2015 Youth Club Championships - Day 2 Girls' Recap

Posted: August 8, 2015 11:53 PM
Day Two U-19 Girls’ Recap (full results)
By: Kelly Schiro
Pool A
Seattle Seattlesaurus won their pool today by finishing with a 5-0 record. Captain Frances Gellert said the team wanted to dictate the level of play first by bringing the intensity to their games. They started the day against Glory from Oregon, but their toughest competition came from the Triangle Area Warhawks. Seattle captain Josie Gillet said the Warhawks came out strong and forced them to play sharp. At the beginning of the game, they traded points, but Seattle went up two breaks to take half. Claire Trop was the indisputable MVP for the game; she scored nine of Seattle’s 13 goals. 
The Warhawks played Atlanta cATLanta in their first game of the day. Warhawks captain Allison Bashford said the game had high intensity, and they also opened up their lines to get all players experience before their toughest game against Seattle. When Katie Cubrilovic wasn’t directing the offense as a handler, she was a good threat anywhere on the field. Karen Ehrhardt was a deep threat when hucks went up.
cATLanta captain Ollie Peterson said her team was focusing on chilly offense and keeping their spirits high throughout the day. They came out strong against the Warhawks, making them fight for points with their defense. By the time their second game against Neuqua Valley Nightmare rolled around, the girls were low on energy. Peterson said they didn’t have the usual connections on offense and needed to focus on staying positive going into tomorrow’s games.
Nightmare had a tough start to the day. At half, Nightmare had only put up one point against Maine Rip Tide’s seven, but they were able to come back in the second half to make the final score 9-12. Captain Kelly Crowley said the team was still continuing to work on playing as a team (four players were brand new to them at the start of the tournament). Captain Zoe Rath said their zone defense got better as the day went on. Nightmare kept up the intensity they found in the second half against Rip Tide and took it with them into their next game against cATLanta, which helped them pull out the win. Rath said their goal for tomorrow is to win games and take what they learned from today into those games.
Rip Tide wanted to start the day strong and end the day strong. They took half in their first game against Nightmare. Co-captain Emma Massey said the team wanted to play hard; her fellow captain Megan Tammaro said the team woke up a little sore but wanted to keep up the energy for their games. Their second and final game of the day came against Glory. Tammaro said the Oregonians brought great competition and gave them some long points. Rip Tide half succeeded in their goal. They started the day strong with their win over Neuqua Valley but fell to Oregon this afternoon. 
Glory played against Seattle in their first game. They had played against the Seattle players at various tournaments during the year and were familiar with some of the individuals’ playing styles. Glory’s goal for the day was to have fun and to enjoy the excitement of playing teams from all around the nation. In their game against Rip Tide, Glory was more calm and playing well as a team. The game was spirited, with all players agreeing that the calls were fair.
Pool B 
Boston BUDA came out on top in Pool B, defeating each of their opponents. In their first game, they played really well against Delaware Valley DeVYL. BUDA captain Marissa Lerner said they clicked as a team and got better. In their game against Pittsburgh Moxie, they hoped to streamline their offense and tweak their zone that had already proved to be effective. A team motto for the day was relentless positivity. In their last game of the day against Cincinnati Belle, every point was a battle. They traded points for a while and eventually came out on top. Lerner said the sideline energy helped them win their game.
Belle wanted to focus on staying calm against Colorado Cutthroat in their first game. Belle captain Emily Dorsey said that giving everyone a chance to play was really important, and her teammate Maddie Samson continued, commenting that the newer girls were giving their all and trying really hard. Dorsey said they weren’t letting the wind or their opponents get in their heads, instead focusing on what they know. The score of last game against BUDA doesn’t reflect how well Belle played. They made BUDA fight for every point. Their marks and poachy-junk defense made BUDA work for the win.
Cutthroat had a long day, and it showed in their later games. Their first game against Minnesota Superior was hard. They traded points in an upwind-downwind game. In their last game, their third of the day, they felt the weight of their small roster. Their coach said they were still working hard and had to tweak their strategy a little bit against DeVYL. Tomorrow, they hope to keep the intensity consistent and bring their A game.
Minnesota turned their game completely around on day two. After losing all four games yesterday, they won both their games today, going up seven points against Moxie before the Pittsburgh squad could score. Captain Jessica Halverson said yesterday was the day to know how the team played in real-game situations. With 11 high school teams represented, they didn’t have much experience playing with each other until yesterday. Halverson said the team blended better and connected today. They had a very spirited halftime with Moxie that included a worm dance-off. 
Moxie had the loudest sidelines, encouraging the players on and off the field to play their hardest and keep spirits up. The leadership core wanted the team as a whole to focus on stopping the unders and putting it deep when given the chance. Throughout the tournament, they were looking to keep good spirit against opponents with a goal of breaking seed.
Texas Tango was another team that was looking to break seed. Captain Caroline O’Connell said she thinks the team surprised people, not surprising given that they are a first-time team at YCC. On Friday, they almost beat the second seed in their pool; they were up 8-7 at one point. They were not projected to win many games, making the team determined to prove people wrong. They fought in their game against DeVYL, trading points and staying positive in the long points. Their goal for tomorrow is fifth place.
DeVYL had a tough game against Texas but came out on top on double-game point. The game’s first points were long, and there were turnovers from both teams. Coming into the round off of a loss, DeVYL was determined. In their first game of the day against BUDA, DeVYL captain Sadie Jezierski said that, despite their strong defense, they weren’t able to convert on offense. Even with the loss to BUDA, DeVYL had a good day, finishing pool play with a 4-2 record.
Tomorrow, Seattle will play Belle, and the Warhawks will play BUDA in the semifinals. Each of those four teams was either a one or two seed in their pool, which should make for good games. DeVYL is playing Nightmare, and Texas is playing Glory in the fifth-place semifinals. 

U-16 Girls' Division (full results)
USA Ultimate
After spending Friday learning, brainstorming and getting to know one another, the nearly 100 girls who are a part of this year’s U-16 girls’ division at the Youth Club Championships took to the field for pool play rounds on Saturday. 
Despite the ramp up in the competitive nature of today’s activities, the atmosphere that prevailed on the southern fields at the National Sports Center was incredibly positive. Yesterday’s focus on high fives and lifting up both your teammates and opponents carried over into Saturday. High fives were commonplace and the immediate reaction after a mistake was made on the field was nearly always something some variation of, "That’s okay!" 
The level of play in the division also increased exponentially since last year. The teams showed some great timing on their cuts, impressive spacing that showed awareness of their teammates and aggressive defense, with girls clearly not being afraid to play hard – like a girl. 
When asked about what might account for the increase in both participation and competitiveness, Heather Ann Brauer, Echo II coach and national girls’ outreach director, mentioned the increase in the number of female coaches in the ultimate community who can serve as role models for these girls. She also mentioned the impact of the event’s free agent team in introducing new teams to the division, teams like Bay Area Belly of the Beast. 
"There are a few free agents from last year who played on the North Carolina team last year who are from California, and they are at the core of that team from California and I think really have been able to harness some of the energy they got from that experience last year to really build there."
Seattle Echo, a team that typically competes together, split into Echo I and Echo II for YCC. The 5 v. 5 format this year lends itself well to that kind of a split, while also making it easier for teams to recruit enough players to participate. Echo I and Echo II headline Pool A and Pool B, respectively, this weekend. The strength of Seattle’s youth programs – from elementary to middle and high school – makes their teams formidable opponents, particularly in this division, where their experience trumps that of just about any other athlete they compete against – at least for the immediate future.
Pool play in the U-16 girls’ division only affects seeding heading into bracket play. All eight teams advance to the quarterfinals tomorrow morning. Both Echo teams finished the day with perfect 3-0 records. They will enter tomorrow’s championship bracket as the one and two seeds.  
Maine Rip Tide surprised some people in Blaine, breaking seed in pool play by going 2-1 on the day. Their roster is small but mighty. Evidently, they grow them tall and quick in Maine. Ayla Gunther is a bit of an exception to the height rule, but she more than makes up for it with quickness. She has four goals and two assists for Rip Tide through three games of pool play. The four goals are enough to lead the team. Kennedy McCarthy is in charge behind the disc and accounts for seven of the team’s assists so far. 
They didn’t break seed, but the Triangle Area Kitty Hawks also looked good on day one of pool play and seemed to get stronger with each game. They squeaked out an 11-10 win over the Bay Area and got a big victory over Minnesota. And despite the lopsided final score, they played a tough game against Echo II, making the Seattleites work for their points. The Triangle threw a 2-2-1 zone look that forced Seattle into completing a lot of passes. The Kitty Hawks came within three at 5-8; Seattle called a time out to get themselves back in the game and closed out the win with a five-point run. 
All in all, the most important thing about the U-16 division is that it is helping to grow girls’ ultimate around the country. After featuring just three teams last year, the division is back with eight teams for its second edition. Girls are having fun, playing great ultimate and growing as players and people. 
"I see these teams coming out confident and playing confident," said Brauer. "Girls are really stepping up on the field." 
We’ll get to see that continue tomorrow.

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