It’s an old adage that mixed teams who utilize their women are more successful than those who don’t. Today’s championship final at the U.S. Open Club Championship brought even more credence to that argument. Of the 27 assisted goals in the game, 17 were male-to-female or female-to-male assists and goals: eight of 14 for AMP and nine of 13 for BFG.
Despite being a mainstay at the upper levels of the mixed division for nearly 15 years, AMP had not yet won a major championship event title – until this weekend.
Nicky Spiva, Ben Pelleg and Carolyn Normile continued to lead the way for AMP; with Spiva spending most of his time behind the disc, Normile has more freedom to work downfield. Tommy Li got the defensive assignment on Spiva through most of the game. It was a fun battle to watch throughout, with Spiva largely coming out on top. He ended up with one goal and six assists in the game. Normile often squared off against the Soo sisters, with Raha Mozaffari, lining up across from Rena Kawabata – all interesting, key match ups from start to finish.
AMP broke on the opening point, after a couple turns each way. So it was ultimately a good start, but both teams needed to settle in a little. After the first few points, things cleaned up substantially, and the teams traded to 4-4 before BFG got the break back, following an AMP drop near their own end zone. But it was short-lived. When halftime rolled around, AMP was back up a break, and that’s what did it. The teams are really well-matched from top to bottom and traded through the entire second half. The game’s top highlight was a handblock Callahan from Jeff Pape to save a hold for BFG. Pape knocked Stephen Ng’s reset pass into the air, and after the disc bounced off the shoulder of Kerry Chang, Pape was able to reel it in in the end zone for the Callahan. Pape, along with Alexa Kirkland and Kawabata came up big for BFG on several instances, particularly late in the second half.
BFG had a chance to break on game point, but a throw that popped up and floated out of bounds gave the disc back to AMP. In the end, it was Spiva to Bobby Roos to Emily Shields, appropriately another cross-gender goal, to close out the game for AMP, giving them their first-ever major championship title.