high scoring game against LA, the Army team had no intention of giving Chicago an easy game. Meanwhile, the fire that had burned on the Chicago bench on Day 1 seemed to have been blown out by being edged out of the LA game and West Point pulled away, never to be caught up. A disappointing 10 point loss left Chicago to finish third in their group and battle for 5th place on day 3.

Disappointed by seeing their title dreams slip away once again and hamstrung by 5 injuries, Chicago went into Day 3 simply wanting to go out with honor. Against a greatly diminished Cal’Heat team, Chicago takes 5th place with a 29-17 win and high hopes for next year.

Time to focus on the beach season before getting back to work, preparing for a new season and looking ahead to the 2014 US Nationals.

Congratulations to the women’s team for securing a nail-biting win over Dynamo to bring home the gold!