World Games Cali: Day 3, Part I

Posted: July 30, 2013 03:40 PM

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

The United States (5-0) defeated a winless Great Britain (0-5) 13-9 to go undefeated in pool play. And now, they move on.

"What we just did," said coach Alex Ghesquiere, "beating Great Britain and qualifying for the gold-medal game, those things are in the past. Let’s start transitioning our mental focus for the task at hand."

They play Australia (4-1) for gold at 7:00 p.m. EST tonight. Australia entered the World Games seeded fourth, but their only loss came against the United States in each team’s first game of the tournament. The Crocs contended for the first half of that game before the Americans pulled away in the second en route to a 13-8 win.

Australia beat Colombia 13-11 this morning for the right to play in tonight’s game. The Crocs rely heavily on Tom Rogacki, a dual throwing and receiving threat with 18 goals thrown and seven caught, but the all-around play of Tim Lavis and lane cutting of Sarah Wentworth are examples of greater depth than many expected from the Australians.

Look for the United States to prioritize pushing Rogacki away from the disc, both because Australia is comfortable with him as the main handler and because cutting will test energy reserves.

Offensively, the United States will continue to use a balanced attack that strikes deep whenever there is a clean throwing lane and a one-on-one match up. Before the Great Britain game, American coach Matty Tsang said the team needed to improve in three key areas: end zone organization, quickness in centering the disc off the sideline, and use of its own women.

"I’d give us a 70 percent," said Tsang of his team’s performance in his stated areas of focus. "Really, our goal was to expend as little energy as possible, and we did that." He was unconcerned that the coast to victory, which sometimes looked lackadaisical, would dull his team’s mental edge. "The focus will take care of itself tonight because it’s a big game."

Given their tournament-mandated roster size of only 13, consisting of seven men and six women (four men and three women take the field at a time, meaning every point has at least one male playing his second in a row), it is not surprising that the United States is banged up. Ryan Farrell sprained his ankle on Sunday, Ashlin Joye and Alex Snyder both missed time yesterday due to illness, and Octavia Payne hyperextended her knee just before the tournament started.

Dylan Tunnell, who did not play against Great Britain because of a knee injury sustained against Colombia, commented on pushing through pain given the gravity of tonight’s game. "I’m not going to be comfortable," he said. "But I’m okay. It’s the understanding of the importance of being out for teammates and how much work I’ve put into this on a personal level. I can’t not play."

Tonight’s larger-than-life moment is about much more than playing through injuries. Initially hooked by the chance of winning a gold medal, each member of the United States National Team has found even greater reward in the team’s process of unification and the honor that comes with representing ultimate players from all over their country.

"Winning gold is as much for the people back home as it is for us," said Tunnell. "It’s about everyone who was at tryouts, the alternates on this team, the people in our rec leagues who know who we are and wish us good luck. Everybody here is carrying a little bit of that with them and thinking of the people back home. If we win a gold, it just shows that we were doing it the right way. It’s the right ending to everything, I think."


Pool Play - USA vs Great Britain - Images by CBMT creative



2013 World Games (official website)


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