Brute Squad Wins Their First-Ever National Championship

Posted: October 5, 2015 12:36 PM

Championship Final: Boston Brute Squad (1) v. Seattle Riot (3)

The championship final started with Riot on offense going upwind. Qxhna Titcomb centered to Angelica "Geli" Boyden who hit Jaclyn Verzuh up-field. She threw an off-hand backhand to Sarah "CO" Davis, which led to flow for a Boyden score to hold. On their first offensive point of the game, Brute Squad worked a few passes before Rohre Titcomb came up with a catch block out of nowhere. She quickly threw to Calise Cardenas who centered back to R. Titcomb; her low-release backhand to Dominique Fontenette gave Riot their first break of the game. On their next offensive chance, Brute Squad’s Becky Malinowski unleased a high huck that was snagged by Lien Hoffman. She delivered a smooth up-line pass to Paula Seville for the hold to get on the board, 1-2. After the point, Malinowski acknowledged the pass, telling Hoffman, "maybe a little lower next time" with a chuckle. Brute’s defensive line returned to the field, but Riot scored a quick offensive point on a huck from Charlie Mercer to Verzuh. Riot’s defensive line threw junk, but Brute Squad worked through it with ease.  

Boston’s sideline shouted a constant refrain of "Attack!" This was something captains Malinowski and Seville described yesterday after their semifinal. In bracket play, they have emphasized attacking the field on both offense and defense. At this point in the game, Boston really took that to heart, with an eight-point run.

Amber Sinicrope sparked the Brute Squad defensive line with a big run-through D. She, Magon Liu and Emily Baecher worked the disc into the end zone, but a tie catch between the offense and defense was sent back. Baecher saved the possession with a layout catch on a dump before throwing an assist to Courtney Verhaalen for 3-3. The next point featured turns by both teams. On their last possession, a Riot huck from Fontenette to Kawai went out of bounds. Brute Squad’s Sinicrope hit Groom on a long forehand, who unleashed a huck to Cassie Wong who caught the disc under pressure from Riot’s Cardenas. On Riot’s next point, Shira Klane got a run-through D on a dump pass to Kelly Johnson. The ensuing score put Boston ahead by two breaks, 5-3. Boston clamped down, playing shut-down person D on the next point, forcing a turn from R. Titcomb. Quick handler swings led to Groom shooting a 40-yard pass to Wong for the break at the back of the end zone. Another point of shut-down defense (especially on the Riot handlers) forced Alyssa Weatherford to punt the disc on a high stall. Boston worked the disc all the way up to the end zone and missed a layout attempt. In response, R. Titcomb ripped a backhand that was defended by Shellie Cohen. Riot’s Sarah "Surge" Griffith got a D, but a Riot hammer on the downwind end zone line resulted in another turn. Brute Squad dump-swung the disc up the field. Sinicrope threw a break backhand through an audible foul. A contest by Riot’s Shira Stern was overruled by the observer, and Boston maintained possession to score another break. At 7-3, a Riot disc thrown out of bounds was worked in by Brute Squad to take half 8-3.

Out of half, Brute Squad was on offense going upwind. A flick blade from Tunnell to Hoffmann on the break side led to more dump-swings and eventually to Malinowski for the hold, 9-3. On offense, the Riot handlers appeared stuck and a side flick was defended by Ludford. Riot’s Gwen Ambler returned the favor with a layout D. Julia Snyder snagged a floaty throw from Weatherford and threw a flick strike to Shira Stern for the hold. Riot was still down five breaks with a score of 4-9.

Brute Squad’s offense worked the disc all the way to the end-zone line before a point block by Boyden stopped them. She then got the disc almost every other pass for Riot and saved possession on a loopy strike throw with a low layout catch. She then attempted to curve a forehand from the open side over the whole end zone to the break side, but Boston’s Hoffman defended the disc (and appeared to bust open her cleat in the process). Boyden’s foul call on the throw was overruled by the observer, and Brute Squad took over possession. But they turned it back over, and Boyden got her assist to Johnson on a strike cut for the break, 5-9.

The Brute Squad offensive line again turned the disc over, and Riot quickly got back another break on a throw from Johnson to Sadler. On the next point, Boston made adjustments in response to Riot’s defense of poaching off of handlers. Their flow looked great, but they turned the disc on a pass to the end zone. Riot returned the disc to Brute on a missed dump throw. Brute played patiently on the end-zone line and got a dump-swing-score to Kiesow to hold and stop Riot’s run.

Brute Squad’s D line then went back to attacking. Groom smacked down a disc and soon after launched a backhand huck to Wong, who called a timeout. Riot switched up defenses and set a three-person cup out of the timeout. Brute Squad managed to swing the disc, but there was a turn on a pass to the end zone. A foul was called, but the observers overruled it. Riot took the disc in the corner and got it out of the danger zone. Fontenette threw a floaty huck, but Groom yet again secured a D for Boston. Baecher hucked the disc to Wong, who dished it and got it back for the break score 11-6.  

Riot’s next possession was a quick hold; Verzuh laid out to save possession and got an assist to Rachel Bradshaw for the score, 7-11.

The next point included a pair of turns. When Brute regained possession, a huck went up to Liu who went down after contact with her defender. She took an injury and called foul, which was uncontested. Tunnell subbed in for her and immediately threw an around flick to Sinicrope for the goal to hold. On the sideline, Liu seemed a little dazed and primarily concerned about her wrist. Brute Squad then secured yet another break after a D by Baecher, with an up-line pass to Cohen that narrowly missed a diving Gwen Ambler. The score was 13-7, Brute Squad up five breaks.

Off the field, Groom tried to focus Brute Squad with reminders like "Game to two, Brute!" Fortunately for Boston, it wasn’t a game to two because Riot would have won that game. Riot held on their next offensive point with smooth flow and eventually scored on the next point to earn back one of the five breaks they needed. Brute got one of the last two points they needed with a flowing offense for 14-9. After a pair of turns, Riot also held with nice offensive flow on the next point, scoring on a scoober from R. Titcomb to Kawai. Brute’s offense turned the disc over on the next point – this time on a huck from Bitterman to Seville cutting for the goal. A turfed throw from Riot gave Brute a short field, but they ended up turning it yet again on a punt to the end zone. Another pair of turns led to a Riot disc, which they worked up to score 11-14, down three breaks. Riot’s D line again got a chance with the disc and broke again on a huck from Ambler to Griffith.

Riot pulled one more time. Brute Squad flowed down the field, hitting six of their seven players and got their final score on a sky from Tunnell. Brute Squad won their first national championship with a final score of 15-12.



  • Although the first half unquestionably belonged to Brute Squad, Riot mounted an impressive attack to get back in the game. They won the second half 9-7, but dug too deep of a hole in the first half for it to be enough.

  • A lot of Riot’s success seemed to occur when individual players took over. Boyden, Johnson and R. Titcomb all had points when they not only got the D, but then were central to the ensuing offense.

  • Brute Squad did a fantastic job of team-wide, shut-down defense, especially during their run in the first half. They forced Riot handlers to punt the disc to no one or to a Brute Squad defender getting the block.

  • On the home sideline, Riot’s Charlie Mercer did a great job of staying positive throughout the game. She stayed in the game, and her talk to teammates on the field was always in a tone that was encouraging and supportive.

  • Brute Squad’s sideline was very impressive. Rather than needing to tell players to get up, captains needed to tell exhausted players to sit down for a minute. Everyone was up and in it the entire time. Even when Hoffman was dealing with a busted cleat, she was itching to get back to supporting her teammates.

  • After yesterday’s semifinal, the Brute Squad captains said they were going to keep the focus on playing their own game. From burpee circles to their dancing and celebratory attitude (#hotelmotelholidayinn), and their plan of always attacking – the team from Boston certainly delivered.



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