Fury wins the 2011 Women's 2011 Club Championship

Posted: October 31, 2011 06:33 PM


2011 Club Championship Day 4 Recaps:

  • Mixed Recap (Ziv)

  • Open Recap (Toner)

  • Women's Recap (Levine)




The championship game between Fury and Riot was a particularly interesting one not because of its outcome—many spectators expected the now six-time consecutive champion Fury to win, despite their loss to Riot earlier in the tournament—but rather in witnessing how both teams, especially Fury, would acclimate their game to elements out of their control. The most prominent uncontrollable aspect of Sunday’s final was, of course, the heavy crosswind. It quickly became clear that Fury, a team whose game relies on its incredible offensive precision, could not completely trust their technical abilities in this game because of the weather: no throw, however well-timed or executed, could be 100% accurate in these kinds of winds. 

Club11 D4R3 Wu (3)
[PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu, facebook.com/ultiphotos (full coverage)]

Riot and Fury began the game almost as if there was no wind, which proved unsuccessful. Riot put the disc up twice, the wind carrying it immediately out of bounds, and a handler turfed it immediately on offense; Fury, after working it up carefully to score the first point of the game, turned the disc multiple times due to a few too-floaty dumps and ill-planned deep looks. As a Fury player remarked jokingly as she subbed out after an extremely long point, "Well, I’m glad I got all of those turns out of my system. Phew!"

At the beginning of the game, Riot seemed to have the upper hand in the wind. Riot’s tall and lanky Gwen Ambler (#3), looking somewhat retro with her curly, short hair worn loose save for a headband, caught many of Fury’s deep looks over the heads of hordes of women and got a layout D in Fury’s end zone. While Fury was still attempting unsuccessfully to score deep and throwing away the disc around their end zone—at one point a handler threw an upwind high-release backhand at the end zone line, which was promptly carried away by the wind—Riot was able to work the disc up the field quickly and move the disc quickly between handlers, scoring an upwind point or two. Ambler’s cool and contained presence proved essential to Riot’s offense, as she was a key facilitator in their quick and steady disc movement. After some extremely long points, time-outs called, and some well-read catches by Fury players, the game was tied at 4s. 

Club11 D4R3 Wu (1)
[PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu, facebook.com/ultiphotos (full coverage)]

At this point, Fury managed to greatly improve their wind-proof offense, which enabled them to go on a six-point run. Abandoning their unsuccessful deep game, the team chopped the length of their average throw in half, choosing instead to pass the disc quickly between their handlers, dump the disc more frequently, and look deep more sparingly. Fury began to throw a junk defense on Riot as to put pressure on their main handlers, which caused Riot to turf the disc after managing to work it down the field. Fury’s Darragh Clancy (#42) threw a high-flying disc to Alden Fletcher (#15) for the score, who caught it over the heads of three Riot players; Fury took half 8-4 after Liz Penny (#14) received the disc from Alex Snyder (#4). 

Club11 D4R3 Wu (7)
[PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu, facebook.com/ultiphotos (full coverage)]

The now six-point disparity in score only seemed to fuel Riot’s fire on defense, and something seemed to click for the team once Fury’s tenth point was scored. Riot’s Val Dion (#66) got a massive D, while Maddy Frey (#16) and Hana Kawai (#14) managed to rob Fury of multiple scores in the end zone. Although Fury was able to work the textbook four-person cup that Riot threw on them, Riot’s contained pressure ultimately proved too much to handle: Fury threw the disc away once they approached their end zone. One incredibly intense defender was Riot’s Keely Dinse (#22), whose tough mark and boundless energy consistently impeded Fury’s flow. Riot’s Claire Suver (#88) threw a high, looping backhand to Kate Kingery (#5) to lessen the disparity in score 11-7. 

Club11 D4R3 Wu (11)
[PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu, facebook.com/ultiphotos (full coverage)]

Fury was beginning to seem a little rattled by Riot’s revitalized game. After Fury’s Snyder threw to Nicky Bloom (#2) for a quick score 13-8, Riot retaliated with a huge huck from Kawai to Kingery, who threw an easy backhand in the end zone to Frey. This was followed by an easy Fury drop close to Riot’s end zone, which Riot’s quick-transitioning offense capitalized upon. Fury, perhaps in a moment of nervousness or exhaustion, put the disc so that it flew out the back of their end zone, while their players began to lag slightly on defense; the wind grabbed the disc in their end zone once more, making it uncatchable and resulting in another turn. Although Fury players amped up the intensity on defense—notably, player Manisha Darayani (#71) getting a diving layout D in Riot’s end zone and Emily Damon (#5) and Georgia Bosscher (#19) getting on the ground on defense as well—Riot was able to raise the score 14-13 Fury with a score from Sarah Griffith (#6) to Hannah Kreilkamp (#10).  

Club11 D4R3 Wu (5)
[PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu, facebook.com/ultiphotos (full coverage)]

Taking the lead by only one point, Fury was now determined to finish the game with a final score. After Riot turned the disc close to Fury’s end zone, Cree Howard  (#13) threw an easy backhand to Bosscher in the end zone, wrapping up the game with a 15-13 final score; although Riot had come back with an unmatched energy in the last half, it wasn’t enough to stop the winning team. Fury had won their sixth consecutive National Championship in a row and qualified for Worlds in 2012, maintaining their position as the best women’s Ultimate team in the United States after adapting to high winds and intense competition. Congratulations to Fury!

Club11 D4R3 Wu (15)
[PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu, facebook.com/ultiphotos (full coverage)]

Full Results
bracket icon

Club11 D4R1 Wu (13)
[PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu,
facebook.com/ultiphotos (full coverage)]


Final Standings:
1 - Fury
2 - Riot
3T - Capitals
3T - Phoenix
5 - Traffic
6 - Showdown
7 - Molly Brown
8 - Scandal
9 - Further
10 - Brute Squad
11 - Ozone
12 - RevoLOUtion
13 - Nemesis
14 - Safari
15 - DeSoto
16 - Bent