By: Eliza Pugh
Today kicked off with a host of nail-biting battles on the fields. Three of the four opening pre-quarters games went to double-game point. The pre-quarters round and the consolation games were a reminder that any team can shake things up a bit, and at Nationals, nothing is decided before the final point is scored. However, the top four teams remain a cut above the rest and solidified spots in tomorrow’s semifinals.
Heist and Scandal ran each other into the ground in a tight game, and Heist’s Robyn Wiseman yet again played the role of distributor for her team with eight assists. Scandal fought back and found themselves on offense for double-game point. They scored off a succession of quick passes down the field that culminated in a dish to Katey Forth, who has proven to be a huge late pickup for Scandal.
Traffic found themselves up three points at halftime against Ozone and connecting better with their downfield players. In the second half, Ozone threw some zone defense, and Traffic couldn’t seem to make the necessary adjustments. Tied at 14s, it was double-game point. After multiple turns from both sides, Ozone pulled out the win.
After playing out of their minds yesterday and upsetting two higher-ranked teams, Schwa had all eyes on them to see what they would do against Wildfire. The game was neck and neck until the bitter end. It was a relatively clean game, and Schwa’s cutters delivered speed and executed in tight windows. Wildfire responded in kind, and a huge layout bid by Ronnie Eder on double-game point sealed the deal for Wildfire to advance.
The 6ixers started off the day with their bread-and-butter offense against Rival, which consists mostly of putting the disc up high and far. They won nearly all of the air battles and claimed the 15-12 victory.
If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind that one of the top four teams could be upset, the quarterfinals wiped away any trace of it. None of the top four teams left anything to chance as they ran away with their wins without so much as a backwards glance.
Although both Brute Squad and the 6ixers broke each other in the first half, Brute Squad’s person defense was suffocating. The 6ixers had to work too hard on every one of their offensive points, and Brute Squad came out on top 15-7.
On the showcase field, Molly Brown started off with a goal to hold against Ozone, then broke to lead 2-0. The game unfolded as a test of whose handlers could swing the disc more effectively in the wind. Although Molly Brown never gave up the lead, Ozone squeezed in nine points before it was over.
Scandal played phenomenally against Riot, but when they finally found their rhythm, time was up. Down 10-4 in the second half, Scandal broke four times in a row to make it 10-8. Lindsay Soo, Katey Forth and Lauren Allen were big contributors. On the points they couldn’t score, Riot had trouble executing cleanly, oftentimes forcing their own turns with Scandal quick to capitalize. But Riot’s chemistry stood the test of endurance, and they won 14-11 with Claire Trop putting up three goals and one assist before it was over.
Facing Fury, Wildfire played some of their best ultimate of the tournament thus far. Wildfire played mostly a horizontal stack offense, which opened up lanes for their handlers to put it deep into space. However, the depth of Fury’s roster was apparent as every single line they put out on the field applied relentless pressure on their matchups. Each side looked fast and clean and earned each D they got, but Wildfire simply could not overcome Fury’s tight defense.
Stay tuned for the tried and true matchups in the semifinals tomorrow evening, both streamed on ESPN3. Molly Brown will take on Brute Squad at 8:30 p.m. EST, and Fury will face Riot at 11 p.m. EST at Mira Mesa High School in San Diego, Calif.
After losing in the quarterfinals, Scandal faced Wildfire in the fifth-place semifinals. Scandal played textbook offense, patiently swinging the disc back and forth and waiting to punch in goals. Wildfire seemed to beat themselves, repeatedly working it all the way down the field only to turn it over in the red zone.
The 6ixers came out on fire in their fifth-place semifinal against Ozone, going up 6-0 right out of the gate. Ozone managed to come alive in the second half, in which Katherine Wooten thrice threw bombs for scores from the backfield. But it was too little too late, and the 6ixers took the win.
Scandal will face the 6ixers for fifth place tomorrow.
In the bracket for seventh place, in which teams are vying for a shot at the Pro Flight (the top eight finishers at Nationals), Pop avenged their pool play loss to Rival, coming away with the 15-14 victory.
On the next field over, Nightlock looked to be in better spirits than yesterday in their game against Traffic. They spiced things up with a little zone defense and, capitalizing on Traffic mistakes, took the 15-10 win.
Nightlock and Pop then faced each other in the seventh-place semifinals, and Nightlock tallied the win. Nightlock will play Wildfire for seventh place tomorrow.
On the other side of the seventh-place bracket, Phoenix and Schwa started off their game evenly matched, but Schwa took half and pulled away for the 12-9 victory.
Nemesis looked springier and more alert than Heist, going up 8-3. Heist ran their hearts out but perhaps couldn’t find their spark after their double-game point loss to Scandal the round before. Too many unforced throwaways on Heist’s part meant that Nemesis would walk away with the 14-8 win.
Schwa then faced Nemesis in the seventh-place semifinals. Schwa’s Julia Sherwood carried her team to victory against Nemesis with seven assists and one goal. Schwa will play Ozone for seventh place tomorrow.