2015 National Championships: Women's Day Three Recap

Posted: October 4, 2015 01:49 AM


Boston Brute Squad v. Denver Molly Brow

The game began with Molly Brown holding on the first point, despite physical pressure-person defense from Brute Squad. On the next point, Molly Brown pulled and Octavia "Opi" Payne got a D on their end-zone line, but a miscommunication turnover set up a Brute Squad disc in the red zone. They worked it across the field for the score from Leila Tunnell to Lien Hoffman. Brute’s D line then scored a break on a huck from Emily Baecher to Kami Groom that was enabled by Becca Ludford’s layout D. The next point had four turns, featuring a huck D by Molly Brown’s Alicia White. Denver then held for 2-2, but down a break. On Brute Squad’s next offensive point, a huck to Becky Malinowski sailed too far downwind. Brute made up for it with a D on a floaty up-wind huck and worked the disc down the field for a dump-swing-score to hold for 3-2, up a break. On the next point, Molly Brown scored when a 60-yard huck was dumped to Claire Chastain for the break throw to the end zone.

The next point featured multiple huck turns, but Brute Squad held on a Tunnell low around flick to a bidding Courtney Kiesow. Molly Brown looked like they were about to score the next point with nice flow from Dena Slattery, but Laura Bitterman got a D in the end zone for Brute. White returned the favor when Brute Squad attempted to score in the other end zone. Molly Brown turned the disc again, and Brute got a second break off of a dump-swing to Groom who toed into the end zone for 5-3. Again both teams turned the disc before Brute Squad’s Amber Sinicrope threw an around for another break, 6-3. Molly Brown called a time out, after which Lindsey Cross put on a show. She laid out to save a possession and then, after a turn, skied a crowd on a Brute Squad huck for the D. With 70 yards to go, Molly Brown hucked it down the field and scored to hold. Brute Squad made the next point look easy, and Paula Seville arced a loopy flick to an open Kiesow in the goal. After a few turns, Brute broke again, this time to take the half at 8-4, up four breaks.

Brute Squad received out of half, and Molly Brown came down in a four-person cup. This was really effective in combination with the wind, and Payne got a D as deep deep in the zone. Unfortunately, she overthrew her receiver, out the back of the end zone. On the third Brute possession of the point, they broke the zone and played patient end-zone offense with a score to Malinowski to hold, 9-4. The teams traded a lot of turns and a couple holds, until Brute Squad secured another break for the 12-5 lead. Although there were turns on both sides, Brute was in control of the game, and despite the score, they never once let up. Not quite done yet, at this point, Molly Brown’s Slattery became a defensive monster, racking up layout Ds and a point block. The teams ended up trading for the remainder of the game, resulting in a Brute Squad win, 15-7.


  • There was a moment in this game when Brute Squad’s Lien Hoffman went down holding her knee and calling injury. Even the extremely loud Johnny Bravo sideline presence hushed as she was carried off the field, and the observer called for a trainer. After the game, she said that the other knee’s ACL had been torn before, so when this one twisted and hurt, she was nervous. Fortunately, that does not seem to be the case as she was walking around and cheering the remainder of the game. She said that she wanted to get back in the game, but with the score at 12-6 at the time of her injury, she did not re-enter the game.

  • After the game, Brute Squad captains Paula Seville and Becky Malinowski credited their win to maintaining a focus within themselves. Keeping this inward focus is what they plan to do in the finals tomorrow, as well. Kiesow confirmed the focus after the game, "[I am] glad to be playing another game with my team."

  • Brute was loose throughout the game which seemed inspired by their warm up and halftime routines featuring dance parties to "Timber" and "Shake It Off." as well as a burpee circle wave. When asked to describe how she felt, Hoffman went with "satisfied." She and the rest of her teammates are very much looking forward to the finals.

San Francisco Fury v. Seattle Riot

The first half of the second women’s semifinal belonged to Riot. They started out with a no-turn offensive point, hitting Dominique Fontenette for the score. The next two points had multiple chances for each team, with Riot coming out with the score to go up two breaks with a 3-0 lead. Both teams were getting Ds, but they each also overthrew or mis-threw to their teammates fairly often due to the combination of pressure defense and wind. It took some time, but Fury got on the board on the fourth point of the game after four turns and an injury call.

On their third possession of the point, Anna Nazarov and Alex Snyder used a give-and-go to work the disc in to get Fury on the board at 3-1. A pair of no-turn holds followed. In the seventh point, Fury set a cup zone. The cup got a handblock on Rohre Titcomb that popped up, and Titcomb was able to lay out to regain possession. Riot proceeded to work the disc down the field for another hold, up 5-2. Fury received the pull on the next pass and worked down a majority of the field before Riot’s Jaclyn Verzuh launched a layout D on an under cut. Riot swung the disc up the field, and a smooth around pass from Verzuh set up swings for the break, 6-2. Fury received again, trying to work up-wind. Cree Howard saved a high pass, and a break-side swing to Nazarov set up the assist, back to Howard. But Riot was still up 6-3. The teams exchanged one-possession holds again before, on the next point, a big layout by Calise Cardenas was followed by an up-wind flick that was defended by a group of Fury players. Fury’s ensuing offense looked very stagnant, and Nazarov was forced to punt to an empty end zone. Riot held and took half 8-4.

Out of half, Riot got a D with a short field and broke for 9-4. On the next point, Fury looked a lot more like classic Fury: lots of patient swinging, with a score on a break backhand for the hold. On the next point, a foot block by Nazarov on Alyssa Weatherford set up the Fury break. After that, Rohre Titcomb stole the show for Riot. She caught one dump pass, despite a tip by Fury’s Genevieve Laroche. She then threw a turn in the end zone. But on the next pass, she made up for it with a run-through catch D on an under cut. Riot called a timeout in the red zone and scored to hold for 10-6. Fury held the next point, and the ensuing Riot offensive point was a similar story: a hard mark on Riot’s Julia Snyder forced a short pass to Sarah "Surge" Griffith, but Snyder got it back with a run-through D. Riot held again for 11-7. The remainder of the half was much cleaner, with the two teams trading holds until Riot won on a beautiful backhand huck from Gwen Ambler out in front of Griffith, 15-11.


  • The Lauren Sadler (Riot) v. Alex Snyder (Fury) match up was a fun one to watch throughout the game, with the two exchanging run-through Ds and scores on one another. Calise Cardenas also had some classic big layouts to save possessions.

  • Two of Riot’s final three scores were hucks to Sarah Griffith, who has spent the season coming back from an ACL tear that occurred during last year’s semifinal match up against Fury.

  • One thing that was very impressive in this game was the ability of Riot’s O-line to get the disc back after a turn. There were multiple instances when the player who turned it over got the D.

  • Fury’s Snyder and Nazarov are always fun to watch together, and they gritted out a lot of movement when their team’s flow was struggling.

  • After the game, Fury’s Manisha Daryani spoke very highly of the match. She spoke of her team’s process and how, although the loss itself is not enjoyable, what the team was able to accomplish this season should still be honored.

  • Riot’s assistant coach Callie Mah discussed the rivalry, stating that the spirit circle between Riot and Fury is the most real of any of them. It is a familiar and powerful circle, and members of both teams left it this evening with tears in their eyes.

  • Riot advances to play Brute Squad in the finals at 12:30pm local time, and it will be lived streamed on ESPN3. Be sure to check it out. From Mah’s cheeky response of "Just you wait!" it sounds like Riot has cards yet to be played. Like the rest of us, Lauren Sadler, who is competing for yet another title but her first with Riot after two with Scandal, provided a pseudo one-word emotion when asked about it – she is "excited-for-tomorrow!"


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