2014 U.S. Open - Women's Day 2 Recap

Posted: July 4, 2014 07:28 PM

The Upsets Continue

The day went from gorgeous to gusty in the fourth round of pool play at the U.S. Open. 2013 champions Scandal went down early to Iceni; Fury and Riot battled in a tight game; and Showdown started off hot against Brute Squad. 

Round One

Iceni controlled the first quarter of their game against Scandal, taking advantage of Scandal’s turns to go up 6-2. After their slow start, huge plays from Octavia Payne and Crystal Davis sent Scandal on a five-point run. The ladies from the District kept their fire and roared on to take half 8-7. Iceni wasn’t done, coming out of half with intense pressure on the marks. Their straight-up force when Scandal was going downwind was especially effective, as the wind began forcing hucks into the ground. On one point in particular, Kimberly Beach went deep four times, finally catching the goal on her fourth attempt. At 11-9, game to 12, Iceni called a costly timeout, running the clock to hard cap and losing their shot at a victory. Scandal scored the final point, winning 12-9.

San Francisco Fury and Seattle Riot started a close game, trading long points and breaks. However, Fury’s fundamental errors would hurt them time and time again. As their downwind deep shots went too far or trailed off, Riot was able to capitalize with flat, upwind throws. The score was last tied at 5-5, before Riot went on a 10-2 run to win 15-7. Huge Ds from Sarah Griffith and speedy cuts from Calise Cardenas showed Riot is a tough opponent. Claire Desmond shined for Fury with layout grabs and by leading cheers for her team, but it wasn’t enough for the Bay Area to snag the win.

Elsewhere in the first round, Showdown took down a seemingly dominant Brute Squad 13-12 for an important win, and in an international match up, Traffic took down Bamboo 15-7. 

Round Two

Round two featured one of the day’s best games as Scandal battled Traffic in increasingly strong winds. The teams traded points, but an unfortunate hit to Scandal’s Leah Tsinajinnie shook her and the team up, and they started making fundamental mistakes with drops and overthrows. The rest of the game featured athletic grabs from Rachel Moens and repeated scores for Traffic’s Ashlee Davison. Traffic also showcased their smooth offense, swinging the disc with ease which allowed them to wait for the best opportunity to attack deep. As time ran down, Traffic pulled away to win the game 15-12. 

On a nearby field, Fury took down Showdown after suffering some injuries of their own. Kaela Jorgenson was hit early and suffered some back pain which kept her out of the game. Alden Fletcher saw the trainer after hitting her head on a layout. Still, Fury fought hard for their teammates and capitalized on every Showdown turnover, pulling away to take half 8-5. A far cry from their first-round play, Fury cleaned up their unforced turnovers and ran away with the game, even scoring one of their points in only two throws. Showdown made some athletic plays of their own – in particular, successfully bodying out in the air, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Bay Area women. Fury took the game 15-7.

In the round’s other games, Brute Squad bested Bamboo 15-1. While not able to put many points on the board, Bamboo excelled in their man defense, challenging Boston on each throw. Boston found success when they were able to huck, turning Bamboo around and scoring quickly in the transition. On the showcase field, Riot bested Iceni 15-10.

The third round saw an exciting match up from Iceni and Showdown. The Londoners went down early but fought back to tie the game at 10-10. The teams traded out a few before Showdown won a marathon point to lead 13-11. From there, Iceni won all the downwind offense points quickly, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Showdown drive. Texas’ late-U.S. Open addition Julie Malacek wins the player of the game award, running as if it was the first game of the weekend, winning match ups in the air and diving with an Iceni defender to score the winning goal. Showdown notched another win, 15-13.

Riot was up early on Scandal, taking half 8-5. Scandal came out firing in the second half, almost managing to catch up to Seattle as Riot started dropping and throwing away a few too many discs. Octavia Payne also had a few layout Ds to stop the Riot flow. However, as Riot cleaned up their play, Scandal couldn’t hold on, and Riot took the game 15–9. 

On the other fields, Brute Squad rolled over what seemed like a tired Traffic. Vancouver simply had too many turnovers and were unable to stop players like Kami Groom from finding herself open all over the field. Brute Squad stayed focused to win 14-7. Finally, Fury defeated Bamboo 15-3.

Girls' Ultimate Movement

The day didn’t end after the games. The Girls Ultimate Movement, or GUM, was a featured session in the U.S. Open Convention where they shared their goals and accomplishments to date with the tournament attendees. The room was packed. A standing-room-only crowd waited with excitement to hear the results of the group’s initial research and brainstorming sessions.

Heather Ann Brauer and Zara Cadoux, co-chairs of GUM, along with Mike Lovinguth, USA Ultimate Chair, presented results of a national survey of female players (18 and up) and focus groups of youth female players, the backbone and future of GUM, and the five priorities they’d settled upon for USA Ultimate to focus on in helping to support girls ultimate moving forward. 

The national survey asked respondents to answer questions as open-ended as describing their experiences as a youth player to specifically asking what they thought GUM should do if there were no limitations. In describing their experience, some of the girls noted that they struggled for numbers at events and had different experiences than boys. In addition, the presence of adult coaches and role models as well as opportunities outside of school, such as YCC and leagues, made a big difference. Boys also played a large role in defining the girls’ experiences, as it was difficult playing with them as a beginner and girls felt it made them more aggressive. When asked to define their ideal division, the girls mostly wanted more playing opportunities and more structure for those opportunities. In addition, they wanted more community-based opportunities to be able to connect with others. Cadoux noted that, in particular, she felt happy so many girls had professed how specific experiences helped them fall in love with ultimate.

Brauer then commented on the results from focus groups held with current youth players in Washington, Atlanta, Seattle, Philadelphia and North Carolina’s Triangle Area. When asked what they liked about ultimate and what was important to them, the girls said the community, Spirit of the Game and the life lessons they learned. Notably, one of the girls from the Triangle shared how playing for a girls’ team with high school players helped boost her confidence and level of play tremendously. Finally, the girls were asked for any ideas they had for GUM. The answers ranged from wanting a poster athlete to look up to to having more interaction with college players as mentors. The day after Brauer hosted the Seattle focus group, she received word from one of the participants that the girls had decided to host a skills clinic. As a result of the focus group, the girls felt like they should take responsibility to help grow the sport they loved.

Finally, the presenters revealed five priority areas they think are most important to helping grow girls’ ultimate: creating online media resources dedicated to girls’ ultimate, developing and piloting girls’ programs, creating curricula for partnerships with other youth sport organizations, developing a national GUM volunteer structure, and ongoing research for best practices in girls’ ultimate. The presentation ended with the organizers promising to return to the U.S. Open each year to communicate their achievements. In the Q&A session, USA Ultimate CEO Tom Crawford stepped forward to share that part of the funding raised through the new USA Ultimate Foundation will go to serving GUM’s goals. To read more about GUM, click here or go to the GUM facebook page



Looking Ahead

Tomorrow sees the final round of pool play, after which the top four teams will head straight to the semifinals. Showdown v. Traffic and Scandal v. Brute Squad are all important final-round pool play games. Currently, Showdown and Scandal are 3-3, and Traffic and Brute Squad are 4-2. If Fury (3-3) also wins their game against Iceni, we could be looking at a five-way tie for second place, and determining who moves on will come down to point differential. Riot, currently undefeated, already sits comfortably in the semifinals. 

For tonight, the players are looking forward to celebrating the Fourth of July at a soccer match between Minnesota United FC and the Mexico U-21 National Team and resting up for a big day tomorrow.



Images by UltiPhotos


2014 - US Open - Day 2 Highlights - Images by CBMT creative


U.S. Open Championships Event Page

Event Guide (PDF)


Women's Game Schedule

2014USOpenLogo 435x290  




Have any questions or comments? We welcome community feedback and discussion made in a respectful manner. Please refrain from profanity or personal attacks, as such public comments negatively reflect on our sport and community.