2012 US Open -- Women's Division Preview

Posted: July 3, 2012 07:56 PM

Women's Division Schedule (SRT)



It is certainly possible that Riot, the notoriously strong Seattle-based team who made it to the 2011 Club Championship finals, will happily stroll out of Colorado Springs with a trophy in hand. Known for its fast-paced athletic game, gutsy plays, and stacked with elite club and youth veterans, Riot has both the experience and grit to walk away with an early pre-series win.
That is, unless Phoenix has something to say about it. Boasting a massive 27-person roster and an incredible rate of improvement in its short life span, Phoenix is planning to reemerge, newly strengthened and prepared, from last season’s discarded ashes. Their goal is to win the U.S. Open, and will stop at nothing—rather, nothing that doesn’t violate their seven core principles which center on fair play and love of the game—to do so. 


That isn’t to say that another team couldn’t win it all at the 2012 U.S. Open. Because of how early in the season it is, the U.S. Open will be the first tournament of the season for teams like Showdown, Molly Brown, and Safari, and the first time that most attending teams will face each other this year. Many teams, such as Riot, Showdown, and Ozone are bringing somewhat diminished rosters (Riot will only have 16 players present on Thursday!), and every team will be working out the kinks amongst their respective sets of new players and strategies. Because of this, the biggest challenge to teams may prove to be themselves. As Riot’s Gwen Ambler wrote in an email, "figuring out how to maximize our individual talents to best benefit the team is our primary goal at this point in the season.  That includes starting to figure out strategies and match-ups that work against top teams." Expect to witness lots of team gelling and surprising wins this long weekend.
Environmental and logistical challenges may also prove to be game-changers at the U.S. Open. The elevation in Colorado Springs and predicted high temperatures will especially take a toll on teams with small rosters, while the air quality—depending on the direction of the wind—may not be the best due to the wildfires. Because of the tournament’s location change, teams are scheduled to play three short games per day. Teams will certainly be looking to prove their dominance as early in the game as they can, since an explosive lead may just determine the score.

Dark Horses

  Ozone – this Atlanta-based team won all of their games at the Winston Cup last weekend (including a 13-8 win against Scandal) and has been working hard at the track and the gym to prepare for a fight in Colorado Springs. Will Ozone’s recent victories and athletic base give them the confidence and energy to take down the competition and the heat?
  AeroSoul – this team is the tournament wildcard. Because they are based out of Bogotá, Columbia, no team here has gone head-to-head with them. The U.S. Open actually marks the first time that AeroSoul has played together as a team. It is a fabulous opportunity for U.S. teams to face international competition, especially a team that hails from a country where the Ultimate scene is growing at an extremely exciting, fast-paced rate. Watch out for AeroSoul this weekend!


Games to watch

    Riot v. Phoenix 4:30 on Thursday – Phoenix is determined to beat the number one seed. Will Riot let them get away with it?
    Molly Brown v. Scandal, 3:00 on Friday – Molly Brown was seeded 4th and Scandal was seeded 5th at the 2011 Club Championships, but the seeding was turned on its head in pool play when Scandal pulled out a 16-14 win against the former team. At the U.S. Open, Molly Brown is again seeded 4th and Scandal 5th. Will Molly Brown revenge their pool play loss last season, or will Scandal reinforce its dominance? Pay attention to this old rivalry rekindled on Friday.
Riot v. AeroSoul, 3:00 on Friday – Many Riot players traveled to Columbia in 2009 and bonded with members of the latter country’s Ultimate community. Watch this game to witness happy reunions and exemplary spirit of the game.
    Molly Brown v. Safari, 12:00 on Saturday – Safari gets especially energized when playing Molly Brown, and gave them two serious runs for their money in 2011. Watch to see Safari pull out all the stops—and perhaps even pull out a win—against Molly Brown.