World Games Cali: Day 1, Part I

Posted: July 29, 2013 09:49 AM

The following is part of our of continuing coverage of the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia. 

The United States National Team won its first World Games match, 13-8 over Australia, on the strength of a balanced attack and an overpowering start to the second half.

Beau Kittredge caught the first two goals of the game, along with another to put the Americans up 3-1, but each was assisted by someone different: the first was thrown by George Stubbs, the second by Mac Taylor and the third by Mike Natenberg. Tom Rogacki either caught or threw the Australians’ first three goals. The Crocs called a timeout at 4-3 and broke twice afterward to go up 5-4. The run showed that when the Americans overthrow one another and fail to create space by clearing properly, other teams will take advantage.

"I think there were jitters," said Mike Natenberg. "Australia seemed to find their rhythm a little earlier than we did. We had those first three quick scores to Beau, so we hadn’t had to grind and work a point yet. It took us a couple points to get our legs under us and find the flow we wanted."

The United States found that flow after calling a timeout at 6-6 and breaking to take half 7-6. Pulling to start the second, the U.S. continued its run by scoring five of the half’s first six points: three breaks in a row and, after an Australian hold, a hold followed by another break. The Crocs continued to lean on Rogacki, who under more U.S. pressure, was less successful as both a thrower and receiver.

"Calling that timeout before the last break to take half was a huge confidence builder for us," said Natenberg. "In the second half I think everybody’s confidence was way up. Getting back on serve was critical."

The United States played Canada at 7:10 later in the evening. As with all of the other games at World Games, it was a virtual must-win because only the top two teams advance to the final.

"Lose two games and you’re out," said coach Alex Ghesquiere. "But lose even just one, and you’ve got to cross your fingers."

The United States is likely to come out sharp thanks to a prior loss to Canada at Poultry Days in June.

"This game isn’t about revenge," said Ryan Farrell. "It’s just that concrete knowledge that they can beat us and that they’ll do it again if we don’t come out and take it away from them."


Pool Play - USA vs Australia - Images by CBMT Creative



2013 World Games (official website)


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