2016 High School Centrals Day 2 Girls' Recap
Posted: May 15, 2016 09:01 PM
By: Ben Visser, Alex Connor, Kelly Schiro
Warmer temperatures and significantly less wind brought a picture-perfect day for ultimate in Ames, Iowa! The cheers from the spectators were loud and boisterous, encouraging each team to play at their best. It was a great day of big throws and aggressive play. Following are highlights from day two of play in the girls’ division.
St. Paul Central vs. Hopkins
In the first game of the quarterfinal round, Hopkins was eager to both prove themselves and play without as much wind. Hopkins showed that they were stronger by taking the lead early and taking half at 7-4. Lilly Shapiro not only showed her great handling skills, she also has great field awareness and got several Ds during the game. As a result, she was involved in a lot of Hopkins’ plays. Ivy Greenberg, an 8th grader, had several Ds and scores for Hopkins as well. Despite great looks from St. Paul Central’s Hannah Mayhew, they couldn’t catch up to Hopkins. Hopkins secured their place in the semifinals with a score of 11-7.
Great River vs. South
It was a beautiful day for ultimate, about 55 degrees with little wind (a rare thing in Iowa). With less wind, teams were able to throw more hucks and score upwind. Great River once again proved they had the throws. Isabel Olson was a master with the disc, faking out the cup and confidently swinging to the sidelines against a zone. In their game against South to go to the semifinals, Great River proved they were better at swinging the disc wide to get more unguarded hucking opportunities. While some of Great River’s players put up some 50-50 hucks, they had tall players like Anna Clements and Christine Siebels-Lindquist who could reach over their competitors for the disc. It was clear the one-handed grab practice before the game helped. South showed they could play person-to-person defense really well. Sylvie Mercil and Anna Mulhern had great control of the disc as handlers for South. Bronwyn Earthman timed popping in and out of the cup perfectly and was also great on defense. Despite great playing from South, Great River established an early lead, took half 7-1 and finished the game at 13-6.
Great River vs. Neuqua Valley
Great River (last year known as St. Paul Charter) and Neuqua Valley were in the same position last year, fighting for a spot in the final, and boy was it a fight. Neuqua Valley had established a good lead by halftime, 7-4, but then Great River started to come back. Great River was hungry to beat the team they lost to on double-game last year. Great River’s Christine Siebels-Lindquist had practiced one-handed grabs and layouts earlier in the day, and it certainly seemed to help because she had some amazing grabs. Isabel Olson and Emma O’Brien were reliable handlers, always there for a dump. For Neuqua Valley, this ended up being one of their toughest fights yet. Without the wind of Saturday, their opponent was able to put up more hucks. Neuqua’s main handler, Mindy Radike, made some great decisions with the disc and was also a dangerous deep defender, recovering the disc and putting it into play quickly. Eighth grader Allie Swiatek was a monster on offense and defense. Definitely one of the fastest players on the field, she was able to make plays on both sides of the disc. Both teams were fighting until the very end. With a few minutes left in the game, the score was 8-10 Neuqua Valley, and Great River came back to tie up the score at 10-10. Hard cap went on when Neuqua was up 11-10, but Great River again tied the score, but fell to Neuqua Valley in the last point in a tough-fought game. Final score 12-11 Neuqua Valley.
Holy Family Catholic vs. Hopkins
The other semifinal game wasn’t nearly as eventful. Holy Family Catholic was well rested by the time they faced Hopkins who had just finished a game. Holy Family Catholic came out strong, not allowing Hopkins to get any points in the first half. They were able to dig deep in their roster to play everyone and use their big throws. The younger players were playing just as aggressively as the older, more experienced players on the team. Hopkins hadn’t experienced playing a team like Holy Family Catholic and couldn’t readjust in time. While it doesn’t show in the score, Hopkins had some great plays and Ds. Throughout the game, Hopkins was able to stay spirited and play their hardest, complimenting players on the other team. Final score 13-0 Holy Family Catholic.
Great River vs. Hopkins (Third Place)
In the third-place match, Great River was led by Grace Backes, who filled up the stat sheet. She had five straight assists in the game and two goals of her own. Backes and Great River defeated Hopkins 10-7 to get third place at the 2016 Central Championships. Each of Hopkins’ goals was caught by a different person.
Holy Family Catholic vs. Neuqua Valley
The championship game of the 2016 USA Ultimate High School Central Championships saw the top two seeds square off. Neuqua Valley, the two seed, was on the board first. However, Holy Family Catholic responded with five straight goals. The fourth goal was made possible by an amazing diving effort from Cara Sieber, who had four of the first five goals for Holy Family Catholic. Neuqua Valley bounced back after a timeout to score three straight goals, making the score 5-4 in favor of Holy Family Catholic. After the run by Neuqua Valley, Holy Family Catholic strung together five straight goals once again, making the score 10-4. After that, the teams traded goals, and eventually, Holy Family Catholic closed out the game 13-7 to take home the championship trophy. Kameron Horn for Holy Family Catholic assisted on five of their goals. Mary Sullivan of Neuqua Valley had three assists and two goals for her team.
Robbinsdale-Cooper vs. Stoughton
Robbinsdale-Cooper and Stoughton began play by trading scores on the beautiful Sunday morning. Robbinsdale-Cooper eventually started pulling away. Stoughton tried to chip away at the lead, but Robbinsdale-Cooper didn’t budge and won 12-7.
Robbinsdale-Armstrong vs. James Madison Memorial
Robbinsdale-Armstrong began with a decisive 13-2 victory over James Madison Memorial. Robbinsdale-Armstrong came out firing and never let up. James Madison Memorial didn’t score their second point until Robbinsdale-Armstrong had already put nine goals on the board, and the game was out of reach.
St. Paul Central vs. Minneapolis South (Fifth Place)
Minneapolis South started off slowly in the fifth-place match against St. Paul Central. However, after halftime, they stormed back and won on double-game point. Bronwyn Earthman found Phoebe Eisenbeis for the winning score to claim fifth place at the USA Ultimate High School Central Championships.
Robbinsdale-Cooper vs. Robbinsdale-Armstrong (Seventh Place)
Robbinsdale-Armstrong played Robbinsdale-Cooper in the seventh-place match. Robbinsdale-Armstrong won the battle of the Robbinsdales on double-game point, 10-9. Belle Reeve found Lisa Hansen for the winning score.
Stoughton vs. James Madison Memorial (Ninth Place)
Stoughton got their first win of the weekend beating James Madison Memorial 12-3. Gracia Nauman assisted on eight of the 12 scores and scored two more goals of her own.