Hello Goalball Fans,
As always the tournament is a blur and my impressions of the day are not always supported by the results. However one thing always holds true (except when it doesn’t) is that the team with the best defense wins. Another constant is the wonderful support from my family, friends, volunteers, sponsors and the participants which make this event a pleasure to organize and be a part of.
Happy Holidays and see you at #18!
Thanks to our Sponsors:
BORP (17 years)
Innovative Interfaces (17 years)
Nakashima Fine Arts (17 years)
Sue Johnson, Custom Lamps and Shades (16 years)
Scot Goodman Photography (16 years)
Vision Faire Optometry (13 years)
Zander Associates, Environmental Consultants (11 years)
CamelBak (6 years)
Ikeda/Greenwood Family (2 years)
Special thanks to Wil Toppen and Michael Boggan for their excellent refereeing and commitment to the program even during finals. Go Bears!
Raw Energy, last year’s champions, started the day with an efficient 9-2 triumph over LCD. Nick Gasaway provided the firepower notching 7 goals. Roger Acuna chipped in the other 2 and Karla Gilbride established that the left wing was going to be a tough place for anybody to score on all day.
Game 2 matched the veteran 2 1/2 Men squad with the novice Indecisive Bunnies. With the crowd firmly on their side the Bunnies showed that they are on their way to great goalball careers as they were tied 2-2 well into the 1st half. First goal honors for the Bunnies went to Jessica Yu with Michelle Yoo notching the other Bunny tally. Unfortunately for the Bunnies and their fans, 2 1/2 Men behind 6 goals from Matt Hines turned up the offense in the final minute of the 1st half for a 6-2 lead at halftime and a 12-2 win.
LCD and Lighthouse Lightning squared of in Game 3 and it turned into a showcase for Lighthouse’sBrandon Young. Flirting with high ball line on every throw, it seemed like every throw from Brandon was either a high ball or a goal and eventually he tallied 6 goals (and 5 high balls). Marco Zepeda notched 3 goals for LCD as they went down to a 12-3 defeat.
In game 4 the Indecisive Bunnies took on the Sacramento River Bats and once again put in a strong effort against a powerful opponent. The River Bats took an imposing 5-0 halftime lead as Christella Garcia flexed her offensive muscles with 4 goals. But the Bunnies showed great heart and achieved a moral victory in the second half as they held the Bats to 2 goals and scored 2 of their own, one each from Rustom Kazak and Jessica Yu. Final score 7-2 in favor of the River Bats.
A much anticipated contest in Game 5 pitted Raw Energy against Lighthouse Lightning. Raw Energy’sNick Gasaway and Lighthouse’s Brandon Young took turns blasting away at each other all game in a thrilling offensive show. Lighthouse center, Shen Kuan took a hard shot to the face in the waning moments of the first half that had Lighthouse down to 2 players as Kuan went to the bench for repairs. A recovered Kuan returned for the second half of a Lighthouse 10-4 victory. Young tallied 8 goals in the win (and only 2 high balls).
The final game of pool play matched 2 1/2 Men against the Sacramento River Bats. This was one of the most thrilling games in BORP Tournament history and featured scoring shots at the buzzer of each half! Thanks to a buzzer beater from Victor Hakopian, and an own goal by the River Bats, 2 1/2 Men took a 2 goal advantage and a 4-2 score into halftime. Midway through the second half the Bats tied the game at 4 but the Men jumped right back to a 6-4 lead behind consecutive throws from Hakopian and Sergio Lopez. With a little over a minute left, Joe Hamilton scored his 5th goal of the match for the River Bats and one throw later Khemnesuel Fisher tied it at 6-6. Only needing a tie to win the pool the Men came up with 2 blocks on Hamilton and had the ball with 10 seconds left. However a slow ball from the Men went out of bounds at 4 seconds and gave the Bats a chance to win and take the pool. Boom! Fisher delivered the clutch goal that the Bats needed right before the buzzer sounded and the Bats won 7-6.
Pool Play standings
Pool A: Lighthouse Lightning – 1st, Raw Energy – 2nd, LCD – 3rd
Pool B: Sacramento River Bats – 1st, 2 1/2 men – 2nd, Indecisive Bunnies – 3rd
These results translated into these match-ups in the afternoon: 2 1/2 Men versus LCD and Raw Energyversus Indecisive Bunnies. The winners of these contests would advance to the semifinals and the losers would face each other for 5th Place.
2 1/2 Men played shut down defense and used 4 goals from Matt Hines and 2 from Sergio Lopez to register a 6-0 win over LCD and a spot in the semis. In the other semi qualifier, the Indecisive Bunnies took an early lead as Chris Lucero scored on the Bunnies first throw. However Raw Energy went on an offensive spree behind Roger Acuna (6 goals) and Nick Gasaway (5 goals) that put the Bunnies on the wrong end of an 11-2 result.
The semifinal one match-up of 2 1/2 Men against Lighthouse Lightning was a game of two completely different halves that featured a remarkable comeback. In the first half, 2 1/2 Men built a 4-0 lead and thwarted every blast from the one/two Lighthouse punch of Brandon Young and Tom Foley. The second half was a whole different story. With less than 5 minutes to go in the second half, Young cannoned a goal through the Men and scored 4 more goals on his next 6 throws to give Lighthouse a 5-4 lead. This proved to be all the Lighthouse needed for the win as 2 1/2 Men could not crack the Lighthouse defense in the second half.
In semifinal two Sacramento River Bats and Raw Energy each played inspired defense and a tense duel once again ended on a final seconds throw. The first half ended 1-1 as each team got a goal from their offensive leaders, the Bats’ Hamilton and Energy’s Gasaway. The defenses were still stingy in the second half but a goal each from Gasaway and Acuna for Raw Energy and 2 more from the Bats’ Hamilton had it 3-3 with 15 seconds to go. That was all that the Bats needed as Hamilton scored the winning goal to send the Bats to the title game.
Placement Games Match-ups
5th Place: Indecisive Bunnies versus LCD
3rd Place: 2 1/2 Men versus Raw Energy
1st Place: Sacramento River Bats versus Lighthouse Lightning
The 5th Place game saw Bunny-mania in full swing as the Indecisive Bunnies took on LCD. LCD was able to overcome the Bunnies and took 5th Place with stellar defense and goals from Erin Lauridsen (2), Bill Johnson (1) and Seung Lee (1).
The 3rd Place game between 2 1/2 Men and Raw Energy was a tense affair with a familiar pattern. Once again the Men used tight defense and relentless offense to fashion a halftime lead. The lead of 3-0, built on 3 Victor Hakopias goals, started looking pretty shaky when Raw Energy’s Roger Acuna popped in 2 goals and closed the gap to 1 with 4 and a half minutes to go. However it was all defense from both sides for the rest of the contest and 2 1/2 Men ended up with a hard earned 3-2 victory.
Two former USA Goalball teammates, current USA player, Joe Hamilton of the River Bats and Brandon Young of the Lightning, both wearing the number 3, led their teams into the BORP Tournament’s title game. The first half ended 3-3 as Young had 3 goals for the Lighthouse which were matched by 2 from the Bats’ Hamilton and 1 from Jon Simeone. In the second half the Bats put up a defensive wall and used goals from Hamilton and Khemnesuel Fisher to earn a 5-3 win and the Championship.
Sacramento River Bats
Goals for: 23
Goals against: 14
Goals for: 30
Goals against: 16
2 1/2 Men
Goals for: 31
Goals against: 16
Goals for: 29
Goals against: 21
Goals for: 9
Goals against: 28
Goals for: 7
Goals against: 34
22: Young – Lighthouse Lightning
18: Gasaway – Raw Energy
13: Hamilton – Sacramento River Bats
11: Hakopian – 2 1/2 Men
11: Hines – 2 1/2 Men
11: Acuna – Raw Energy
8: Lopez – 2 1/2 Men
6: Foley – Lighthouse Lightning
5: Fisher – Sacramento River Bats
5: Zepeda – LCD
4: Garcia – Sacramento River Bats
3: Yu – Indecisive Bunnies
2: Lauridsen – LCD
2: Lucero – Indecisive Bunnies
1: Simeone – Sacramento River Bats
1: Kuan – Lighthouse Lightning
1: Lee – LCD
1: Johnson – LCD
1: Yoo – Indecisive Bunnies
1: Kazak – Indecisive Bunnies
There were 2 own goals.