2011 YCC Mixed Day 1 Recap
Posted: August 14, 2011 07:37 AM
YCC 2011 Mixed Division
After a heavy rain overnight, the lush fields in Blaine begged for layouts, and the YCC Mixed Division obliged. "Oh, they're going to love these fields," exclaimed BUDA Coach Westcott as her players repeatedly bid in warm-up drills.
In the first round, BUDA, the second overall seed, faced a strong upset bid from Idaho, with both teams trading early as defense dominated. With Idaho's Anthony Gossard and Rylee Cone playing phenomenal defense on BUDA's male handlers, New England looked to Jesse Shofner to step up and command from the handler position, taking a 7-5 lead. Idaho tied the game at nines with a flawless huck from Zachary Gurley, but BUDA finished the game out, ending on the play of the game, a 50-yard huck to a full extension layout by Mary Roach.
Minnesota won a defensive struggle with Chicago for the first upset of the day. Minnesota used its height to its advantage all day over the shorter teams, proving once again you can't teach height, as MN cruised, 11-4.
Triangle Valley and Seattle traded points nearly the entire game, with Shellie Cohen making her presence felt, marking in the zone, and abusing her defender on offense. Seattle loved its long game, hitting cutter after cutter in stride. Tied at fives Seattle’s Canute Haroldson put up the sickest huck of the day, hitting his cutter in stride for a goal, and Haroldson finished the half with another assist. DiscNW pulled the game out in the end, with a 10-8 win.
Having brought only four women, Madison's Mixed team seemed destined to fade, particularly as the overall #1 seed from California’s Bay Area crushed them in the first round, 11-4. But not enough praise can be heaped on Madison's four women, when in the second round the team stormed to an 8-5 advantage on the pool's 2 seed, Seattle. DiscNW forced universe at tens, and Madison worked the disc to a goal line timeout. With two quick swings, Madison skied to save possession, and dished for the universe point upset.
After failing to unseat BUDA from the top of their pool, Idaho Sabotage's coach explained his team's mentality going into the game with Chicago, "we're excited, we need revenge for that last game." Even with Chicago's Andrew Lin weaving the disc beautifully from the handler position, the Idaho defense took advantage of any mistakes, and leapt out to a 5-0 lead, and never let up, winning 13-3.
The Bay Area continued its dominance, using their crisp throws, and clean cuts to cruise through opponents all day, yet they also turned to stars’ athleticism, and ended their 10-4 win over North Carolina with a deliberate jump disc to Simon Higgens, who was undefeated in the air for the day.
Minnesota threw its might at BUDA. At 8-9, with the pull, and the game on the line, the Minnesota coaches called a timeout to stoke the intensity of their tired team. But to no avail, BUDA finished the game out with crisp undercuts for the win.
After a three-hour bye, round three featured the biggest threat of the day for the team from the Bay, as Seattle tried to right the ship. California would have none of it, as hucks continued to flow from Valler to Higgens, and their women excelled on defense, with Marisa Rafter laying out to get the D defending a male Seattle cutter. Down 0-3, Seattle tried a zone for a few throws to stop the Californian deep game, forcing a high stall and another deliberate and successful jump disc to Higgens. California rolled, 11-5.
Against Idaho's stifling handler defense, Minnesota tried to use its height, frequently targeting their 6'4" captain Nihal Bhakta, and the 6’2" Matt Rock. But the desperation hucks fell incomplete more often than not, leading to an Idaho win 11-4.
Having been through two nail biting wins, BUDA looked to finish the day strong against 0-2 Chicago. Chicago didn't take the game lying down, fighting hard, and contesting every point, but falling nonetheless 9-5.
In their last game of the day, Madison looked to win to take second in their pool, despite their low number of women, while Triangle Valley knew they had the opportunity to take second by point differential if they won big. And in another impressive display of stamina, Wisconsin was up 8-6 when Graveyard switched defenses from man to zone. Abandoning the impossible attempt to run Madison into the ground, North Carolina used its zone to shut down the Wisconsin movement, and force desperate hucks. Triangle Valley surged to a 4-0 run to win by two, securing the third spot of the pool.
Heading into Championship Sunday, many of the same questions remain. When, if ever, will Madison gas out? Will Minnesota’s height translate to victories? Can Chicago’s never say die attitude topple giants? How many close games can BUDA take? And can anyone stop a California Championship?