All Three U.S. Teams Advance to Friday’s Semifinals at the World U-23 Ultimate Championships

Posted: July 16, 2015 05:11 PM

London, U.K. (July 16, 2015) – All three U.S. teams are on to the semifinals tomorrow in London with a combined record of 24-0! Each team also advances as the top seed in their respective division.

Day five was another day of convincing wins for the U.S. contingent. The mixed team finished up the power pool round with a 14-10 win over Japan and a 16-8 win over Canada. The open team played their last power pool game this morning before moving on to the quarterfinal round this afternoon. Their wins were more definitive: 17-7 over Austria and 17-2 over New Zealand in the quarters. The women were no less impressive. With fewer women’s teams in attendance, the division played a one-pool round robin format that determines seeding for the semifinals. The U.S. finished up pool play with a 17-10 victory over Canada and a 17-6 win over Sweden. 

U.S.A. Mixed lay claim to the most exciting game of the day, just as a result of having been down by two points at one time. But down 3-5, the defense turned the intensity notch up to 11, beginning with some near-perfect pulls that trapped Japan in the back of their own end zone on more than one occasion, and became the catalyst for an 11-5 run. This game was also the first U.S. game to have to use the half time cap rule – WFDF rules cap halftime at nine points (in games to 17) or 55 minutes, whichever comes first. Thanks in large part to the intense wind the teams were battling all afternoon, the mixed team’s points against Japan weren’t always short, and halftime was called at 8-5, after the U.S. had ticked off five straight. Team U.S.A. closed out the game 14-10. 

The mixed team’s second game of the day was expected to be a close battle, but the U.S. found their groove early on and earned themselves a quick lead. Again, tireless defensive pressure led the way, and the U.S. finished out their power pool with a 16-8 win. 

Team U.S.A. Mixed will face Germany tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. BST (8:30 a.m. EDT) in the semifinals.  

The U.S. open team also made the game look easy again today. They started off against Austria. Austria decided to sit arguably their best player to rest minor nagging injuries, but the U.S. did the same with team captain Kevin Brown, a standout defender on a team of great defenders. So even if Austria had been able to play their full roster, betting on the U.S. would likely still have been a good decision. The offense is smooth, and the defense is unmatched by other teams in the division. Few catches are uncontested and few throws aren’t harried. The U.S. rolled to a 17-7 win to finish out play in the power pools. 

The open team was the first U.S. squad to officially enter knockout rounds, and after teams were reseeded, they was set to square off against New Zealand in the quarterfinals. The storyline ended up being very similar to what we’ve seen in earlier games. The U.S. shut out the Kiwis in the first half and allowed only two points in the second. Final score: 17-2. At the end of the day, the U.S. open team had accumulated a +95 goal differential which leads all teams in London. 

The open team is on to semifinals tomorrow against Great Britain who won a barnburner quarterfinal against Germany. In a back-and-forth match where the score ended up 14-13 in a game to 15, the home team held on and knocked out Germany 15-13. The U.S. and Great Britain will meet for the second time this week tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 p.m. BST in the semifinals. 

The U.S. defeated Great Britain 14-10 in the opening game of the 2015 U-23 World Championships on Sunday afternoon.

The highly anticipated match-up between the U.S. and Canada in the women’s division didn’t turn out quite how many people had expected. The U.S. came out swinging and fought their way to a 9-2 halftime lead. Canada regrouped during the intermission, got an early break in the second half and essentially traded points with the U.S. throughout the rest of the game, but the damage had been done. The Seattle Riot to Team USA connections closed out the game for the U.S. – Julia Snyder to Jaclyn Verzuh for 16-9, then Snyder to Shira Stern for the game winner at 17-10. 

With the top spot in the pool already locked up, the U.S. faced Sweden in their last game of pool play. Despite the seeding security, every team gets the U.S.A.’s best game at Worlds. The team’s offensive sets and defensive strategies remained intact, and the women were ready to play. Sweden broke on the first point to go up 1-0, but the U.S. was unfazed. They went into half up 9-4 and cruised through the second half to a final count of 17-6 and unblemished 8-0 record in pool play. 

The U.S. women will face Australia in the semifinals tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. BST. It’s a rematch many women on the team are looking forward to. In pool play on Thursday, Australia challenged the U.S. with their speed and size in what ended up a 17-11 win for Team U.S.A. But it was a game that felt much closer for most of its duration. The margin was much smaller as late as 14-11 before the U.S. closed out the game on a three-point run. It will certainly be a game to keep an eye on tomorrow. Luckily, the game will be live streamed free on Skyd Magazine.

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Get to Know Your U.S. National Team!

Lisi Lohre is a captain of the U.S. Women’s U-23 National Team.
She is an alumnus of Colorado College’s Lysistrata’s Tools and a member of Denver Molly Brown. 

Your brother is an ultimate player. Was your dad a player too, before you guys starting playing?

Yeah. So actually I have two brothers, and all three of us play ultimate. And it all started – my dad started playing back when he was in college at Williams back in the 80s, and so we grew up going to tournaments, watching him play club and then masters and grand masters, and he still plays in summer leagues and stuff like that, so we grew up on the sideline of the Frisbee field, learned to throw early, just learned to love the sport and the atmosphere, being around all the teams, all the people. It’s just such a welcoming community, but yeah, we all got into it ourselves.

So it was just kind of meant to happen.

Yeah. It was just meant to be. 

Are you originally from Colorado?

Yeah. Technically, I was born in Germany, but my dad was actually in the Foreign Service, and so he worked there for two years, and he actually played ultimate for a team in Germany, but then my parents moved back to Colorado after I was born. They wanted us to have a home, and both sides of my parents’ families are in Colorado too, and so we’ve lived there since I was three months old. 

Over the last several years, you have kind of worked your way up on bigger and bigger stages, from Colorado College to Molly Brown, and now you’re at Worlds. So what has your experience been like so far? Is it kind of what you expected?

It’s awesome. I’ve gotten a chance to be at a couple Worlds watching my dad play, and then my older brother Ben was on the open team for U-23 two years ago, and so I got a chance to go out to Toronto and cheer on the teams then, but it’s definitely just an unbelievable experience actually being part of the scene, playing against people from all different places, playing with people that I’ve played against for years, some since YCCs in high school, and now finally being on the same team and getting to cut for those throws that I used to hate that they would break us with. We have such a talented squad, but it’s not just talent, it’s an amazing group of people. Everyone on our team has a fun personality and something different they bring to the team, both on the field and off of it. So it’s just been awesome. And I mean, the world stage, it doesn’t get any better than this. 

You said they all have really cool personalities. What’s it like when they come together? Tell me about the team a little bit. What kind of personality does the team have?

I think our team as a whole is really, we have a lot of energy. A lot of people are used to leading the teams, having to bring their teams up, and so just having so many leaders really lends itself to being pumped up. Lots of people have really cool insights. Everyone brings a different perspective and kind of a different talent, something they do really well, and so it’s awesome to just feel like, as a whole, that makes us even stronger as a unit. It’s just so fun. We have some quieter people but also over the process of training camp and being together, playing for 14 days straight essentially, personalities come out. There are little comments and things that are just so fun that everyone brings. 

What’s the team like on the field? It’s a team that’s incredibly talented but also has really high expectations. Have you guys talked about that? How do you deal with that? 

We just try – our coaches gave us very concrete things that they want us to work on, and so I think that’s been really grounding for us to focus on those pieces. And obviously each of the players, we all definitely play a different style, are used to different things from club or from college, but I think we’ve done really well focusing on those elements that the coaches have put for us and have in place structurally and then also just working and getting to know each other, developing flow. I mean, it’s definitely tough. We’ve only been playing together for a week and a half, but it’s awesome how quickly we did gel. I’m really impressed. Part of what’s awesome about our on-field play, too, is that our team is exceptionally good at defense. That is something that’s universal. Man D – you can do different looks or different forces, but if you’re a shutdown defender, you’re a shutdown defender. And it’s awesome. We have so many people who are getting shutdown Ds or layout Ds or footblocks, handblocks on the marks. It’s just awesome to have that element too.

Do you have a favorite play or moment or game or anything yet so far?

I don’t know. That’s tough. I feel like each game has been awesome because we’re facing people with very different styles of play, facing people from all over the world, and it makes us work on slightly different things every time. I think that the Japan game was awesome, just the way we were able to play through even with those conditions and everything and get those Ds and have huge plays. I think the Canada game today was even better. I felt like it was even better just because we played, we were all having fun, and we played with the confidence that we had put in the work to have systems that were effective. We played defense where we didn’t even need to get the layout Ds necessarily because they didn’t have those looks in the first place, and so I think that was really fun. And it’s also nice to play in not crappy weather, you know? It’s nice to have some sun, a little bit of wind which is exciting too because it definitely differentiates on throws and stuff. I think we were able to deal better with that than Canada was. They were a good opponent, it was a spirited game, so it was fun. 

Tell me a little bit about how you guys selected captains. How did that work?

Well, we played together at Solstice, and so we got kind of a chance to get a feel for everyone, and then the coaches really emphasized that, on a team like this, all of us are leaders. Any of us could fill that role as a captain, and so it’s actually Whit’s [head coach Mike Whitaker] preference – he would prefer in a situation like this not necessarily to have captains because everyone can be that person, and everyone has been on their college or club teams, but it was a team vote, and I guess we submitted our votes to Whit when he found out the WFDF requirements for a spirit captain and teams captains. And so, based on those nominations, you could either nominate yourself or a teammate and write a little explanation, and so based on the feedback he got from that, he chose – I guess he chose the captains. He and Lauren [Boyle] and C [Carolyn Matthews] probably all worked together to pick from those.

So on a team full of leaders, like you said, how do you feel like your role fits in as a captain on this team? Is it kind of just a title or is it something where you’re a communication tool between the coaches? How do you see or what do you feel exactly is your role?

I’d say that it’s mostly a title. We do the flip, there’s been a few times where Julia and I have stepped up to address particular issues with the other team or with the coaches, but I think generally our team as a whole has done a great job of, if somebody has something to say, feeling confident in saying that. Everyone brings a different leadership piece to the team, so it’s awesome, I think, it’s great that everyone could be captains. It’s phenomenal on a team that anyone could be captain, and I’m honored that I was chosen as one of them, but I think any of my teammates would be equally as good in the role. 

One more question. Do you have any fun anecdotes, safe-for-work anecdotes you can tell about the women’s team?

Safe-for-work anecdotes…Well, we had a really intense spork game. I don’t know. We’ve been keeping things fun. We do a lot together as a team. It’s a great group to hang out with, and I think we’ve done really well with entertaining ourselves. I never knew I could carry a plastic utensil around with me for seven, eight days straight. I definitely, when the spork game was proposed where everyone has to have their spork – if you’re not holding your spork, somebody else can poke you – I thought "this is going to last like two days; there is no way." And then it finally ended two days ago.

Did you win or did Chloe [Rowse]?

I won! 

That’s what I thought. 

I didn’t mean to bring that up like me boasting about it, but I just think it’s cool little things like that that make our team fun and hanging out in the dorms. And we have a coaches’ challenge going on right now for Lauren and C, so they have a few different stages they have to complete. So yesterday was the manipulation stage. Each of them had to – well, it’s ongoing I guess. Lauren hasn’t done this yet, but the challenge is to get somebody from the tournament – it could be somebody completely random, anyone – and get them to come and give us a pump-up or motivational speech. C got the whole India team to come over, and they did a dance for us, and it was super inspiring. Seeing a team like that from India out there cheering for us and thanking us for being inspiring to them and then dancing really well for us was really awesome. That was definitely a moment that really felt like – this is Worlds. This is people who also traveled from halfway across the world to be here, and we’re all connected by the sport we love which is awesome. That was the manipulation side, so Lauren still has to do her part.

Last night, they completed the grub side, the food side. They each had to each an entire piece of cake – they were racing to eat an entire piece of cake with no hands. It was incredible. Lauren had like 90 percent of her cake finished in three bites. It was nuts. I think we’ve got a couple more challenges going up. It’s fun. It keeps things exciting, and it’s fun to just be like Frisbee camp. There’s no more fun situation than hanging out with people who love the sport that you do and are also awesome.


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