Dear fellow Handball players and friends,
The Men`s team of Chicago Inter traveled on the weekend of the 24/25th of January to our friends in San Francisco to participate in the 2015 edition of the California Cup hosted by CalHeat.
Due to cancellations of two teams in short notice the tournament had a reduced schedule with games only happening on Saturday and Sunday. As most of the team had flights in to San Francisco on Thursday or Friday we used the time for some team building events. Part of the team went to San Francisco to explore the city while the rest of us headed up to Napa Valley. Both events were a huge success and the team had a lot of fun.
Nevertheless, we also played some Handball. The tournament was organized into two groups of 3 teams each. In our group we were facing Portland and the hosting team from San Francisco. Saturday was the Group Phase and Sunday the Play-Offs.
In the first match against Portland our experience prevailed allowing us to control the game most of the time and at the same time we minimized our own mistakes. This lead to an overall deserved win and built confidence in the team. The end score was 22:12 for Chicago.
The follow up game against San Francisco was more intense, as expected from the home team. Throughout the game Chicago Inter was never able to establish a more comfortable lead than 3-5 goals, which made a very attractive game for fans and visitors. In the end we won the game with 33:28 and finished as #1 in our group.
Due to our first place in the group we were able to get a later game on Sunday which was much appreciated to give our bodies some rest. So we were heading in the Semi-Finals against Vancouver. In this game we were not able to continue our concentrated and fast-paced plays from the day before, because of that we were struggling more and the game was a lot closer than needed to be. It took us until the middle of the second half to regain our momentum and finish the game with a solid score of 27:20.
Sunday, early afternoon, our chance as a team to gain the second gold medal in a row (after our Chicago home tournament this past October). We were facing a strong Los Angeles team even though some of their core players were missing. Chicago was again on par with the performance of Saturday and started the game well. Even though the mistakes were held to a minimum and plays were performed well there was never a chance in the first half to take full control of the game. 10 minutes into the second half this changed and the deciding factor was stamina. We were able to keep up the high speed and this was in the end too much for LA, which led to a high scoring finish of 31:21.
Congratulations to our Men`s team for bringing home Gold!
All results and streams can be watched here.
The next tournament for our guys will be the strong and prestigious West Point tournament.