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2018 World Junior Ultimate Championships: Tuesday Recap

Waterloo, Ont. (Aug. 21, 2018) – The day dawned very rainy and with a chance of thunderstorms. Games weren’t delayed, so the boys’ team headed to the fields to prepare for Sweden. Although the rounds were on schedule, access to fields was restricted, in the hopes of limiting damage on the day. So about 10 teams were sharing space on the turf fields for warm ups. But it is what it is. Everyone got ready to go, and on came Sweden.

The rainy conditions meant a fair amount of zone throughout the day. The U.S. quickly went up 5-0. Sweden got a hold for 5-1, exploiting the deep space, and followed it up with a break – the first of the week against the boys’ team – to make the score 5-2. Sweden has a fair amount of height and used their tall cup to force the turn on a reset throw around the cup that they converted for the break. But overall, the U.S. handlers stayed calm and worked with the space they were given. The U.S. rode great defensive pressure and steady offense to a 15-2 win. Caleb Seamon, Ryan Dinger and Tony Venneri all had outstanding games, with plenty of other names also having great all-around performances.

The game of the day was the U.S. girls’ team’s battle v. the Netherlands. The Netherlands is very tall, and they used their height effectively throughout the game, coming down with seemingly countless floaty hucks and second-chance catches. The score was tight from beginning to end, with no team leading by more than two points. The first point was pretty reflective of how the game was going to go. On offense, the Netherlands moved the disc around a bit with resets and short under cuts before taking a deep shot. The first huck was almost D’d by Claire Trop, but the Netherlands managed to come down with the disc, starting things out with an offensive hold. The U.S. O-line looked strong and largely unruffled throughout, often initiating things by centering the disc to Kate Lanier (or Stephanie Phillips), who found Carly Campana cutting underneath and continued to Stacy Gaskill – either deep or under if that was what the defense allowed. Other cutters – particularly Ella Juengst and Tess Johnson – filled in, and Lanier and Phillips were always available for resets and slash cuts to keep things moving. More often than not, it worked very smoothly. The U.S. got the game’s first break to go up 3-2, but it didn’t last long. The Netherlands got the break back to put things back on serve with them up 4-3, after a slippery disc turn. The U.S. got the next break after Rachel Hess stepped in to pick off a swing pass, taking the team into half up 8-7. The U.S. followed up the break with a hold out of half, and the teams traded points until the Netherlands evened things up again at 12-12. At 14 all, double-game point, the U.S. received. A drop around midfield was one of the O-line’s few turns during the game and gave the Netherlands a chance to break for the win. But the defense clamped down, and Trop was able to jump on the Netherlands’ high-stall bladey throw, knocking it away. One pass later, Stephanie Phillips hit Trop on a great throw out to space in the end zone for the win. It was a great game, start to finish, and a great test for the U.S. girls’ team.

With all the rain, the fields were closed after the day’s second round, postponing all the afternoon’s scheduled games. How that will affect the schedule for the rest of the week is still to be determined.

Stay tuned for more updates from Canada!

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