2016 U.S. Open - Women's Division Preview

Posted: June 30, 2016 12:13 PM
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The fifth-annual U.S. Open Championships are set to take place this weekend, July 1-4, in Kingston, R.I.

Thirty-four teams across the men's, mixed and women's divisions will compete to take home the first leg of the 2016 Triple Crown Tour.

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As the celebratory Fourth of July approaches, 10 outstanding women’s teams pack their bags and their excitement for the fifth annual U.S. Open Championships in Kingston, R.I. Thirty-four top-flight teams will be taking the stage at The University of Rhode Island campus for the first leg of the 2016 Triple Crown Tour.

The University of Rhode Island’s fields, known for game-changing winds and ocean air, should provide a healthy challenge and opportunity for teams to show their throwing acumen, zone defensive strategies and patience with the disc. Many of the 10 women’s teams have all-star players returning from outstanding performances at the World Ultimate Guts Championships; this is the first opportunity since Worlds to see Team USA/Canada teammates rejoin their club teams to begin their club seasons. Not only are there many returning Team USA members, but there are also many roster changes and rookie additions that could affect the look and feel of the teams that have been so dominant in years past

Who's Swimming in the Pools?

Pool A

2015TCT Scandal   2015TCT Scandal   2015TCT Iris   Showdown    
Brute Squad


The U.S. Open is set to be an exciting start for all teams participating, but there is an obvious favorite at the top of Pool A; 2015 National Champion Brute Squad is set to lead Pool A and have an obvious home-field advantage for the tournament. Adding a few players to their roster and saying goodbye to some of their experienced returners, Brute Squad has set themselves up to be another tour-de-force this year. Brute lost Magon Liu to Fury and is saying goodbye to former captain Paula Seville and Emily Baecher, but is bringing on returner Molly Hallweather, Lauren Sadler (Riot, Scandal), Aly Heath (Wild Card) and the young Julianna Werffeli from Dartmouth’s Princess Layout. Keeping most of their returners and bringing on such a strong rookie class will make Brute Squad a strong contender for the U.S. Open title. 

San Francisco Fury will likely be coming to Kingston looking for another title after winning the 2015 U.S. Open over Seattle Riot. With many of their long-time players such as Anna Nazarov, Alex Snyder and Maggie Ruden coming back from WUGC with gold medals, Fury is sure to be strengthened by their dominant returners. They will also be aided by the addition of Magon Liu (Brute Squad), but will definitely feel the loss of Lisa Pitcaithley to Molly Brown.

Pool A should see Brute Squad and Fury dominate most games, but with the absence of dominant Canadian team Traffic from the U.S. Open this year, there is high potential that Montreal Iris could step in and make some moves against lower-seeded Austin Showdown and Winnipeg Fusion.  

Pool B

  2014TCTLogos MollyBrown   Scandal   Bent   Siege  
  Molly Brown


Pool B is not without a fair share of home-grown talent and exceptional rosters as well. Second overall seed Seattle Riot will also be looking to set a standard in Kingston. With a returner-heavy squad, Riot will likely look be an easy favorite, but it is worth noting that Riot is changing leadership by seeing Gwen Ambler step into a full coaching role. They will also be losing star player Lauren Sadler to Brute Squad, but will look to rookies Alex Ode (Schwa) and Cassie Swafford (Phoenix) to fill out the roster. 

Denver's Molly Brown is likely to push Riot to the limit with their massive amount of returning players and the addition of all-star Lisa Pitcaithley. Many of their returners, including Claire Chastain, Octavia "Opi" Payne and Becca Miller, won with USA mixed and women's teams at WUGC and will be in excellent shape for their first tournament of the year. 

Washington, D.C., Scandal will also see the benefit of their world champions in play with returners Jenny Fey, Sandy Jorgensen, and Sarah Itoh also coming off of an exquisite run for WUGC championships. With Traffic out of the picture this year, Scandal is in a position to make a move in bracket play. 

New York's BENT has lost many returners due to injury but has added talent with some returning players and leaders from Brooklyn Book Club and Green Means Go. Boston Siege will be entering the national stage at the U.S. Open after having a stellar first year in 2015. While losing only a few members to mixed teams, they have gained some outstanding young players that will benefit from playing against top talent. Tess Johnson, who is just 16 years old and a sophomore in high school, will be making her elite debut this weekend. Siege is expected to do well this weekend; they gave Brute Squad their biggest challenge last weekend at Boston Invite, scoring nine to Brute Squad’s 15. Siege is likely to pull together a strong performance on their home turf at the U.S. Open. 

Splashing in the Pools

The schedule has been set, and teams are lining up for their first challenges on Friday, July 1. The first teams to play in Pool A at 9 am: Fury v. Showdown. Are the WUGC players coming back from the UK physically ready for another brutal tournament, or is Showdown going to capitalize on potential exhaustion? Elsewhere, the two Canadian teams will travel hundreds of miles only to play one another in their first game of the tournament. Will Iris run away with the game, or will Fusion bring them a fight worth traveling for? As Friday wears on, we will likely see the best match ups occur between Showdown and Iris at 11:45 a.m. and between Brute Squad and Fury at 2 p.m. Saturday will likely bring an interesting game between Iris and Brute, as Iris did give Brute an excellent game in bracket play at Nationals in 2015. 

Pool B looks to be more likely to see some upsets. The first two games of the day have the potential to surprise us. Molly Brown faces off against BENT, and Scandal faces Siege at 9 a.m. on Friday. Are BENT or Siege capable of an upset? Only time will tell. Game two between BENT and Scandal will show which team has a harder time recovering from their previous opponents; it may be wise for Molly Brown and Riot to pay close attention to what BENT and Siege are capable of against Scandal. Then again, Scandal may run away with both games, and then Molly Brown and Riot will need to worry about a potential hot streak. The final Pool B games on Friday look to be the most contested: Riot v. Molly Brown and BENT v. Siege could have the potential for major upsets. Saturday will also be an opportune time to check in with Pool B – Scandal will be toeing the line against Riot, and Molly Brown will be matching up against Siege at 9:30 a.m. These two games will define the morning for the Ultiworld streamed Scandal v. Molly Brown game at 11:45 a.m. Be sure to tune in. Will Scandal be rocking or rolling after an early game against Riot? Will Molly Brown easily pass their through their first Saturday game, or will hometown heroes Siege give Colorado a taste of the salty brine of the eastern coast?

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