The 9th season of the NTHL started last weekend at the United States Military Academy at West Point! 17 games are two divisions are in the books, with a number of surprising developments occurring.
This weekend’s action action saw re-matches and big games in both the Men’s 1st Division and the Women’s Division, with a lot of surprisingly clean and crisp gameplay.
In rematches from the College Nationals’ championship games, Army West Point Black Women were able to defeat UNC 22-11, and Army West Point Black Men defeated UVA 20-16.
NYC, Elite Division Champion from Myrtle Beach 2017, were able to defeat DC Diplomats, 1st Division Champion from Myrtle Beach 2017, 22-17.
Boston Team Handball Women were defeated rather soundedly in the Quarterfinals of Myrtle Beach 2017 by DC Diplomats Women. With a full roster and coaches Amir Aharon and Nataliya Medyanyk cheering on, they were able to defeat DCD 25-15.
UVA‘s promotion to D1 last season was met with some surprise by a number of teams in the Northeast and around the US, with questions being raised about the team’s suitability for the D1 level. A first matchday loss to Boston last season by a score of 26-11 didn’t ease any concerns.
…And then UVA went to the Blue Cup and pushed Knight Air, Carolina Blue, and NYAC to their limits.
…And then UVA won the inaugural Cavalier Classic.
…And then UVA pushed D1 National Champion DC Diplomats to a one-goal game.
…And then UVA finished 2nd in College Nationals.
Point is, coming into this matchday, UVA’s inclusion was no longer questioned, and they have motivation to earn their win back from Boston.
Alas, it wasn’t to come this season. Despite leading late, Boston was able to rally, for the 25-21 victory.
DC Diplomats have a roster which allows them to compete with anyone in North America. They feel they have the best chance of any team in the US to defeat NYC, and end the reign of Gotham domination in the Elite Division at Nationals.
There is one team though that always gives DCD trouble: New York City 2. The fast-paced offense of NYC2 traditionally gives DCD fits that the traditional powers don’t. Back in 2015, DCD famously lost to NYC2 right before tying NYC’s first team.
NYC2 did it again. Using their conditioning advantage, NYC2 played an extremely fast game against DCD, winning 31-22.
While a few teams are now off to gameplan for February and March, the NTHL will return to West Point again this weekend for Matchday 2. PSU Women will make their long-awaited debut, and will NYC Men and BTH Men will clash. NYC2 will try to go 4-0, while Army West Point Gold will try to get their first win.
Here are your standings: