2011 YCC Mixed Division Champs - Bay Area

Posted: August 15, 2011 01:18 PM

YCC 2011, Mixed Division
Sunday Recap

On paper, the matchup between Idaho and Triangle Valley seemed to be the closest matchup as the Mixed Quarterfinals began.  However, Idaho Sabotage struck early and often, aided by the uncoverable Anthony Gossard and strangling team defense.  Triangle found themselves down 4-0 early and took a time-out to keep the game from getting out of hand.  Idaho did not relent, however. With aggressive hucks by Andrea Fontenot and Bryce Heminger, Idaho took the skunk to half and never looked back, winning 13-3.
Chicago met the Bay Area Happy Cows and never got it going on offense.  Chicago was consistently outgunned, and the Cows dominated 13-1.
Even from a couple hundred yards away, you could hear the intensity of the battle between Seattle and hometown Minnesota.  Minnesota had a chip on its shoulder from being seeded seventh and had launched itself in upset bids taking down Chicago and giving BUDA a run for its money on Saturday.  Against Seattle, the score doesn’t tell the story of how close the game was.  Down 7-3 at half, Minnesota Coach Erin Mirocha calmed her team down and Minnesota took to hammers as the solution to Space Jam’s zone as they closed the gap to 10-8.  Minnesota, obviously gassed, struggled to find their footing in the end, falling 13-8.
Madison had come to Minnesota, defied the critics, and fought valiantly with only four women.  During morning warm ups, the team looked sore.  Explaining her team’s mentality, Madison’s Yassmine Sarkarati made no excuses, “we’re playing well, we’ve got one sub, but I am sore I will admit.”  However, no amount of heart could overcome Madison’s deficiency in legs as Madison, finally gassed, fell to BUDA 13-4.
The Semifinals pitted Idaho and their defensive mentality against the crisp, balanced offense of the Bay Area.  Idaho came out with intensity and imposed their style of play.  With Idaho up a break early, the Cows called a time out.  The wise move reset the game with Cal rushing to a 4-1 run.  “We made the adjustment to stop hucking… and started playing a poaching D, now their hucking lanes have players in them.” Cal Coach Geoff Rexroth explained.  After the time out, California never looked back, winning 13-5.
Seattle came at BUDA with intensity, going to an early 3-0 lead, forcing an early New England time out.  This stopped the hemorrhaging, and the teams traded to 5-2.  On defense, Seattle’s Mario Lowe made back-to-back handblocks and the eventual score to take the 6-2 lead.  Out of half at 7-4, BUDA used its zone to begin clawing its way back into the game.  Following a monster layout by Space Jam’s Maddie Gilbert that was just short of a completion, the BUDA handlers, led by Danny Katz, worked the disc straight up the line for the goal.  BUDA’s zone was its weapon and the breaks just kept on coming as the team clawed its way back into the game.  A goal line Disc NW turn lead to a goal and intense spike by Jesse Shofner to take the tie as soft cap sounded.  Seattle struggled to find answers as New England cycled through varieties of its loose zone.  Nothing Seattle tried stopped the BUDA momentum, as they ended on a 7-1 run for a spot in the finals.  Asked how it felt to survive yet another close game, BUDA Coach Westcott replied, “That’s our M.O.”
Despite the upsets and constant competitiveness of the tournament, the finals were a matchup of the top two seeds: New England BUDA and the Bay Area Happy Cows.  Cal romped through pool play and had gotten to the finals with huge score margins with their closest win being by six.  New England had taken the opposite path with only one win by more than six.
New England began the game by setting the same zone they did in the semis. A poorly taken Cal huck was eaten by BUDA’s Richard Lipari, leading to an early BUDA break.  “It’s worth flying in from Vermont to see plays like that,” commented one New England parent, with others nodding in agreement.  With the Cows’ David Hwang breaking the BUDA cup, the teams traded to a New England lead, 5-3, when the Bay Area called a time out just as they did in the semis.  The Cows came out with momentum and intensity with a huge layout by Monisha White for a score.  “Since when do our guys overthrow our girls?” one Cow asked. “Well, they didn’t over throw it that much,” came the reply.  California surged to a 7-5 half and despite the intensity of individual matchups, particularly Cal’s Marisa Rafter and BUDA’s Jesse Shofner, the level of spirit was unmistakably high.
Out of half BUDA returned to their zone defense, trying to rekindle the magic of their semis comeback.  New England tied the game at sevens at soft cap, turning the championship into a game to two.  Capitalizing on mistakes, Cal forced a break and regained possession.  Cal’s Higgins called a timeout on the goal line, and Cal called the iso as the marquee matchup of the game: Shofner versus Rafter.  Rafter couldn’t find open space and Higgins was forced to take an uncomfortable backhand break to a laying-out Jordan Deireling for the win, and the championship.

PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Kotvis [f/go]

Final Standings:

1 - Bay Area
2 - Boston
3 - Seattle
4 - Idaho
5 - Triangle Area
6 - Minnesota
7 - Madison
8 - Chicago

Full results