By: Katie Judd
It was an action-packed day for the mixed division in Sarasota, Fla., with more than a few close games and some stunning upsets and comebacks as the first teams were eliminated from the championship bracket. Four teams advanced directly to quarterfinals, and eight more will play in the pre-quarterfinals. The remaining teams drop into a ninth-place bracket. Overall, the level of parity in play among the 16 teams was impressive, with eight games ending with one-point margins of victory – and the majority within just two or three points.
There’s more to come tomorrow! Check out the livestream schedule, and follow the action via #USAUNats. You can see the full schedule on tct.usaultimate.org, including field numbers for spectators here in Sarasota.
- Mixtape (1) (3-0)
- Public Enemy (13) (2-1)
- Mischief (8) (1-2)
- NOISE (12) (0-3)
Seattle Mixtape proved they deserved their number one overall seed, starting out with a strong win against NOISE. While the two teams traded points for the first half, as the wind started picking up, Mixtape was able to rattle off a break to take half 8-6. In the second half, they quickly capitalized on unforced errors and took the game 15-10. Mixtape also scored a decisive 15-8 win over Mischief in the third round.
Public Enemy started out with an early 2-0 lead against Mischief and didn’t let up all day, continuing to beat the odds and win games against Mischief and NOISE, and losing 12-13 to Mixtape. The Dallas team looks poised to do well in bracket play – despite the wind, playing clean offense and a suffocating defense. Dani Runzo seemed unstoppable on both sides of the disc, with layout scores as well as impressive throws.
While Mischief had a slow start to the day, their clean offense and patience led to a tight loss against Public Enemy in round one. But that didn’t slow their momentum in the second round, where they scored a decisive 13-6 victory over NOISE. They quickly rattled off a few breaks in a row and took half 8-3 – and then kept rolling.
NOISE struggled with the gusty, unpredictable wind today and seemed to lose steam over the course of the day, after going point for point in their first half against Mixtape. Josh Wilson had some big defensive plays, but their offense struggled with unforced errors and were not able to coalesce, and they were eliminated from bracket play.
- AMP (2) (3-0)
- Blackbird (7) (2-1)
- Toro (11) (1-2)
- Metro North (14) (0-3)
AMP played well the entire day, starting off with a grinding game against Toro, trading points to 4-4 before slowly pulling ahead to win 14-11. They entered their second game against Metro North with the same momentum, going up three breaks to start. Metro North came back to tie the score at 4-4, and the teams traded points for most of the rest of the game. The play of the day came from Linda Morse, who had a run through block that turned into a layout Callahan score, taking half for AMP 8-7. The team went on to win on double-game point 13-12.
Blackbird, meanwhile, started off the day with a tough win against Metro North. Both teams looked to be adjusting to the wind, and there were several unforced errors and long points. They were able to pull off a decisive 12-9 win and went on to a similar victory over Toro (15-11). However, they weren’t able to convert against AMP and fell 9-12 in the last round.
The elimination game between Toro and Metro North was hotly contested. After Metro North took half against Toro 8-4 and seemed well positioned to finish strong, Toro pulled off several breaks right out of half and eventually took the lead 9-8. At that point, the teams traded points, and were tied at 10-10 when the soft cap went on. An unforced error gave Toro possession on double-game point, and they were able to launch an upwind huck to score and knock Metro North, the 2016 finalists, out of title contention on day one.
- shame. (10) (2-1)
- Drag’n Thrust (3) (2-1)
- Wild Card (6) (2-1)
- Love Tractor (15) (0-3)
A three-way tie among the top three contenders in this pool ended up going in shame.’s favor, and the Colorado team will head straight into the quarterfinals. shame. was able to pull off an early upset against Drag’n Thrust in the first round, taking the game 15-13. A close loss on double-game point (12-13) to Wild Card and Wild Card’s subsequent 9-12 loss to Drag’n ended up working in shame.’s favor.
Meanwhile, Drag’n Thrust seemed to steadily improve over the course of the day, winning a tight game against Love Tractor 11-10 on double-game point and carrying their momentum forward into their game against Wild Card in round four. Wild Card battled through some injuries throughout the day, pulling out a double-game point win against Love Tractor 14-13 after going down 2-5 to start the day.
Love Tractor seemed to get the short end of the stick in this pool, losing all three of their games on double-game point. They were hard-fought games, but Love Tractor came up just short one too many times and were eliminated from the championship bracket.
- Slow White (4) (3-0)
- BFG (5) (2-1)
- Steamboat (9) (1-2)
- No Touching! (16) (0-3)
Slow White came prepared to dominate and pulled out three clean wins today, starting off with a 15-10 victory over Steamboat by maintaining control and demonstrating slow, patient offense throughout. Their second game against No Touching! was similar – the game started out 3-3, but No Touching! had some unforced execution errors, and Slow White was quick to capitalize. They also made quick work of No Touching!’s junky zone defense. In Slow White’s final game against BFG, the teams traded points, both making use of the strong downwind breezes to score on lots of deep looks. Slow White took half 8-7 in just 25 minutes. The second half saw more turnovers from both teams, including a red-zone turnover from BFG which Slow White capitalized on for an upwind break. Slow White was able to break once more and won the game 15-13.
BFG put on a strong showing versus Steamboat (15-12) and No Touching! (14-7) and demonstrated their throwing prowess and their ability to absolutely suffocate on person defense. Meanwhile, Steamboat gained momentum back after their close loss to BFG to pull out a hard-fought win against No Touching!. No Touching! played their hardest and left it all on the field, trading goals for the first few points but coming up one point short of what they needed to continue on in the championship bracket.
Games to Watch Friday
Check back on tct.usaultimate.org for day two’s live broadcast information. Meanwhile, Blackbird (7) v. Wildcard (6) is sure to be an exciting game. It will be interesting to see if Public Enemy (13) can continue their upward trajectory and upset Steamboat (9).