After a long day of pool play yesterday, Saturday at YCC started off with crossover matches to see where each team would be seeded in bracket play and ended with some early bracket play, determining who would advance and get closer to grasping the championship. After a rain-filled afternoon on day one, sunny skies and wet grass were the picturesque conditions for today’s action. Speaking of action, here is just some of what happened on Saturday.
This morning’s crossover schedule included one of the most interesting games the U-16 boys’ division had seen so far in the tournament. It was a match up of undefeated west coast teams between Seattle Bonzai and Bay Area Aftershock, both of which have big aspirations for winning YCC. Both teams played their hearts out during pool play and came into today’s game touting undefeated 3-0 records. Bonzai started the game off with a bang, scoring the first four points, two of which came on the connection between June Rapisura and Gray Davidson. Both teams started off trying to gain yards quickly with a lot of deep throws. Aftershock scored most of their points on hucks by Dylan Neeley, Jason Huang and Patrick Bauman. Also, a different player assisted on every one of Aftershock’s goals. Despite the efforts of those players, Bonzai outmatched them from the first pull. Bonzai upped their streak to four wins in the tournament where they have allowed six goals or less. Led by June Rapisura’s four assists, Gray Davidson’s four goals and Achilles Abella’s three assists and the game-ending goal, the Bonzai won by a score of 13-5.
Minnesota Superior and Colorado Cutthroat took the field a little less than an hour later on the same field. With the wind blowing in from the west, Superior looked to force the issue by running a zone defense. The three-man cup was wreaking havoc all day, forcing multiple turns and not allowing Cutthroat to throw hucks downfield. The teams traded the first eight points before Superior kicked it into another gear going into half on a four-point run. Haakon Rondestvedt was involved in three of Superior’s goals, scoring one and assisting on two. But Cutthroat wouldn’t submit easily. They picked up the defensive intensity late in the game, garnering four out of the last five points. Even after the end-of-game onslaught, Superior held on and walked away with a victory on Matt Johnson’s second goal of the day. That goal put the game out of reach for the Denver-based team. Cutthroat scored once more but left without a win. Superior scored a 12-10 victory on the backs of Jack Rosenthal’s game-leading five goals. Danny Barnes-Powell and Anthony Jirele contributed three assists each in a win that was crucial to Minnesota breaking seed.
The start of the championship bracket play commenced late in the afternoon. One of the big match ups was between Atlanta ATLas and Indiana INtensity. Wind speeds that were just mere breezes earlier in the day had picked up in velocity, causing some game-plan changes for each team.
Joey Shea, one of the ATLas coaches, said the wind caused the team to switch their coverage from a man-to-man scheme to a zone or poachy look that they utilized throughout most of the quarterfinal. Coach Jake Phillips of INtensity said he liked the wind being there during this match up, calling it the "great equalizer," and commenting that the conditions prevented their opponents from trying to look for the hucks they had found easy without the wind. Lower-seeded INtensity was the surprise to start as they picked up the first two points of the game. That would be their best attack in the game, though. ATLas went on a superb 11-point run that put it out of reach quickly. ATLas played their usual high-pressured and aggressive defensive scheme while also utilizing the zone to prevent hucks and swings. They cruised to 13-3 triumph and advanced to the semifinals against Aftershock tomorrow morning. After the game, Jake Phillips wanted his club to put the past in the rearview mirror and just look ahead to their next match up, which will be against Chicago Deep Dish tomorrow afternoon in the fifth-place bracket. Some key players from the quarterfinal include INtensity captain Dustin Baird, who assisted on all three of their goals; ATLas co-captain Aidan Downey, who was involved in five of his team’s first six goals, with one goal and four assists; and Kendel Ridley, who tallied two goals, including a Callahan.
A great afternoon of quarterfinal action ended with a top-seed sweep as all of the higher seeds prevailed and advanced to tomorrow morning’s semifinal round. We will see a championship rematch tomorrow with four-time defending champions Bonzai taking on DEVYL in a contest between the top two seeds in the U-16 boys’ division after the former defeated NC Hammer in a fairly one-sided affair, and the latter triumphed over Minnesota Superior. Aftershock will face ATLas in an exciting semifinal after Aftershock racked up a win over Chicago Deep Dish, and ATLas took the aforementioned victory against INtensity. Every quarterfinal game finished with a wide margin of victory – nine points or more. As for the losers of these quarterfinals, NC Hammer will face off against Minnesota Superior, and Chicago Deep Dish will go up against INtensity in a four-team bracket for fifth place.
That is all for today. If you want to find more stats, scores and overall information about the U-16 boys’ division or the action over the last two days, check out the event page.