2011 GMMW Championships - Sunday MW Recap

Posted: July 12, 2011 01:03 PM

As the temperatures rose today, so did the competition, determination, and intensity of the women’s masters teams.

Pool Play, Cont.

Sunday morning marked the last game of pool play in Women’s Masters. As a fairly easy first game, Retro took it to Lady O with the final score being 13-3. BHG and Safaritarians faced off in a well-played match, but BHG’s youth and athleticism pulled out with the win, 12-9. As much as a powerhouse as ever, Darkhorse beat Mojo 13-6 and won Pool B.  Finishing up pool play in Pool A, Stick Dog (Vancouver) had an upset over Well Done (CO), moving them from fourth in their bracket to first.


After a short break, the quarterfinals started and each team was back to work.  Stick Dog carried their momentum into the quarterfinals and defensively won game against the Safaritarians (San Diego, CA). Lay-out d’s from these ladies were common and the sidelines never failed to let out a supportive cheer for their teammates.

While playing most of the game toe to toe, Lady Godiva (Boston, MA) pulled away for a win against BH&G (Idaho/Montana) moving them on to the semi finals.

With the first crossover between the pools, Well Done (Denver, CO) played Retro (North Carolina). Well Done played a sloppy first half that that was rife with amateur turnovers and pointless throwaways; Retro led, 7-3. Well Done picked it up in the second half as they showcased their true talent through controlled offense and tenacious defense. At 8-7 with Retro in the lead, it looked like Well Done could very well come out of this on top. Alas, that didn’t happen—Retro dug deep and finished the game, 13-9.

On the adjacent field, Darkhorse (San Francisco, CA) played against Top Shelf (Georgia/Texas). With a squad of 9 and the previous game won on universe point, Top Shelf was absolutely exhausted, and it it showed with the half-time score: 7-0, Darkhorse. But with true Southern grit, the Top Shelf players pushed themselves and ended up scoring three points in a game that ended fairly quickly, 13-3 Darkhorse.


With the championship just a game ahead, team Godiva (Boston area) opposed Stick Dog (Vancouver, B.C.). Stick Dog had played Godiva the previous day, winning 13-9,  Now if you’re bored with this write-up, get a load of this fact: Stick Dog scored EVERY offensive point in this game, and they made it look easy. Godiva made some solid plays, but getting footblocked and handblocked in two consecutive points does not make for the greatest confidence. (The sick footblock belonged to Stick Dog’s Michelle Ning, by the way.) At 7-2 for half, Godiva looked beat—they just couldn’t keep up with the speed of play. As the second half continued, Godiva actually started getting in their groove, but it was too late to make a difference. Stick Dog won the game (13-6) with much time to spare before the championship game.

Two B pool rivals met again for the semi’s: Retro (NC) and Darkhorse (San Francisco). Darkhorse’s Lindsey Hack, who lives in North Carolina, led one of the many versatile handler squads with poise and precision. The teams battled fiercely and traded points until 13-13, game to 14. Hammers were not uncommon, flow for both teams was perfectly coordinated, and defense, both man and zome, was aggressive and spectacular; definitely a nail-biter to watch. After back and forth layout scores, Darkhorse made Retro’s killer defense seem to be standing still and laid it into the endzone for the victory. Through sweat, bids, raw skill and mind boggling intensity they had earned their place in 2011 Master’s Women’s finals.


Stick Dog and Darkhorse were in the finals, each yearning for the gold medal. Despite just coming from a game won on universe point twenty minutes before, Darkhorse started out strongly. While trading points for the first couple of minutes, Darkhorse’s Anne-Franziska Sinner made a beautiful D and then caught the catch for the score. It was the game’s first breakpoint, and Darkhorse was ecstatic. A couple of points later, Stick Dog responded with their own D and breakpoint. As a spectator, it was obvious that this game could only be won with unbelievable defense and could be lost with careless offense. As the game progressed, both teams capitalized on their offensive points. But at 5-5, Darkhorse took the lead with a breakpoint, giving them the lead. Not for long, though, as Stick Dog scored to make it 6-6. Unwilling to be outdone, Darkhorse took it to half, 7-6.

2011 GMMW D2 Kotvis (3)
PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Kotvis [f/go]

As both teams huddled and talked strategy for halftime, I began to think of each strengths. Darkhorse was younger and had better handlers, such as Kathleen Ratcliff, Catherine Roscoe, and Jamie Nuwer. Stick Dog, on the other hand, had more completions with hucks due to their speedy players, such as Candice Chan, Eva Cham, and Valerie Dion. Both shared a fantastic work ethic on defense and quick turnover time. My thoughts were interrupted as the second half began.

Here’s a quick chain of events: Stick Dog tied it up, 7-7. Darkhorse took advantage of offensive point and scored, 8-7. Stick Dog responded with their own point, 8-8. Darkhorse did the same, 9-8. Darkhorse furthered their edge with a breakpoint, 10-8. Stick Dog wouldn’t relent and scored, 10-9. Thanks to Jill Calkin with both the D and the score, Stick Dog forced a turnover and scored, 10-10. Darkhorse is flustered and turns it over again—Stick Dog scores, 11-10. Timeout. Stick Dog’s Kat Neal get a handblock near endzone, Stick Dog easily picks it up and scores, 12-10. Everyone in the audience is on the edge of their seats. Darkhorse will absolutely not give up as Kathleen Ratcliff releases a high-release backhand break huck to Anne-Franziska Sinner for the score, 12-11 (Stick Dog still in the lead). The next point could potentially be gamepoint for Stick Dog. I turned to my friend and said, “If Darkhorse gets a breakpoint now, they could still win it.” She nodded.

2011 GMMW D2 Kotvis (1)
PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Kotvis [f/go]

But that didn’t happen. Darkhorse pulled to Stick Dog, who turned it over. Unfortunately, Darkhorse then turned it over, too. And with a beautiful throw and amazing catch to Stick Dog’s Valerie Dion, the game was over. Bada bing, bada boom. Stick Dog won the Women’s Masters National Championship, 13-11.

2011 GMMW D2 Kotvis (14)

2011 Masters Women's Champions, Stick Dog.
PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Kotvis [f/go]

Final Standings:

1 - Stick Dog
2 - Darkhorse
3T - Godiva
3T - Retro
5 - BH & G
6T - Safari-tarians
6T - Top Shelf
6T - Well Done
9 - Dish
10 - MOJO 2.0
11 - Crack'd
12 - Lady O

Full Results

Team Spirit Award Winner:
- Stick Dog