USA Moves to 12-0 after Three Days of Competition at the 2015 World Under-23 Ultimate Championships

Posted: July 14, 2015 04:10 PM

"T-R-U-S-T, I trust you, and you trust me!" That’s the cheer that rang out from the U.S. Mixed National Team’s sideline all day today. After an incredibly successful day one of competition (they beat Chinese Taipei 17-2 and India 17-8), head coach Martin Aguilera still wanted his team to be more energetic on the sidelines.

His team had a meeting last night, and they came out of it with a distinct focus on trust – in themselves and in each other. They reinforced that idea throughout the day today. As a spectator, the trust was obvious. The athletes stayed positive throughout, and definitely incorporated some trust throws into their offense. The team-wide trust was justified. They played for each other and the U.S.A. and tallied two more wins on the third day of competition at the 2015 World Under-23 Ultimate Championships.

Their first match up of the day came against the home team, Great Britain. The U.S. put on an impressive display. Great Britain got the first break of the game to go up 6-4. Three more breaks followed in the half, one for Great Britain and two for the U.S. That put the game back on serve with Great Britain leading 9-8 at halftime.

That’s when Aguilera made some slight adjustments to the defense, and the U.S. found another gear. They held on the first point out of half to tie up the score before proceeding to tally eight straight breaks. After going point for point, the U.S. put up nine straight to shut out Great Britain in the second half and claim a 17-9 victory.

In the first half, Great Britain found success attacking the deep space while U.S. defenders fronted their match ups downfield. Aguilera saw the trend and made changes to the team’s defensive strategy to take away that option for Great Britain.

"We figured out how exactly they were getting those deep cuts sprung and came up with a mild adjustment, working hard to front a majority of the guys and then rotating who is playing backfield based on whoever is last back," said Aguilera. "That was the wrinkle." 

It was enough to fluster Great Britain and take away what had worked for them in the first half. Combined with the mixed team’s typical aggressive handler defense, Great Britain struggled to hit their resets and started just missing their in-cuts. The U.S. squad’s energy and the swing in momentum helped carry the U.S. through a shutout second half.

"We kept our energy high. We kept throwing our hands up for trust. We kept doing all those things that kept us in the right mind state so that when we made the adjustment, we were able to execute on it and get momentum," said Aguilera.

It was an impressive, true team victory that should help the U.S. have the confidence to work through close games going forward.

The U.S. mixed team finished their day with a solid 17-8 win over Germany, bringing them to 4-0 in pool play so far. The U.S. went into halftime up 9-2, but Germany came out stronger after the break and the teams traded points to start. But the U.S. held steady and finished with the nine-point edge.

The mixed team will finish up pool play tomorrow morning against Ireland, beginning at 9:30 a.m. BST (4:30 a.m. EDT).


The U.S. Open National Team met Denmark and the Netherlands on day three to complete their pool play rounds. Continuing the momentum they found yesterday against Colombia, the U.S. easily overcame Denmark 17-5 and the Netherlands 17-1. Both games showed great offensive efficiency from the men on the field, taking advantage of the turnovers earned by their stifling defense. Ultimate around the world is certainly growing, but athletes from other nations often aren’t yet accustomed to the intense, more aggressive style of play and strategic adaptability that is so commonplace in high-level ultimate in the United States.

The U.S. men should be tested more consistently beginning tomorrow morning as they enter power pools. They’ll meet Australia, Ireland and Austria over the next two days, beginning with Australia tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. BST. They will finish the day against Ireland at 3:30 p.m.

The U.S. Women’s National Team also had an impressive day. They first met Colombia before matching up with host nation Great Britain. Colombia is one of the world’s up-and-coming ultimate nations. They are able to recruit energetic, athletic women, and it showed against the U.S. this morning. But the U.S. looks unflappable. Their offensive prowess is a joy to watch. If their first option is taken away, there are consistently two or three more readily available. There are very few bailout throws made and similarly few forced throws into tight windows. They notched a solid 17-5 win over Colombia before going on to defeat a tally and scrappy Great Britain squad 17-9.

The American women continue in their round-robin pool play tomorrow against Germany and Australia at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. BST, respectively. They will finish up pool play on Thursday against Canada and Sweden.

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