2016 U.S. Open - Day Three Women's Recap
Posted: July 2, 2016 10:58 PM
The third day of the U.S. Open brought joy and heartbreak for many teams looking to make a statement to start their 2016 season.
The two semifinal games – Brute Squad v. Scandal and Molly Brown v. Riot – brought us highlight after highlight.
Brute Squad and Scandal were the first to see each other in semifinals at 1 p.m. Brute Squad put together an amazing performance. For Scandal, Jenny Fey had a strong performance of her own. She found herself as the receiver for many of Scandal’s scores against a dominant Brute Squad defensive line; Scandal was unable to utilize their cutters with Brute defenders like Cassie Wong and Caitlyn O’Connell shutting down so many of Scandal’s top players. Sandy Jorgensen, who was a force to be reckoned with against Molly Brown, was unable to get the looks that could have tightened the score against Brute Squad. Brute Squad took a quick lead at the beginning of the game, and their defense never let up, converting seven out of nine break chances into scores. Scandal’s defense could not match and failed to convert any of their defensive points into scores. Final score: Brute Squad 15, Scandal 7.
The second women’s semifinal occurred in URI’s football stadium, which provided an excellent bird’s eye view of one of the most exciting games of the tournament between feisty Denver Molly Brown and perennial favorite Seattle Riot. The game was incredibly tight the entire way. Molly Brown was able to pull out a three-point lead at the beginning of the game with some cheeky throws from Octavia Payne and excellent handler cutting from Claire Chastain. Riot worked to eliminate that deficit and came back with an amazing layout grab from Molly McKeon against a layout defensive bid from Claire Chastain that ended up earning Molly Brown a team misconduct foul for dangerous play and taking Molly McKeon out for the rest of the point. Riot got their breaks back and took half on serve at 8-7. Payne and Chastain continued to work in the second half for Molly, but Jaclyn Verzuh also showed up to play. She had an incredible grab to re-even the score at 10-10, with the crowd going wild for her athletic play. The score was even until double-game point, when Opi Payne threw what was meant to be a quick backhand to her teammate directly into Riot’s Calise Cardenas. A great layout from Angelica Boyden maintained possession and she was able to throw it to Charlie Mercer to seal the deal and advance to the finals 14-13.
The beginning of the day marked the last chance for lower-seeded teams to make a lasting imprint for 2016. Iris, BENT, Siege and Showdown came to the University of Rhode Island for 9:30 a.m. fifth-place semifinal games. Iris struggled against BENT’s defense, only really finding opportunities in the air against BENT’s shorter roster. BENT’s quick offensive flow couldn't be stifled, and the final outcome showed their strongest performance of the weekend, with the score 14-7 over Iris.
Siege and Showdown had an excellent game; both teams have exceptional depth and athleticism that made for a very entertaining game. For most of the first half, Siege was able to keep a one-point lead over Showdown after earning a break early in the game. Showdown managed to bring it back and take half up by one. The second half was just as tight, but Showdown closed it out due to time constraints. After soft cap, there were multiple opportunities for Siege to score quickly, but they just could not close a marathon point fast enough. Hard cap went on, and despite scoring the final point of the game, Boston Siege allowed Texas Showdown the win 13-12.
Fusion and Fury joined in the mix after playing a friendly game to give BENT and Showdown their last games of the tournament. Fusion v. BENT was another excellent match up as they have similar styles of play and even match ups. BENT took their time figuring out Fusion's stifling zone defense and failed to find their cutters for the first half, allowing Fusion to stay in the game. After a very tight first half, Fusion’s small roster started to show their exhaustion against a much deeper BENT roster, and BENT was able to run away with a 14-10 win.
Fury and Showdown also began with a tight game, but Fury’s athletes and experienced throwers didn’t have trouble holding on to the disc on upwind points. Showdown showed moments of promise and skill against Fury, but injuries and exhaustion caught up to the Texans at the close. Fury sealed their game at 15-8 against Showdown, but both teams gladly came together for a spirit circle at the end of the game with lots of laughter and support for each other.
Iris and Siege met up to determine ninth place, but Siege was able to close out the game with a 10-7 win in hard cap. Iris battled the whole way, never dropping more than three points behind Siege, but Siege was able to utilize their dominant handlers and cutter height to close out some of the longer points of the tournament.
On July 4th, we will see a rematch of last year’s National Championships final, with Riot and Brute Squad duking it out for the U.S. Open title and the start of the 2016 season. Will Brute Squad maintain their dominance, or is Riot ready for vengeance? Later today, we will see which coast can take home the first trophy of the season.
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