By: Emilia Garcia
Fury v. Ozone
It was break city for Fury as they continued to assert their dominance en route to the finals. Ozone gave up nine breaks, to be exact, as they could not adapt to Fury’s tight person defense and modified zone that took away their long game they normally rely on so heavily. A defensive strategy Fury probably used as a result of watching Ozone’s quarters game against Riot, and it was effective. Ozone was quickly down 0-3 before they could get on the board, and Wooten, Stubbs, Woodhurst and Seville were limited on what they could really do to stretch the field. That, paired with Ozone having some poor throws and difficulty holding onto the disc for completions, gave Fury plenty of opportunities to punish Ozone’s mistakes. Fury also seemed to be a bit more aggressive bodying up on defense than what has normally been displayed so far this weekend; no fouls were called, so possibly Ozone was replying in kind. Ozone definitely had chances for their own breaks, but at times, they were static with cuts and had difficulty finishing in the red zone. Fury did a fantastic job with field vision, using the entirety of the grass when working the disc for a goal. Crossfield, break and swing throws made it difficult for Ozone to really apply the pressure they wanted or the mark they needed. Ozone fought tough but fell to Fury, 15-5. Ozone should not hang their heads, though, because they made history this year and made it known the breadth of their athleticism and program talent.
Brute Squad v. Molly Brown
This semifinals game was hard to watch if you were a Denver fan. Molly Brown had a tremendous hole they dug themselves into at the start, and their adjusted strategy and mounted attack simply came too late as time expired. They had an extremely high number of turnovers throughout the game, and a sizeable number of them were the simplest of execution errors. Paige Applegate and Claire Chastain struggled at the helm of Molly’s offense in the beginning, and Brute Squad capitalized enormously, taking a 4-0 lead, all from breaks, before Molly could respond. That is not to say Brute Squad did not have any turnovers either, because they did, but they were able to finish in the red zone while Denver struggled to do the same. Multiple feats of athleticism were needed to save offensive possessions or regain control for Molly Brown, including several Lisa Pitcaithley layout grabs, Manuela Cardenas having to extend as well, and Jesse Shofner getting big for a sky along with several goal-saving blocks. Molly finally got some breaks of their own and tied the game at 10s, but the soft cap came on, and Brute punched in the last two goals for another finals berth. Final score 12-10.
What to Expect
While it may need some getting used to, not having Riot in the finals will hopefully provide for an exciting game. San Francisco Fury has lost to Boston Brute Squad both times they have matched up this season, but with the Fury that came to play this weekend, it should only add to the fireworks.
Fury will need to continue to play the consistent, dominant ultimate they have all weekend to beat Brute Squad, and they just might be able to regain glory. They have only allowed a total of 28 points from opponents this weekend, the lowest allowed by any team here. They are very smart in switching defenses midpoint and adjusting to how the wind is blowing. They also distribute the disc very efficiently, making everyone a threat. In their semifinals game, 11 different people had goals, which will make it difficult for Brute to defend them.
Brute Squad will need to minimize their turnovers in the wind if they are going to have a chance at winning. While they have won games by wide margins, they have also committed a lot of turnovers that they were simply more efficient at getting back for goals or converting opponents’ turns for goals. They will need to look to their D generators – Liên Hoffman, Kami Groom, Becky Malinowski – to provide more opportunities to limit Fury and convert Ds for goals.