Drag'n Thrust wins back to back Mixed Championships

Posted: October 19, 2014 06:18 PM

Minneapolis Drag'n Thrust wins back-to-back Mixed Championships. Brittany Winner recaps the finals.


2014 Nationals Mixed Division:



Drag'n Thrust 2014Nationals Tino
Photo Credit: Tino Tran Photography

After three days of upsets, comebacks and the characteristic unpredictability of the mixed division, only one team was able to finish the weekend undefeated: Drag’n Thrust. The squad from Minneapolis earned their second consecutive title on Sunday, winning 15-9 against Seattle Mixed at the 2014 National Championships in Frisco, Texas.

Coming into a game against a team they knew relatively little about, Drag’n decided to focus on what they did know – their own strengths.  Having focused all season on conditioning, continuous improvement and mental toughness, the squad made it through six tough games to get to the finals, where all their hard work would be rewarded.

Drag'n v Seattle 2014Nationals CSchmidt
Photo Credit: Christina Schmidt/Ultiphotos

Coach Jake Henderson pointed to the team’s focus on defense as one of the key reasons they were consistently able to come out on top through tough match ups all weekend, and that defensive tenacity was apparent in their victory on Sunday afternoon. Seattle’s handlers weren’t on the same page to start the game, and Drag’n’s defense was quick to capitalize on early turnovers from Seattle’s missed swing passes.  Drag’n Thrust was efficient and took control of the game early, notching three breaks in the first half off of four opportunities. While their conversion rate dropped in the second half, the Drag’n D-line never let up the intensity, creating multiple turnovers and notching two more breaks to put the game out of Seattle’s reach.  Just as they had done all tournament long, Drag’n shared the disc and used a balanced attack to overcome their opponents – of the 15 goals scored, six were caught by women, along with three assists. Conversely, Seattle had just one score by a woman and no assists. Drag’n’s women also had a huge impact on the other side of the disc, with Haller, Oakley and Meckstroth all coming up with big plays on defense. Captain James Hron recognized this as another reason for Drag’n’s success, saying that the depth of talent on their roster means everyone contributes as the team plays deep into a tournament. 

Drag'n v Seattle 2014Nationals Tino
Photo Credit: Tino Tran Photography

With a three-break cushion going into the second half, Drag’n’s offense was able to play with less reservation.  That, combined with Seattle’s style of play, resulted in a second half with longer points and more turnovers, but also plenty of crowd-pleasing plays.  Seattle got a break back late in the game that re-energized their sidelines, but it was too little, too late as the Drag’n Thrust O-line would put an end to Seattle Mixed’s first trip to Nationals. 

After the trophy and award money were presented to the national champions and the medals were hung around each player’s neck, the announcement was made that Drag’n Thrust had also won the Team Spirit Award for the tournament – an award that is determined by post-game ratings from the other teams playing in Frisco. The Minneapolis team was the only national champion to bring home both trophies this year, capping off an incredibly successful season for Drag’n: world champs, national champs, spirit champs.

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