2008 World Ultimate and Guts Championships Junior's Team - Daily Log - August 5th

Posted: August 5, 2008 11:00 AM

The Jr. women were relying on their opponents, as well as their own play, to get them into the top bracket following the round robin. With losses to Colombia and Australia, but a win against Japan, the opportunity was small for the US team. But if Australia could pull out an upset against Colombia and Colombia could then beat Japan, the US could get bumped up. Unfortunately for the US Jr. women, the opposite occurred with Japan handing Colombia their first loss of the tournament and Colombia soundly beating Australia.

Earlier in the day, the Jr. women had taken down Finland – a team that uses their fast breaks and hucks efficiently for goals. If it weren’t for Emily DePalma having a fantastic deep game, the score could have been closer. The final score was 17-10. The team took advantage of the long lunch break to go back to the dorms, make their lunches and relax for a few hours before facing Canada late in the afternoon.

On another set of fields, the Jr. open team had taken care of business in the morning round and defeated the speedy Japanese team, working past their switchy zone and using height to their advantage and a 17-4 victory. Next up was Team Canada, a fiery squad with bleached and red dyed hair who was all too familiar with battling it out with their neighbors to the south. The game opened with the Americans on defense, and Canada immediately tries to open up their deep game but the disc is overthrown. Taking advantage of the turnover, Russell Wallack hits Grant Lindsley on a huck for a break, 1-0. The next few points fall into a similar pattern of Canada taking deep looks to cutters that have done a good job of getting open, but the throws fall short or out of bounds. The US goes up 3-0 before Canada connects on a flick huck to get on the board. When pulling, the Canadians almost always come down in a three person zone for a few passes to break up a called play. Canada’s #21 comes up big on a couple of occasions, getting a nice block at 4-2, but needing to leave the game after hitting the ground hard. Each team turns the disc once more, and George Stubbs is shoved in the back trying to catch the goal. It’s an uncontested foul and George smartly calls a TO on the goal line. A miscommunication between the marker and the defenders leads to an easy US goal. Everyone is using their deep game, but the Americans are connecting more, as well as busting out half-field hammers for goals and scoobers over the cup. There are hardly any unforced turns when the teams use their short game, and both sides are getting remarkable catch blocks, including Jacob Janin’s grab that left the crowd of spectators speechless. The final score was 17-7, and the Americans continue to be undefeated.

Because of how the morning games had played out, a win in the last game of the day between the Canadian and American Jr. women couldn’t help either team make it to the power pool. They would be playing for seeding into the lower pool round robin. The US team took the opportunity to open up their rotation and continue to work on their offensive movement between handlers and cutters. That did not mean, however, that this game wouldn’t be heated and intense. Both teams had performed below expectations and were frustrated and determined to beat the other. It’s a game of runs, with the US taking the first shot and going up 4-1 before the Canadians answer back and bring the game to 5s. The game has been going on for some time, and under WFDF rules a half is taken at the end of the next point after 45 minutes has elapsed. After taking half, Canada uses their zone and goes on yet another run, pulling ahead 7-9. The US finally takes the deep shots their coaches have been urging them to do all week, and capitalized on some misthrows to bring the game back to 9s. Maggie Fisher is able to hit Emily DePalma for a goal to take the lead again at 10-9. Erica Baken, Sara Scott and Anna Reed are having fantastic games and both reeling in big catches and putting up big throws. In short time the cap goes on and the Americans score twice to win the game 13-10. It’s a big win for the US, as they now go into the power pool having defeated the other three teams once. They need to win against each team one more time to take the last spot in the semis on Thursday.