2015 U.S. Open Championships - Women's Division Day Two Recap

Posted: July 3, 2015 11:12 PM


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The fourth-annual U.S. Open Championships is underway in West Chester, Ohio.

Thirty-six teams across the men's, mixed and women's divisions are competing to take home the first leg of the 2015 Triple Crown Tour.

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One year ago at the U.S. Open, the semifinals in the women’s division featured Fury, Riot, Brute Squad and Traffic. Today’s final rounds of pool play determined who would earn those coveted semifinal spots at this year’s event. On the same day that the Girls’ Ultimate Movement and the gender equity open forum will be front and center at the U.S. Open Convention, Friday featured some exciting and highly anticipated match-ups in the women's division. Although Pool B offered little in the way of surprises, Pool A got shaken up in the day’s first round when Traffic pulled off an upset win over Scandal 15-13. Despite a valiant effort from Scandal in their next game against Brute Squad, they came up just short, and tomorrow’s semifinals will feature the same final four as last year. Let’s take a closer look at how the top four teams earned their spots in the semifinals and how the rest of the pack fared as pool play wrapped up.

Pool A

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  Brute Squad


Undefeated on day one, Scandal had a tougher road on Friday, facing both Traffic and Brute Squad. Scandal v. Traffic was a tight battle throughout, with both teams having multiple opportunities to score on most points. It was a back-and-forth battle in the first half, with lead changes and breaks going both ways. Traffic was up 7-6 over Scandal when the D.C. women rallied off two quick scores, including a Sandy Jorgenson grab in traffic that showcased the tall and speedy Scandal star’s ability to track down just about any deep look. The back and forth continued until Traffic finally got some separation, going up 13-11 with two consecutive scores. Traffic held on and secured the upset 15-13 over the reigning national champions. The win pushed Scandal’s back to the wall for their final pool play game against Brute, making for an exciting last round that determined who would advance from Pool A. In their first game of the day, Brute Squad made quick work of Fusion, as they were particularly efficient in the second half and came out on top 15-5. In a tightly contested match, Heist was able to pull off an upset of their own over Showdown on double-game point 14-13. Statistically, Katey Forth and Robyn Wiseman had big games for Showdown and Heist, respectively. 

Unlike Pool B, where Riot and Fury had already secured their spots in the semifinals by the final round of pool play, the results of the last round in Pool A had huge implications for which two teams would make it to the semifinals. Brute Squad v. Scandal was particularly important. Brute looked to continue their run and finish pool play undefeated, while Scandal was fighting to re-enter the semifinals conversation. The match-up did not disappoint. Brute went up 4-2 early on and held onto their slight lead to take half 8-6. Both offenses looked good, but Brute’s looked a little crisper. Scandal’s defense generated turnovers but was plagued by execution errors when the disc was in their hands. Scandal then made things interesting, outscoring Brute 5-2 to go up 11-10. At that point, Brute had a chance to send the disc deep to a wide-open Becky Malinowski, but a streaking Sandy Jorgenson came from out of nowhere to get the defensive block. Ultimately, Brute scored the point to tie it up. On the ensuing point, Brute Squad benefited from a deep pull and second-throw turn. They capitalized on the short field and went up 12-11. After Scandal responded, the game went to double-game point, and Brute secured the victory and their place in the semifinals as the top seed out of Pool A. When Traffic won their next game 14-10 against Showdown, they joined Brute Squad in the semifinals as the second team out of Pool A. Heist finished strong in pool play, winning their second game in a row to take the fourth spot in the pool.  

Pool B

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Pool B started with another no-upset round where Fury, Riot and Ozone dispatched Nightlock, Phoenix and Schwa respectively. Fury got a comfortable win over their Bay Area counterparts. Although Nightlock’s defense generated a turnover on the first point, they were unable to capitalize and subsequently went down 0-2. Fury didn’t look back from there and earned a 15-6 win that moved them to 4-0 in the pool. Ozone looked good against Schwa, posting a 14-10 victory over the Oregon women.   

Elsewhere, Riot also looked comfortable and in control for most of their game against Phoenix, but not before the Raleigh ladies made things interesting. At one point late in the game, Phoenix pulled within one, making the score 9-10 in favor of Riot. The next point had several turnovers, as Riot’s Alyssa Weatherford looked to strike deep a few times but didn’t quite connect. In the same point, Shira Stern had a gigantic layout defensive block, getting the disc back in her team’s hands. After a timeout, Phoenix pressured Riot and got the stall count up high before Rohre Titcomb found Stern with a low, inside-out backhand break for the bookend score. Riot went on to score the last point of the game, to make the final score 12-9 and bring their record to 4-0 (Phoenix, unfortunately, slipped to 0-4). While the score was close toward the end, the Seattle ladies seemed in control through most of the match. Perhaps they were looking ahead, as many others were, to the final round of pool play and a highly anticipated clash with San Francisco Fury.        

Even with both teams having already secured their place in the semifinals, chapter two of Fury v. Riot 2015 was a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. Both teams started out smooth on offense; the first three points were played without a single turnover. With Riot up 2-1, Fury would blink first.  After several turnovers by both teams, Seattle secured the game’s first break when Verzuh found Sadler in the end zone to put Riot up 3-1. Surprising all who were watching, Seattle then rattled off five straight to go into half up 8-1. In that stretch, Riot’s Molly McKeon was particularly impressive, playing tight handler defense on Alex Snyder, who still managed to get resets for Fury despite the defensive pressure. When Riot earned defensive blocks, Kelly Johnson used her quick handler movement and forehand breaks to move the disc quickly for Riot. One of the most exciting plays of the game occurred right out of half.  Riot’s Shannon O’Malley pulled the disc deep, deep in Fury’s end zone. Fury picked up the disc, and the first throw was carried slightly by the wind. Riot’s Jillian Goodreau was there to eat it up, and the Callahan put Riot up 9-1. You can never quite count Fury out, though. They strung together a few runs of their own, even coming within three points at 8-11. During that stretch, Fury played extremely stingy defense, making it very difficult for Riot to move the disc. Fury forced at least two uncontested stalls during their comeback attempt. But Riot held on, earning a 15-10 victory and evening the season-record score with the team that beat them at Solstice. 

With the win, Riot finished atop Pool B and will play Traffic in the semifinals tomorrow. Fury also moved on to the semifinals and will face the top finisher from Pool A, Brute Squad. Nightlock defeated Ozone to finish third in Pool B, setting up a game with Scandal tomorrow for fifth place overall. Ozone will battle Heist for seventh place, while Showdown and Schwa will play for ninth and Fusion and Phoenix will square off for 11th place.


The placement match-ups are extremely exciting, and all eyes will be on the semifinal games at Lakota West High School tomorrow afternoon. Will Riot and Brute Squad be able to harness their momentum from pool play and meet for the second year in a row in the finals? Will Fury have a chip on their shoulder and assert themselves against Brute? These questions and more will be answered tomorrow. Buckle your seatbelts! 

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