Blaine, Minn. (Aug. 4, 2019) – The women’s final kicked off championship Sunday at the 2019 U.S. Open Club Championships this morning bright and early at 8:30 a.m. CT. The game was a matchup of the past two U.S. Open champions, Boston Brute Squad and Colombia Revolution, and a rematch from the seeding crossover round on Friday afternoon. Brute Squad won that game 16-15.
The day dawned pretty warm and very still, which was surely a factor in how clean the game was. One of the games not-so-many turnovers came on the very first point, when Brute Squad put just a little too much on their first deep look. But they got it back, and on the second try, Jessie Grignon-Tomas laid out to reel in the goal from the hands of Amber Sinicrope. Brute Squad got one of their four breaks on the second point after Revolution followed their initial example and missed on their first deep shot. Revolution shifted strategies a little in this game and played much more person defense than they did the rest of the weekend, but it didn’t affect Brute Squad much. Trading holds was much more common than break chances from start to finish, but overall, it was taking Revolution more throws to get those holds. A lot of those extra throws for Revolution came in the red zone, where the Brute defense consistently clamped down. Many of Revolution’s goals came from dishy passes in the couple yards in and around the end-zone line, with Yina Cartagena and the Cárdenas sisters resetting between each other until one of them could essentially toss in right into one of the others’ breadbaskets in the small spaces right around the goal line. Brute and Revolution traded one more break apiece in the first half, before Sinicrope and Cassie Wong took a page out of the Revolution book with a short give and go right across the end-zone line to close out the half 8-6.
Unsurprisingly, Revolution’s rotation was pretty tight. It was very rare to have a point without either Valeria or Manuela Cárdenas on the field, along with Yina Cartegena and Elizabeth Mosquera. Mosquera may have tallied the most points of the four, as an integral piece of both the offense and the defense. Her speed is incredible, giving her the ability to each up yards on offense and make them up in a flash on defense. But because Brute Squad’s roster is deeper, they had the advantage of fresh legs in being able to rotate the top four’s defensive assignments between a lot of different players. Brute also rotated some of their top players between the offensive and defensive lines, particularly late in the game. Amongst others, Claire Trop, Julianna Werffeli and Angela Zhu all flipped between lines.
Revolution got their next break after Mosquera did her thing, gaining ground super quickly on a throw into the end zone to knock it away. They worked the full 70 yards and Valeria Cárdenas found María Angelica Forero in one of the classic tight spots right at the goal line to bring the score within one at 10-9. A few points later, after Brute Squad missed a little far on a swing pass, Valeria went nearly every other, with a lot of help from Camila Pelaez, back the other way to tie things at 12-12 with an impressive low-release throw to Mosquera in the end zone. But Brute Squad still had the offensive advantage. A couple of traded holds later, on game point for Brute Squad, Revolution put too much on a throw toward the end zone and Manuela Cárdenas, and it sailed out the back. About 65 yards later, the stall count for Kami Groom was rising quickly. She put up a floaty throw in the direction of Erin Rea, who was the tallest person in the crowd. Rea came down with the disc as Manuela Cárdenas was calling a stall as the mark on Groom. Initially the call was going to stay contested and bring the disc back to Groom on the sideline and about five yards out of the end zone. But Cárdenas felt strongly enough about her call to go to the observer for a ruling. The stall call was overruled by the observer, which gave the goal – and the game – to Brute Squad.
With that, Brute Squad successfully defended their title as U.S. Open Champions with a 15-13 win over Medellín Revolution.