Monday, September 9, 2019

MNTH September practices set

MNTH is getting ready for a busy Fall half of the 2019-20 season!

Below is the following days, times and locations for practices. All are welcome to practice!

Thursday September 12th - 8-10pm @ MSC/YWCA Midtown
(2121 E Lake st. Minneapolis, MN)

Monday September 16th - 8-10pm @ Edina Breamar Arena Backyard Court
(7501 Ikola Way, Edina, MN 55439)

Monday September 23rd - 8-10pm @ Edina Breamar Arena Backyard Court
(7501 Ikola Way, Edina, MN 55439)

Monday September 30th- 8-10pm @ Edina Breamar Arena Backyard Court
(7501 Ikola Way, Edina, MN 55439)

Thursday, August 29, 2019

MNTH kicks off the season Thursday September 5th!

MN Team Handball kicks off the season with a practice, Thursday September 5th, 8pm-10pm, at the MSC/YWCA Midtown (2121 E. Lake St. Minneapolis). Please park on the streets surrounding the building, only YWCA members with a pass can park in the parking lot.

There's nothing like the Fall Minnesota air rolling in because that means it's Handball season! We're looking forward to getting everyone back together and welcoming in new players joining the club.

Interested in join the club? Comment below and let us know you'll be there!

See you September 5th!


Thursday, August 1, 2019

MNTH Summer Pick up games set for August!

Summer has been a blast so far but now it is time to get back to Handball!
Minnesota Team Handball has set up some Summer Pick up Handball games for August. This is a great way to learn the game, meet the club, try out for the club or get back into the feel of playing Handball. Here are the dates for the Summer Pick up Handball games:
(Location: Brearmar Arena Outdoor court in Edina, MN 7501 Ikola Way, Edina, MN 55439)
Thursday August 1st 730pm-9:30pm
Sunday August 18th 11:30am-1:30pm
Saturday August 24th 11:30am-1:30pm

See you there! 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Summer Pick-Up Team Handball games being set up! Take the survey to help us figure out when!

Whats the best way to enjoy the summer? Team Handball pick up games!
MNTH is looking to set up pick up games in the summer at either our home court of MSC/YWCA Midtown in Minneapolis or at Braemar Area's Outdoor Court in Edina. 
Do you want to join in on the action? Then click the link below and let us know what days/times work for you. This will help us determine the best times in the summer to set up pick up games.
Survey will close Saturday, June 22nd!
See you all in the summer!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Minnesota takes 6th place at the 2019 Open Division of USA Nationals!

Minnesota traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC this past weekend to take part in the 2019 USATH Open Nationals! They were placed in the Open Division with 12 other clubs from around North America. In 2018 Minnesota took part in the same Nationals tournament and came out a 9th place winner. The club made it goal #1 to do better this time around and have worked hard all season long to make it so. This was the 2nd year in a row MNTH participated at Nationals (second year it was in Myrtle Beach for them too) after a 5 year hiatus from Nationals and the 10 year anniversary of the clubs first Nationals (2009 in Elgin, ILL).

The team Minnesota brought to Nationals this year was a solid foundation of athletic, experienced players who each posses their own dynamic abilities on and off the court. Anywhere from Pivot Isaac Odim's lock down defense in the middle to Goalie Nick Melnic's pregame friendly shenanigans this team knew they had a great formula for success. The team knew the tough road they had ahead and they were prepared for anything, no matter how hard the test.

The team also had two teammates traveling from out of the country! Matthias Goeppner and Felix Esmerode traveled from Germany (Matthias) and Switzerland (Felix) to join the team for Nationals. Both player were a part of the club for some time and it was great to have them on the court with us again!

Day 1

The first game of the tournament was against another "team from the north", Saskatchewan. One of two Mens Open Division teams from Canada (the other, Alberta) the team knew they needed to take care of the ball and hold the 6-0 defense down to beat them. The game started off with both teams making shots, then Minnesota started to show there experience and expanded their lead. Closer to the end of the first half Minnesota had trouble holding onto the ball and Saskatchewan took advance with fast breaks to cut the lead down at halftime, 17-15 Minnesota. 

The second half was a different story. After Saskatchewan kept it very very close Minnesota blew out of the gate thanks Ellis Morfaw (7 goals) and Matthias Goeppner (10 goals). After that, the score was too wide of margin for Saskatchewan to gain ground even with some great fast breaks and ball movement. Minnesota won the match 36-27 to earn their first victory for the weekend. 

After some rest and lunch, Minnesota came back to the court to face a familiar foe; Carolina Blue. Minnesota faced against them last year at Nationals but lost a fairly close game. They were excited to get a rematch with a slightly different looking team than the pervious year. Maybe the boys were too fired up because this game was full of mental and physical mistakes. Both teams were neck and neck through 10-15 minuets, that's when the bottom feel out for Minnesota. After Goalie Nick Melnic gets a 2 minuet penalty winger Josh Hetterick had to put on the goalie jersey for 2 minuets since the teams other goalie wasn't making it in town until the next day. Josh did his best but let in 4 goals during the span. During that time, coach and back player Jens Wencker got a Red Card for defending player from behind. From there on, the team never gained ground nor could they gain back their composure.  They needed up getting crushed by Carolina Blue, 19-36.

Even with the loss, Minnesota took 2nd in their group and made it into the Championship bracket of the Open Division. Next up for tomorrow, number one seed Houston.

Day 2

After the team rested and tossed away the memory of the match before, they looked forward to a challenge. They made it to the Quarter Finals of the Open Division with a date to face the number one overall seed in the Open Division, Houston. Minnesota knew they had to play better if they were to have any chance to make it to the Semi Finals. 

Minnesota stood toe to toe with the best. Always keeping Houston's lead close, the team never gave in even when the score looked to get out of hand. Like a roller coaster, Minnesota kept getting closer to a tie then further, continuing back and forth until it was too late. Thanks to the stellar goal keeping of Houston's Eliud Fonseca (later named Open Division MVG) and 13 combined goals from brothers Paul and Theo Assfalg Houston prevailed 24-19 over MNTH. Minnesota had great games from Back Matthias Goeppner (6 goals) and Wing Josh Hetterick (5 goals) to keep it close to the eventual runner up of the Open Division. 

One of the big highlights from our weekend in Myrtle Beach was these two fans of Minnesota!

While the team was out to breakfast before the game against Houston, Minnesota sparked a conversation with a couple from the area. The husband played Team Handball recreationally in college and the wife was very interested in checking out this sport that brought a team from Minnesota to the beach town of Myrtle Beach. Not only did they show up to watch our match against Houston, they made signs cheering us on from the rafters! We are so thankful of them for showing up to cheer the team on. They were a huge spark to our solid game against a GREAT Houston team. 
The team must have gained some energy from the previous game because they came ready to play against a tough Long Island team. They were going against a Long Island team that was very close to making the Semi Finals as well as having the leading scorer for the Open Division Alriel Briggs. Minnesota needed to be on their A game in order to advance to the 5th place game. Minnesota came out a bit flat, missing easy goals and letting Long Island do what they do best without contesting. After the first 15 minuets Minnesota needed a boost, that came at the hands of Matthias Goeppner who had 12 goals in this match! Minnesota held a 1 goal lead at Halftime but after that they took over in the 2nd half. Along with the great performance from Matthias, Felix Esmerode (who had 8 goals) his best game of the tournament and really helped close out the game late. The defense was huge in this one! Sami Khemakhem and Isaac Odim both had strong defensive showings keeping Long Islands big scorers (Alriel Briggs and Frank Ferreira) to only 10 goals which was a huge accomplishment for this tournament. Minnesota came out on top 33-21 to secure a spot in the 5th place game the next day.

If there is one spot the team has grown to love the last two times they've been in Myrtle Beach it's Joe's Crab Shack. Yes, the team realizes this is a chain restaurant (and there have been a few in Minnesota before) but there is something about this one in Myrtle Beach. Last year we had a great meal, this year we had another one AND went back for a second. Nothing but good times at this place and if we wind back in Myrtle Beach next year we may need to go three times! I mean, just look those happy faces!

Day 3

MNTH vs. Carolina Blue for 5th place 

Our final match of the weekend was for 5th place! It was a rematch against Carolina Blue and both team fought hard to control the 5th place spot. Carolina came out on top 24-21 in the end making Minnesota place in 6th. Matthias Goeppner and Ellis Morfaw were both solid contributors to not only this match but the whole tournament as well. 

Minnesota went in with a goal and left achieving it, finish better than last year. Next year the team will look to continue that and more! For now, we reflect back on an amazing time in Myrtle Beach with great stories and some great victories. We learned a lot from the losses but overall the team is leaving Myrtle Beach with one thing to take from the weekend, we are better than we were going into it. 


Thursday, May 16, 2019

1 week until the 2019 Team Handball Open Nationals! Looking into the Open Division

1 week until the 2019 USA Team Handball Open Nationals in Myrtle Beach! Today we'll take a look at the entire Open Division field to see what possible match ups Minnesota may face.

This year Group B will be matched up with Group C in the Quarterfinal Crossovers. That would mean MNTH could see the likes of Houston, Alberts Juniors or Philly. This group could be considered the toughest group in the Open field so it'll be a great challenge for Minnesota to face no matter what club it is. Minnesota played Houston in their final game of the 2018 Michale Lipov Memorial Cup in Chicago this season. Houston won 22-18 that day and it'd be a great grudge match for MNTH.

Be sure to watch out for Alberta Juniors. Even though they are a junior aged team, they are one of the best run club organizations in North America. 

The further crossovers rounds have so many possibilities we don't know who we might face against! When looking over the list of teams in the Open Division this year, we see some familiar faces. Miami may be a new cast of players but Minnesota had an epic battle with them back in the 2010 Open Nationals Final where Miami defeated Minnesota by 3 points to take home the gold. Georgia has faced Minnesota a few times back at the 2012 Nationals when Minnesota hosted at the University of Minnesota. Last year at the 2018 Nationals Minnesota faced against both Long Island Tigers and SF Calheat 2, taking 1 of 3 from the team (the one being the 9th place game against SF Calheat 2). There is always the chance Minnesota could face against a new team, such as Boston 2, NYCTH 3, or Philly. Time will tell which scenario comes true.

Who do you think will come out on top this year? 

Be sure to stay glued to MNTH's FacebookInstagram, & Twitter for updates and match scores from MNTH's games! Games will take place Friday, May 24th through Sunday, May 26th.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

10 days to USA Open Nationals in Myrtle Beach! Looking into Group B, Minnesota's group match ups

10 days to go until USA Open Nationals in Myrtle Beach! Let's dive into the group match ups for Minnesota!

Minnesota was placed into Group B of the Open Division for Nationals where they will see the likes of Carolina Blue (2nd place 2018 Open Division) and Saskatchewan Juniors (First time at USA Open Nationals). Minnesota will have their hands full in this group with both teams well organized and athletic. 

Carolina Blue is possibly one of the most experienced together as a team clubs not only in the group but maybe in the whole Open Division. The club consists of current and former University of North Carolina Handball players who have shown over the many years in the College Team Handball circuit that it's a top 3 College club program. Carolina Blue has played very compeitivie Handball at multiple Nationals playing in both the Elite Division as well as the Open Division. Almost winning it all last season before falling to LA Team Handball. None the less, Carolina will be the team to beat in this group!

Saskatchewan Juniors are new to the USA Team Handball Nationals circuit but they have been VERY busy in the Canadian Handball circuit. They have participated in multiple juniors tournaments as well as international tournaments so they will be coming in well prepared for competition. If one thing is for certain, they will be looking to make a mark on the USA Team Handball scene to show that the Canadian Handball Federation of club teams is superior to the likes of the USA. 

Be sure to stay glued to MNTH's FacebookInstagram, & Twitter for updates and match scores! Games will take place Friday, May 24th through Sunday, May 26th.