2008 World Ultimate and Guts Championships Junior's Team - Daily Log - August 3rd

Posted: August 3, 2008 10:52 AM

Dressed in their reds and whites, the US Jr. women had their first match against Great Britain bright and early Sunday morning. Through the use of crafty defenses and quick strikes on offense, the US team was able to capitalize and pull ahead to a 7-0 lead. They would allow only one goal in the first half. The Americans are an athletic team, who move the disc quickly and effectively, able to execute a quick break or call a play. Handlers Erica Baken, Maggie Fisher and Emelie McKain work together to move the disc while mids Bailey Zahniser and Sara Scott aren’t afraid to put it to deeps Lane Siedor and Alisha Kramer. Great Britain never let up the fight, but were overcome 17-3. The two teams huddled up for some post game fun, and GB awarded Bailey Zahniser their MVP award.

Following the Jr. women’s game, the Jr. open team took the field against the Great Britain Jr. open team. Starting on defense, Team USA opened with two breaks, first from Lee Richardson to Tommy Li on the end zone line. This was the beginning of many points where the US would work the disc up the field against aggressive Great Britain marks. The Americans then scored again, on a throw from Grant Lindsley to Sam Kittross-Schnell to go up 2-0. Sensing some urgency, the Great Britain squad dug deep and brought the score back to 5-4, before throwing a 3-person zone that was easily navigated by the US, allowing the score to advance to 6-4. In contrast to the Jr. women’s game on the same field in the previous round, this game was marked with aggressive cutting, the defenders and offenders alike bumping and jarring to get open. The US took half 9-5.

The teams traded points coming out of half, and with the US receiving, the pull is brought down and a huck is immediately misfired to Lee Richardson screeching deep. Despite a score of 10-6, the game feels closer and both teams are working hard to execute their offenses. Now it’s time for the US team to generate a block, and Nick Stuart steps up to the plate with a huge lay out D on an under cut. This fired up the whole sideline and for the rest of the game the pressure would be on the cutters, and the Americans would come up with multiple big blocks.  

Throughout the game George Stubbs put up huge floating pulls, and Grant’s pull to Great Britain at 12-6 was no exception. Hovering above the Great Britain handler set, the sideline was screaming to get down and shut down the first throw. An iso shot deep off the pull by Great Britain looks like it’s going to be caught, but somehow Sam Kittross-Schnell makes up the difference and tips the disc away at the last second. Kittross-Schnell earns the bookends as Tommy Li will eventually throw him the goal, bringing the score to 13-6. Not to be outdone, Grant Lindsley then takes the field, and right on the hip of his offensive player leaves his feet to get a block on an under cut and then receive the score from Andrew Kiefer.

Feeling the much needed momentum in a game that’s now opened up to 15-6, Josh Cincotta finds himself in a foot race to Great Britain’s endzone with a speedy receiver, and is barely able to lay out and nudge the disc away and prohibit the score. On offense Ollie Honderd and Jacob Janin work well together, keeping the disc constantly in motion with quick give and gos until they find Milo Snyder open for the goal. 16-6.

At game point for the US, the teams were both continuing to give it their all, and the US was able to end the game on a huck to Grant Lindsley that fell just short of the end zone, giving Andrew Lunetta the opportunity to get open for the final goal, USA wins 17-6.

As the US Jr. women were warming up to take the field against Colombia, the excitement was already building for the country of Colombia. The Colombian  team had just went on a huge run late in the game against France to cinch a win and an upset. While the crowds celebrated and sang, the Americans took the field to drill.

It was immediately apparent once the game began that the Colombians were here not just to play, but to win. Receiving to start the game, they worked the disc down the field and put it in. The US then did the same, and the beginning of the game fell into a pattern of trading points in the downwind direction. Amber Sinicrope puts up a big flick huck that hits Julia Snyder in stride for a score of 4-4. Now it’s the Colombian’s turn to go downwind, and both teams are starting to look tired. The US gets a turn and after a long possession working the disc, sends a misplaced huck towards the upwind end zone that is uncatchable out of bounds. Colombia takes possession and immediately calls a time out. Working the disc down the field, they save errant throws with ridiculous grabs and move the disc with incredible speed. Team USA's Erica Baken digs deep and gets a key hand block before the disc makes it too far from the upwind end zone, and the US girls put the disc up for a floating pass that is macked by Elise Rasmussen right into the laying out palms of Bailey Zahniser for the first hard earned break of the game. 5-4.

The US pulls going downwind and brings out a junk D as the Colombians work it towards the upwind endzone. At midfield it looks like the US has gotten a block but it’s returned on a call and Colombian retains possession and gets an upwind goal. In order to maintain their break advantage, the US now needs to score upwind as well. A low swing gets dropped and Colombia is off to the races downfield, breaking the mark around and working it down the break side to score and take the lead again 5-6.

The Colombians decide to pull out a 3-person cup, but the pull was short and they only left the zone on for a couple of throws before switching to person. The US has an unfortunate drop in the endzone but gets it back on a Colombia miscommunication. Bailey Zahniser is everywhere on offense, getting up for huge grabs and hitting her teammates in stride. Emelie McKain gets the dump on the endzone line and hits Emily DePalma for the swing and the score. 6-6.

The Americans are starting to find their fire. Erica Baken is right on the hip of her person and leaves her feet for a high lay out block on an in-cut to get the turn but Colombia’s Laura Ceballos gets a block in return. Not to be outdone, Erica gets a piece on another throw that is deflected but then caught by a heads up Colombian player racing down the sideline and eventually puts it in for a goal. 6-7.

Going downwind, the US runs a pull play that calls for a huck deep that is incomplete. The US women are at the sideline cheering the Jr. women on and the energy seems to be rebuilding once again. Maggie Fisher gets a heads up poach D on a floating pass but two throws later Karen Alexandra Rico from Colombia has a flying superman D on an in-cut to get the disc back. The disc is floated up to the upwind end zone and it looks like it’s going to be a goal but Paula Seville comes up huge with a catch D in the end zone, gives it to a handler and makes a cut but is immediately overthrown. Colombia puts in another break to go up 6-8.

The next point was marked by a number of huck turns by the Americans, as well as a number of blocks to regain possession. Colombia takes a timeout to gain composure and then successfully works the disc down the field to take half 6-9.

Whatever speech coaches Eileen Murray, John Sandahl and Chelsea Putnam gave at half time must have had an effect. With the addition of the Jr. open team cheering on the sideline, the Americans came out and two possessions later Erica Baken launches a high release flick to make the score 7-9.

The Colombians had proved themselves to be a team with sticky fingers, but the US got lucky when a third attempt on a bobbling disc gets dropped. Baken sees the fast break opportunity to Amber Sinicrope who snags it on a layout grab in the upwind end zone to bring the score to 8-9.

The US defense found its legs and shut down cutter after cutter, until Erica Baken calls stall on the mark. Going downwind, Sophie Darch puts a beautiful pass to the back of the end zone, out of the reach of the defenders and to flying Bailey Zahsnier. 9-9.

Colombia receives going downwind and works the disc nearly to the end zone before the US gets a turn. An overthrow down the line leads Maggie Fisher to collide with Sara Scott, but Sara has the disc trapped against her body to save possession. In the excitement, a throw to the dump drops to the ground. Colombia quickly grabs the disc and scores to stop the US run. 9-10.

Anna Snyder brings out the big guns on a huck off the pull to Bailey Zahniser, but it gets D’d. There is a turn by the Colombians on a swing, and the US works it in for a goal. 10-10.

Now it’s Colombia’s turn to go on a run. After a quick score to bring the game to 10-11, they again get a block and work the disc up the fields. Colombia’s cutters are fighting for position but Sophie Darch will have none of it and both Sophie and her offender leave their feet, with Sophie getting a block that sends the disc flying ten yards down field. Both teams are showing their pure athleticism and running hard. A US huck goes out of bounds, and they are back on D. Colombia works the disc to the end zone and puts up a hammer for a score. 10-12.

The players look tired but the US is able to get a stall on the mark. But after a series of turnovers, Colombia once again shows their gritty play through sick grabs on the trailing edge to save what looked to be an overthrow. 10-13.

The cap goes on, and it’s now a game to 15. Amber Sinicrope looks to Lane Siedor for a big huck, but it’s incomplete. Alisha Kramer gets a block for the US and Paula Seville hits Lane Siedor for the score, 11-13.

In the next point, Sophie Darch comes out with a big block on defense, only to have a throw away, and then earn it back with another block. Erica Baken looks to hit a streaking Sara Scott but the throw gets D’d. Colombia work it down the field through the Americans junk D which is forcing difficult catches. Colombia has an uncharacteristic drop but the US struggles to connect between the handlers and cutters and a turn near the end zone results in a Colombia score 11-14.

With Colombia at game point, the US gets stuck in a high stall count that results in a turnover, and Colombia hits the dump and swing for a final score of 11-15. at the cap.

The US Jr. open and women’s teams had the remainder of the afternoon to reflect on their morning, eat some lunch and watch the Middle School All-Star come in the Spirit Enclosure. The weather, though a little windy, was warm and comfortable. After dinner in the dining hall, the teams met to discuss the plans for the following day and refocus before heading to bed to get some much needed sleep. The players have already been on the road for a week, and they still have plenty more competition to come.