The Journey to Gold: World Games Cali
Posted: July 31, 2013 08:10 AM
The following is part of our of continuing coverage of the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia.
The United States National Team defeated Australia 13-6 in the World Games final, capping an undefeated run through the tournament and giving the country its third consecutive World Games title.
The Americans won the game with an offense that created ample space for powerful cutters and accurate throwers and a defense that neutralized the opponent’s top threat and applied constant pressure all over the field.
They stepped their effort up for the gold-medal match. Their end zone offense, for example, was the cleanest it has been in Cali.
"We talked about doing that in the Britain game," said Ryan Farrell, "but we didn’t bring the energy you need to be crisp. In this game, we had the energy."
The United States jumped out to a 7-2 lead and never looked back. Beau Kittredge leapt over an Australian receiver for a catch block on the team’s first defensive point of the game and at 10-6 accelerated in a way that only he can to lay out for a score. Even on a world stage, Kittredge looks like a man among boys.
But the U.S. truly won gold with a total team effort, overwhelming opponents because all seven fielded players could always be trusted to dominate their match up. Both on and off the field, the team was remarkably void of hierarchy.
"So much of that dynamic came from the players themselves," said coach Matty Tsang. "All these amazing stars in their own right came with the willingness to do whatever it took to make the team successful."
"Everyone’s attitude was a willingness to shift gears and do something they might not usually do for their team, like not being the superstar. It started with a really remarkable group of people that understood that."
This team embodied a spirit that the United States ultimate community and population at large can be proud of: hard working, focused and supportive of one another. They recognized that because of their talent, it was unacceptable to leave any stone unturned in preparation for the chance to win gold.
"My perspective from watching Americans in international competitions was that we had the best players, and so we should win," said Farrell, who has played in the Club Championships final with Johnny Bravo. "We put every bit of ourselves into it to be as good as we are."
"There’s never a coast. If we didn’t work this hard, it wouldn’t have happened. It was months of building, and I just didn’t get that before this team. You don’t talent yourself to a gold medal."
Farrell went on to comment on his team’s continued effort to treat each moment as the one that mattered most. "We succeeded in moments one by one by one by one, and that’s what got us here. The value of what we were doing together is born out of the fact that it’s precious and limited. We treated it as the commodity that it is."
"I’m not even there yet," he said when asked about the emotional release of achieving victory. "I will say that it doesn’t feel like a relief because I never felt a weight in terms of fear of loss."
Mac Taylor, who was listening in, grinned as he leaned in and grabbed at the medal around Farrell’s neck.
"You’re feeling a weight right now."
Gold Medal Match vs Australia - Images by CBMT creative
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