2006 World Juniors Ultimate Championships - Daily Log - August 17th

Posted: August 17, 2006 03:53 AM

Day four of the World Ultimate Junior Championships opened with the US Boys last round pool play game against Australia at 9am.  The Australians have looked good all tournament long giving Canada a difficult game on the first day.  They are lead by John McNaughton a lefty with quick releases and pinpoint throws as well as strong downfield cutting.  The game mattered very little; unless the Australians could be the US Boys by 7 points the semifnals would pit the US vs. Colombia and Australia vs. Colombia.  As such, neither team was at their top form.  The US came out stronger and opened the lead to 6-0 despite McNaughton’s strong handling against the US Boys 1-3-3 defense.  Chris Kosednar made a nice run through catch block at 5-0.  At 6-0 the Aussies shredded through the US’ 1-3-3 and the transition to man before McNaughton hit tiny Stephen Gangemi for their first score.  The US Boys took half 9-1.  In the second half the teams traded points for most of the second half and the game ended in favor of the US 17-8.

The US Girls bested Finland for the third time in the tournament in the semifinals 17-1.  With this win the US Girls secured a birth in the finals tomorrow at 1pm against Canada.  Canada won their semifinals against Australia 17-6.

In the Boys semifinals the US faced Colombia.  Colombia, the surprise of the tournament beat many the traditional European powers Sweden, Finland, and Great Britain, to secure their spot in the semifinals.  Colombia is a short, fast, and athletic team with a handful of skilled handlers that have quick fakes and good break mark throws.  In their pool play match-up the US shut-out Colombia, but a very different Colombia came to play in this elimination round.  While the US opened up a 6-0 lead behind a Robin Stewart-Demartino lay-out catch for the fourth score, Colombia scored their first point against the US and then broke on a nice huck from Andres Palomares to Jorge Aguilar.  The US took half 9-3 and scored the first point out of half before Palomares came up with a nice point block after a turnover and then Aguilar hit Juan Seabastian Prieto to bring it to 11-4.  The US scored the next point on efficient offense when Matty Sung found George Stubbs.  Colombia responds by shredding the US 1-3-3 with quick passes as Martín Searrano hit Esteban Arango.  The US scored the next two points to take the lead to 14-5 but looked a little sloppy doing it.  On the first of those two points the horizontal offense began losing discipline with the cuts starting too deep and then coming to close to the handlers.  In the next point the US’ 1-3-3 to man transition was slow and had many holes.  The US team finished the game 17-6 with a throw from Stewart-Demartino to Grant Lindsley.  The moments of sloppiness were likely a sign of the player’s exhaustion after 9 full days of focusing and playing Ultimate.  But whether the US can focus for the finals against Canada or whether the team already peaked earlier in the week remains to be seen. 

Tonight is the always exciting trade night and then a tournament dance party for a little last night socializing.