2014 Youth Club Championships: Day Two Recap - Girls' Division

Posted: August 10, 2014 10:14 PM

Blaine, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2014) - While the four semifinalists got to sleep in a bit, day two in the U-19 girls’ division started off with the quarterfinal round of the consolation brackets. Teams had settled in a little more, after finally getting some on-field time together against similar ages and levels of competition on Saturday, many for the first time all year.

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Photo by: CBMT creative

U-19 Girls

In the fifth-place bracket, it was more of the same for Maine; they often need several opportunities to score, but luckily they earn themselves those opportunities with impressive regularity, so their games are rarely high-scoring, but they’re always exciting to watch. They worked their way past Neuqua Valley 9-4 to earn themselves a match up with DeVYL, who ran their way past Minnesota Superior quickly enough that they could do some scouting during the rest of Maine’s game.

Atlanta is really almost good. Despite being a first-year team, they already look to be on the verge of making themselves known on the national stage. They went 0-3 yesterday, but every time they have the disc in-hand, they look like they’ll score. Their offense moves well with good downfield spacing and cutters who aren’t shy. They make the right decisions, but just need to figure out how to make the execution a little easier for themselves: the resets make the right cuts, but the throws are into tight spaces; the downfield cutters get open, but not always where it’s easiest for the throwers to find them. With a couple more years and more high-level exposure and experience, they could easily be a team playing on the showcase fields on Sunday afternoon. They got their first and only win of the weekend in the first round of Sunday play against the South Dakota Angels, 10-5.


Semifinal Sunday and Seattle earns yet another trip to the finals at the Youth Club Championships. Cincinnati Belle threw a zone to slow down the Cyclone offense and mitigate some of the athletic advantage they might otherwise have given up. As a result, Cincinnati stayed in the game, and it took the full 75 minutes for Seattle to seal the deal, but it still wasn’t really close. Although the zone necessitated a slightly different game plan from Seattle, their deeper roster and more experienced throwers were better able to exploit defensive holes and take advantage of the entire field; no one was isolated and relegated to the non-threat category. Seattle‘s handlers frequently worked the disc methodically up the field before looping a big outside-in flick to the far back corner of the end zone into the hands of a receiver simply waiting for the throw to arrive. Cyclone’s ability to find those open receivers, no matter where they were on the field, made it incredibly difficult for Belle to effectively defend. There were simply too many available options for the offense. Shortly after the hard cap horn sounded, Seattle closed out the game 13-6.

In the second semifinal, the Triangle Warhawks faced off against Colorado Cutthroat in a battle of coaching wits – largely Lindsey Hack’s defensive strategies up against Claire Chastain’s offensive sensibilities. The Warhawks relied heavily on their defense and used several different looks to keep Cutthroat guessing. Straight-up marks and a clam strategy forced the Colorado girls to be patient and take what the defense allowed. On occasion, they tried things the defense wasn’t allowing. In those instances, the Triangle girls were generally happy to take deep shots. If they were completed, great. If not, Cutthroat had to try again to work the disc all the way up the field. The Warhawks jumped out to a 4-2 lead, but the mental toughness Colorado coach Chastain talked about yesterday came into play again. Cutthroat never looked flustered, even with time quickly ticking away, thanks to several lengthy timeouts and an on-field discussion or two. Colorado chipped their way back into contention with lots of handler movement, playing to their strengths but still utilizing occasional deep shots to keep the defense honest and space open downfield. The teams’ major players continued to carry large portions of the load on both sides particularly on offense: Katie Cubrilovic, Domenica Sutherland and Klara Calderon-Guthe for the Warhawks and Jackie Turner, Caitlyn Lee and Megan Ives for Cutthroat. The game barely reached half before the time cap went on. Starting the second half, with the pull going up just before the hard cap horn blew, Colorado was on top 7-5. Just to make sure no one considered the game uninteresting, the final score came on a Callahan for Ashley Powell and the Warhawks, but it was all for naught. Final score: 7-6 Colorado, setting up a rematch of last year’s final in the championship game.


After Seattle got their early round scare from Maine, they seemed to find their legs again, winning their remaining games, including the final, convincingly.

Colorado looked best, strong even, when they stuck to their game plan: running their offense through the handlers and using quick movement to create space. In-cutters dished the disc back to the handlers, who used the open space to keep the disc moving up-field. But they also took some deep chances they hadn’t earlier in the weekend, ones that didn’t play to their strengths and were extra difficult against a tall, athletic team like Seattle. Colorado went down 0-3 to start the game and, based on body language, looked like they didn’t have confidence that they could win the game. But after some encouragment from their coaches, Cutthroat edged their way back in, bringing the score to 4-5. But again, as soon as Seattle started to feel challenged, they put their collective foot down and steadily pulled away. They closed out the half with a three-point run and kept rolling in the second half.

Seattle dominated the skies throughout the game, coming down with even the not-so-great throws. In particular, Claire Trop was unstoppable in the red zone. She reeled in score after score for Cyclone. And she’s only 15. Colorado tried several different defensive looks, both man and zone variations, but Seattle’s ability to break the mark and use the entire field again made it difficult for the Colorado defense to limit their opponent’s options. Seattle kept plugging away and came away with their tenth consecutive U-19 girls’ title at the Youth Club Championship, with a final score of 11-5.

Consolation Brackets

In the third-place game, Cincinnati Belle outlasted the Triangle Warhawks 7-5. When they started their club season this summer, the Warhawks outlined three goals. One of those goals, after having lost to them the last several years, was to beat Cincinnati this weekend. But thanks to Belle’s patience with the disc and strong team chemistry, the Warhawks will have to wait until 2015 for another chance.

In the fifth-place bracket, the Maine streak finally ran out. Their enthusiasm and spirt never waned, but DeVYL got the best of them and claimed fifth with a 12-4 run. Neuqua Valley closed out their day by winning the seventh-place game, BUDA finished ninth and Pitt claimed 11th.

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Photo by: CBMT creative

U-16 Girls

It’s amazing to see how quickly the U-16 girls learn and grow. In their first games yesterday, the teams were still getting to know each other, trying to figure out how to play together. Today, they are implementing new strategies, developing offensive flow and clamping down on defense.

The Triangle Space Cats took on Cincinnati’s Baby Belles in the division’s first game of the day. Points were long, but enthusiasm was high and unflagging. At 5-3 with Belle in the lead, the Triangle pulled out a long one to make the score 5-4. After another quick score for the Space Cats, the game was tied at 5-5 as the cap went on. In one of the smoothest offensive points seen in the division to that point, a Belle found herself in the end zone with the disc in hand after a reception on a perfect throw up the force side. The difference from yesterday? According to the Belles’ Coach Fry, that it was their third game, not the first, was a major difference. They had more focus and more confidence. And after successfully working on not getting beaten to the open side in the Saturday’s second game, they decided to take more chances in their third game. They started taking deep shots, some of which worked and some of which didn’t, but it upped their confidence levels even more and forced the Space Cats to defend them both in and deep.

Two rounds later, Seattle claimed the first-ever championship title in the U-16 girls’ division at the Youth Club Championships, by virtue of having the best record over the course of the day on Sunday. They finished the day 2-0 with big wins over both Cincinnati and the Triangle. Both of Seattle’s opponents tested out zone defenses in an effort to slow down Uprising. The strategy was certainly effective, but neither team was able to capitalize on enough of their opportunities to truly threaten Seattle. In the final game, Cincinnati stuck with their new plan of taking deep shots to help open up the field as they continued to gain confidence in themselves and their teammates. But Seattle’s experience paid dividends once again, as it had all weekend. Their steadier throws and more practiced hands led them to another victory.

As the event came to a close, the division’s main goal had been accomplished. U-16 girls teams had been given the unprecedented opportunity of playing at the highest level, and all three participating teams felt like they got what they came for. The Triangle Space Cats and Cincinnati Belle grew as players, gained confidence in themselves as individuals and as teams. Each of the participants left with new friendships and more support for one other, and everyone involved had fun.

Seattle came to Blaine to play at the highest level they possibly could and to play with spirit. They accomplished both goals: they left for the airport with gold medals around their necks and the team spirit award in hand.

Full results from the 2014 Youth Club Championships can be found on the event page: play.usaultimate.org/events/Youth-Club-Championships.


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Photos (by CBMT Creative)

2014 YCC - Day 2 Highlights

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