2014 Nationals - Women's Division Day 1 Recap

Posted: October 16, 2014 11:45 PM

Leah Brown recaps Thursday's action in the women's division at the 2014 National Championships in Frisco, Texas.


2014 Nationals Women's Division:



In a day of pool play filled with competitive games, and many chances for upsets, it was surprising that most teams played to their seeds. In rounds one and two, only slight winds hampered teams, but as rounds three and four began, winds picked up. Couple the conditions with fatigue, and it made for tougher play for each team. 

Pool A

Over the course of the day, Brute Squad showed why they are the top seed. With a 15-3 romp over Schwa and a the same score against the Capitals, Brute played as if they had everything to gain and nothing to lose. Brute Squad played effectively as a unit, no one team member carrying the load, and none of them having extreme performances. Of course, that just means the whole team is firing efficiently, making it easier to keep up the pace. Whatever Schwa and the Capitals dished on defense, Brute turned into their advantage. 

Brute’s D-line was also effective at minimizing scores. During each game, their slightly poachy man coverage on handlers and sticky cutter defense forced both Schwa and the Capitals to work slowly up field, while maximizing the chances of a mistake. Against Brute Squad, both teams committed plenty of unforced errors for Brute to capitalize on. Brute Squad’s final game of the day against Ozone wasn’t quite as easy as their first two, the final score being 15-11. But Brute had no real trouble emerging from pool play unscathed and are ready for the next stage. 

Other matchups in Pool A also turned out as expected. Ozone defeated the Capitals in a tight 14-13 victory. Both played carefully to begin the day, and the Caps led for most of the game, but Ozone dug in and used their air game to clinch the win. 

Atlanta also defeated Schwa 14-13. In a rematch of an earlier-season game, Schwa showed just how much they have grown as a team. Schwa’s Jesse Shofner, who has been recovering from a broken leg for most of the season, played impressive defense and explosive offense. But it wasn’t enough to overthrow Ozone. Schwa finished pool play with an 11-9 win over the Capitals. 

Pool B

Riot also made a day of it and finished pool play undefeated. With their quick passes on offense, they were able to keep Heist, Nightlock and Green Means Go on their heels throughout the day. In Riot’s opening game against Heist, they got a chance to test the waters and came out with a 14-8 win, which is the closest any team would come during pool play. Riot has plenty of height, which lends itself well to a zone defense. Riot’s cup ultimately had no trouble keeping Heist’s offense in check. Even when throws were threaded through the cup, Riot was able to stop the disc with a deep poach. 

Heist showed good control with short passes – and longer, laser-accurate ones – and capitalized on their ability to march the disc up the field, but it wasn’t enough to keep Riot from the win. 

Riot dispatched Green Means Go in round three, 15-6, and Nightlock in round four, 14-4. Despite GMG’s physical presence on the field, they couldn’t convert their defensive ability into scores. Each member of GMG was willing to sacrifice her body on D, and many times they came up with monster defensive plays. But an inability to string multiple throws together hampered their offensive potency. 

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PHOTO CREDIT: Tino Tran Photography

Nightlock gave Riot plenty of chances to score in their fourth-round match up, and Riot was happy to take them. As the wind picked up, it was harder for Riot to score on the deep huck, so instead, they worked under with quick passes. 

Other Pool B match ups included Heist’s upset of Nightlock, with a final score of 14-12. Heist is the only team to break seed in pool play, proving they are ready for bracket play. Nightlock closed out their first-round game against GMG 13-6.

Pool C

Pool C conformed to original seeding as well. Fourth-seeded Fury might as well be called Fast and Fury-ous for the way they played in each of their games. Although winds picked up by the end of the day, their style of play stayed the same. Each Fury player is explosive and generates plenty of power. They continue to play like a team with plenty of confidence. Their power and agility allowed them to play like the defense wasn’t even there in most cases. Showdown fell 14-11, Underground was defeated 15-7, and their match up with Traffic ended with an 11-8 score. 

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PHOTO CREDIT: Tino Tran Photography

Showdown fared better against Fury because Showdown plays in a similar fashion. All day, Showdown bit on plays that could be characterized as "big-risk, big-reward." 

But the wind made it difficult for them to connect on their deep looks, and because of their inability to march up the field, their risks mostly didn’t pay off. Showdown did, however, play well against Underground and grabbed their only win of the day, 12-11. 

Traffic stuck to a mostly man defense, despite the gusty wind and showed that they were ready for pool play. They took down Showdown and Underground, 13-12 and 15-7. 

Pool D

In Pool D, Scandal took the top spot despite a challenge from Molly Brown. Scandal’s Octavia (Opi) Payne was a force both on offense and defense during the teams’ their third-round match. But the wind and Molly’s careful care of the disc and determination made them the Coloradans a tough opponent. The final score was 15-14 with Scandal barely squeaking out the win. In their other pool play match ups, Scandal won 15-3 over Nemesis and 15-8 against Tabby Rosa. 

Molly Brown finished second in their pool, largely because of their patience during the gusty conditions. During each game, they showed disc control and poise, but recognized when big gains were possible. Molly earned a 15-6 victory over Tabby Rosa and a 14-13 win over Nemesis. 

Nemesis came alive in their third-round match against Tabby Rosa. Despite Tabby’s quick start, Nemesis clamped down on defense while getting explosive offensive performances to clinch the win 15-12.  

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PHOTO CREDIT: Tino Tran Photography


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