June 22, 2017 – After five days of play at the 2017 World Championships of Beach Ultimate, the United States will compete in all four masters division gold-medal games tomorrow in Royan, France.
The tournament’s first rounds of championship bracket play started this morning. The U.S. mixed team kicked off the day by winning their pre-quarterfinal match up against Ireland in the first round and earning themselves a spot in the quarterfinal round against Russia. After two tight losses, the mixed squad looked strong in their two games today. Again the team pulled out to large early leads, before solidifying 13-8 and 13-9 victories. As they have all week, the team took advantage of the strength of their women, playing a truly mixed game. Of their 26 goals in those two games, 17 were cross-gender throws. They will face Germany in the semifinals tomorrow.
The women’s masters team also got early games today, finishing out pool play before heading straight into the semifinals. They defeated Australia and Sweden to close out pool play as the division’s only undefeated team with great week-long performances from Robyn Wiseman and Emily Smith-Wilson who are in the division’s top three in assists and goals, respectively. They faced off against Australia for a second time on the day in the semifinals and cruised to a comfortable 13-6 win and a berth in the gold-medal game tomorrow afternoon, a rematch of the 2015 WCBU finals against Canada.
The women’s team was up next on day five, with one game remaining in their power pool before the start of bracket play. They defeated Russia, their opponent in the double-game point WCBU final in 2015, 13-10, before cruising to an easy win over Austria in the pre-quarterfinals. Their quarterfinal match up pitted them against Switzerland. In what has become usual fashion, Paige Soper led the way, throwing four of the team’s 11 goals in the 11-5 win. They are set for another chapter in the classic rivalry between the United States and Canada in the semifinals tomorrow morning.
The men’s masters and mixed masters teams both started their days in the third round. The mixed masters team finished out their last two games of pool play with solid wins against Colombia and Switzerland. While the men are leading the way in assists, Dominique Fontenette is tied for third in the division in goals with 20. Owen Westbrook is close behind her with 18 of his own. Germany kept things close initially in their semifinal game, but after being tied at 4-4, the U.S. was able to pull away enough to secure a 13-9 win and a spot in the gold-medal game against Canada.
The men’s masters team jumped out to a huge lead against the Netherlands in the quarterfinal round, opening up a 10-2 lead before winning 13-4. They moved onto the semifinals against Canada which was another comfortable victory, 13-6. The team is getting contributions up and down the roster, with Moses Rifkin’s balanced skill set leading the way in overall stats; he has 15 goals to go along with his 15 assists. They will face the home team in the championship game tomorrow. France’s only loss so far was their pool play game against the U.S., which came on the tournament’s opening day.
The grand masters team is the only one not yet in championship bracket play. They finished up pool play today, earning a solid win against Great Britain who ended up second in the pool before closing out an easy 13-2 victory against Japan. Kelly Swiryn is racking up goals for the U.S. with Keven Moldenhauer leading the way in the assists category. They jump straight into the semifinals tomorrow morning against Canada, with the gold-medal game set for 3:00 p.m. local time.
The men’s team defeated Australia in the quarterfinal round, a game that included a Brett Matzuka Callahan, before moving on to the semifinals against France. Despite the enthusiasm of the home fans filling up the stands of the arena field, the U.S. dominated the match up from start to finish, taking their cues from team captain Jared Inselmann. He tallied four goals in the game, giving him 17 overall, along with 16 assists. Tyler DeGirolamo also had an outstanding game, notching three goals and two assists. They have tomorrow off before the machine rolls on to the finals on Saturday.
Follow along with all the action at WCBU at live.wcbu2017.org and at wcbu2017.org. More than 100 games will be livestreamed from Royan over the course of the week.
You can find the streaming schedule and links to the broadcasts for U.S. games on the Watch Live page.
More information about the complete streaming schedule can be found at live.wcbu2017.org.
Coming up tomorrow, June 23, for the U.S.A.:
All times local – UTC +2
Semifinal: U.S.A. mixed v. Germany*
Semifinal: U.S.A. women v. Canada*
Semifinal: U.S.A. grand masters v. Canada
Grand Masters Final*◊
Final: U.S.A. mixed masters v. Canada*
Final: U.S.A. women’s masters v. Canada*
Final: U.S.A. men’s masters v. France*
*Game scheduled to be livestreamed. Find broadcast links on the Watch Live page.
◊ Championship bracket game; U.S. participation contingent on team advancing through qualifying games.