Day 8: USA vs. Israel
The morning started off as usual with a walk to the gym and a 1.5 hour practice. The team focused on preparing their defense to stop some of Israel's key players, mainly the right wing and the left back.
The afternoon was fairly relaxed, with the WNT eating lunch on campus and taking a rest before gathering for a stretching session at 3:30pm. After stretching and eating some snacks, the WNT loaded up the bus to head to the gym with plenty of time.
When the team arrived at the gym, the players got to enjoy watching the end of a children's handball tournament. Everyone was impressed to see a bunch of 6-12 year olds playing handball! We definitely have some work to do, but it would be great to see kids playing handball at this age in the US.
After a nice warm-up, the WNT exchanged pins with Israel and each team's National Anthem was played. The WNT was proud to announce that tonight's game was the 25th international match for Edina Batar, and the first for Jenny Choi, Jen Haubrich, Melanie McCormick, Sarah Gascon, Erika Bohn, and Sarah Merkl.
The first half ended 9-8, with the WNT ahead by one point. Coming into the second half, the game was within reach. Sadly, the second half took a dive. Perhaps we were a little too overconfient, but the intensity wasnät there. We were plagued by 2 minutes and 7 meters (there were 10 in the second half), and the game finished with Israel winning 27-16.