2011 YCC U-19 Open Division Champs - DiscNW

Posted: August 15, 2011 01:18 PM

YCC 2011 U19 Open Division
Day Two Recap

After a full day of playing the teams arrived to the fields Sunday ready to perhaps vie for the championship. The weather was beautiful, with not a cloud in the sky, and the wind would never play a big factor.

Round 5

Before the elimination bracket would be set there remained one final round of pool play. In Pool A, Minnesota faced off against Chicago. Minnesota appeared to be riding the emotional high from yesterday’s universe point victory over DEVYL. Led by big catches and D’s by #2 Caleb Coleman, Minnesota would take half 7-4. Chicago would never get back in it and Minnesota secured the #1 seed for Pool A. Seattle would also start their day off well, easily outpacing and outplaying Nebraska securing the #1 seed for Pool B.

BUDA, despite their obvious depth of talent, was not so confident as either Seattle or Minnesota. Their coaches expressed their thoughts that their team “didn’t play as well together as other teams,” and in addition, they were attempting to rebound from a tough first day that didn’t go quite how they would have liked. Cincinnati consistently proved themselves a difficult matchup throughout the tournament and BUDA had their share of problems against them, although they eventually pulled out the win with some notable play from #27 Amos Adams.


The upset special of the day featured Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota. Minnesota started out hot and confident, getting a quick score. Pittsburgh answered with a quick score of their own. Minnesota’s handlers had been controlling their team’s offense all weekend, setting the pace with their unrelenting weave. The difference in this game appeared to be Pittsburgh’s shut down handler D. Minnesota would have trouble finding a rhythm the rest of the game. Give credit to Pittsburgh for their execution on offense. One turn would follow another for Minnesota, and one dropped catch after another with the team quickly losing any energy and confidence they once had. On the other hand, Pittsburgh’s positive energy and intensity kept building. Their momentum hard to contain, Pittsburgh went on a 12-3 run to close the game.

In another Quarterfinal matchup, DEVYL and Cincinnati traded points to 5-5. DEVYL would then refocus and find their stride, taking the game 13-7, and looking much the faster team while doing it. BUDA would mirror DEVYL with a 13-7 win of their own, defeating Chicago. Seattle would handedly win their quarterfinal matchup against Denver, setting the stage for Semifinals.


DEVYL and Seattle, arguably the two fastest teams in the tournament, would push each other in their semifinal matchup. The tone was set for Seattle with a big Callahan D by #10 John Raynolds. DEVYL was no team to wilt under such a circumstance, riding the deadly break throws of #82 Marques Brownlee. Brownlee was all over the field for DEVYL, getting unders and making big throws when needed. While the teams may have been evenly matched speed wise, Seattle displayed a clear advantage in the air that proved the major difference. All weekend long, #00 Christopher Job ruled the skies for Seattle and kept making bigger plays on D and O as the tournament progressed. After a 12-7 win, Seattle assistant coach Steve Gussin said the keys to the victory were the defense preventing handlers from around breaks and, “Our big guys, pulling down the disc.”

In the other semifinal, BUDA faced off against the red-hot team from Pittsburgh. This game was contested throughout; with each throw and each cut being challenged by either defense. The coaches’ worries about BUDA not being cohesive enough proved true in this game, as they never seemed to have the same group energy and willpower as the guys from Pittsburgh. It helped Pittsburgh that they were riding three of the stars of the tournament: #10 Max Thorne, #3 Patrick Earles, and #28 Joe Bender. These guys were called upon and delivered big play after big play for their team, with Pittsburgh taking the game 13-11.


The finals saw two teams completely different in nature face off. Pittsburgh chose to continually express their intensity outwardly while Seattle mostly maintained an inner intensity. Seattle assistant coach Steve Gussin was fully aware of the differences between the teams. He recognized that Pittsburgh liked to play their game through a few studs and a key to winning the game for Seattle would center on shutting down these few players. On the other side of the disc Gussin expressed the reputation that his team would continue as they had done all tournament to utilize their whole team, and all the players on the field at one time. Gussin’s words proved spot on as Seattle cruised out to an early lead and never looked back.

Pittsburgh’s big three of Max Thorne, Patrick Earles and Joe Bender tried to assert their place in the game, only to contribute multiple turnovers. Seattle’s defense did a good job of neutralizing these players while staying within their game on offense. Pittsburgh’s intensity betrayed them, as they looked deep early and often, playing into Seattle’s defensive schemes. Seattle, for their part, remained patient to take deep shots in the flow of their offense and their high conversion rate demonstrated this poise.

As Seattle closed out the game 13-6, Pittsburgh served as a prime example of the way in which the tides can so quickly turn in the youth Ultimate scene. They met defeat in two close pool play games and then emerged a rejuvenated team, riding a high wave of energy through quarters and semis, only to have that energy turn on them in the finals. Momentum is ever shifting, and often it is the team that can weather such shifts and remain calm in the moment that triumphs in the end. Whether Seattle lays testament to this claim or not, it can at least be said that they played within themselves all weekend long, played their game and came out on top in the end.

PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Kotvis [f/go]

Final Standings:

1 - Seattle
2 - Pittsburgh
3T - Boston
3T - Delaware Valley
5T - Denver
5T - Minnesota
7T - Chicago
7T - Cincinnati
9 - Nebraska
10 - Denver-B
11 - Bay Area

Full results