Friday, August 26, 2011

USA Women, Great Britian Mixed Masters, USA Grandmasters win Gold

The beach arena is an excellent location to showcase ultimate. The track is fast, the stands are high and echo the cheers of the many countries there to watch the big games.

The action started this afternoon with USA versus Austria in Grandmasters. With precision offense and big ups the U.S. team hardly had a turnover on offense en route to a convincing win, albeit not a blowout.

In Mixed Masters the upstart Great Britain team led by an unstoppable Si Weeks began the day by upsetting the German team in semis before storming out of the gates on defense and offense against undefeated USA in the finals. It never seemed that USA could find a proper rhythm as miscommunications led to far too many turnovers for the USA O line. GB's squad, bolstered with women who won WCBU Gold in Brazil and Paganello Mixed division winners Poughkeepsie were stacked from the start so the question was how did they actually manage to lose to both USA and Germany twice in pool play—twice?

I talked to them after the game and it turns out that they played the numbers very well, using a large squad to rest top players like Weeks and Lucy Byrne over the course of pool play games before letting them fully anchor the team in the finals. They also saved up energy for the final and used heavy defensive pressure coming in waves to completely dismantle the American O.

The women's final was the highlight of the night. Both teams looked to come out of the gates hard and fast, knowing that the first 2-3 points of a quick 45 minute game can really set the pace. And that they did, blistering speedsters running down on defense, huge hucks from Canada's Malissa Lundgren (who, incidentally, dominated the leaderboard for the weekend with 44 goal shots, an average of 4.4 a game) massive ground-eating under cuts from USA's Marie Maderas and physical marks and hard D: this game was defined as a battle from the beginning.

Breaking the O and D proved not too difficult as turnovers weren't uncommon. But neither squad could find the right D-line handlers to withstand the pressure and more often than not the D would prevail. USA went up a break late in the game, 9-7, and held on as the cap went into effect meaning it was a game to 10 and Canada had the weight on their shoulders to score.

The O line managed to make it happen giving the Americans two chances on O to win. when the first one failed, however, the score was tied at 9s and the pressure returned to the American shoulders. With so much speed out there I felt the defense had the advantage and this almost proved correct after two USA turnovers had given Canada a chance to win the game. But it was not to be -- the defense of the USA proved equally stout and refusing to give in and the Canadians forced up two throws for turnovers. Finally with both crowds of stands roaring, the Americans, bailed out by a foul call on an IO throw that initially looked clean, converted the break after the same IO connected and won, 10-9, a stunning and anticlimactic end to a fantastic game.


  1. for sure it's not the best end for this crazy awesome game. when yiu play agressive defense you have to accept the agressive defense on you even when it's 9-9 game to 10...but well done USA and well done too CANADA, was a great game to watch!

  2. "The action started this afternoon with USA versus Austria in Grandmasters. With precision offense and big ups the U.S. team hardly had a turnover on offense en route to a convincing win, albeit not a blowout."

    Thank you for this brief write up of the GM finals. For accuracy, let me add that the USA offense had NO TURNOVERS! USA had only one turnover the entire game while the USA D line was on the field; however, Austria was unable to score with that turnover, returning the disc to USA 'D' who finished the point with another break.

    The Austrians are very good. They gave us a good game, but without a single break, without being able to stop the USA flow at all, and with USA getting 6 breaks on them, saying it was a convincing win may be an understatement.

  3. The Mixed Masters GB men carried a good number of players from the Silver Medal winning Masters team from 2007 as well...and yes...Masters level freshman Si Weeks...also rather talented. :) When are they going to raise that age limit?!

  4. New post on Mixed Masters final coming tonight--

    As for GM i couldn't watch the full game as we had a semifinal to play directly before on the normal fields a distance away, alas!

    But Tommy V tells me that Meat is like some kind of Hoosier God.