The wind was the story again on Day Two, as well as #11 seed Nemesis and #12 seed Showdown securing a quarterfinal matchup on Day Three, ensuring that one of those teams will reach the semifinals for the first time ever. Below is analysis broken down by power pool and prequarters. For game recaps check out the live recaps or the Fury-Scandal recap.
Power Pool E
This first power pool was Fury, Scandal, Nemesis, and Brute Squad. Fury rolled through their first game against Nemesis, but Scandal struggled with Brute Squad. They led almost the entire game, but Brute Squad hung around. At 14-13, Scandal was going downwind on offense to win the game, but they ran a lot of zone from their O line, with what looked like it varied between a five-woman cup, four-woman cup with a dump defender, and a three-woman cup with a short wing and a dump defender. Brute Squad had mild success throwing backhand blades up the trap sideline, but that was a low percentage strategy in these winds.
Power Pool F
During Round One, Riot took on Traffic and Molly Brown took on Showdown in two Regionals rematches. Both games were tight, with Riot and Traffic combining for only five breaks all game and three upwind goals, while Molly Brown and Showdown had a game of runs, with both teams scoring upwind frequently. Rohre Titcomb made Riot dangerous going upwind, and with teams needing two hucks completions to score an upwind goal, Titcomb’s hucks to Sarah Griffith and Hana Kawai were important because those receivers could throw the second huck. Gwen Ambler also had a fantastic goalline layout D in this game, and Calise Cardenas and Katy Craley had great grabs in both endzones.
Unlike Fury and Scandal and Showdown, Riot really struggled to move the disc upwind. But they have the throwers who can punt it upwind, particularly Titcomb and Griffith, and they didn’t seem to want to try to work the disc. Showdown’s upwind offense looked better than their downwind offense, with Bex Forth and Sarah Blyth really moving the disc well. Forth has been one of the most impressive players in this wind, and thanks to her Showdown escaped their Molly Brown game with a win. Cara Crouch and Katey Forth did the business going downwind, but they struggled to hit cutters on the open side. Molly Brown fronted and played good defense, but Showdown didn’t look comfortable breaking the disc going downwind.
Ozone came up from the lower pools by virtue of point differential, after Nightlock won both games today (Ozone and Underground) but finished second in their pool due to the three-way tie with Phoenix. Katherine Wooten was huge for Ozone in their matchup against Brute Squad, dominating on the downwind points for Ozone. Angela Lin played great going upwind for Ozone, consistently making throws that other players could only dream of completing. But the Ozone offense didn’t feed Lin as much as they could have, although it hardly mattered. Brute Squad couldn’t string together passes in either direction and lacked the requisite deep threat to play the hucking game. 15-6 Ozone was the final, but they run into a pool play rematch against Riot in quarterfinals.
The game of the day was definitely Capitals-Traffic in the other prequarter. The all-Canadian prequarter was a contentious matchup between two teams familiar with each other. Furious George and GOAT were on the sidelines, cheering for Traffic and Capitals respectively. Anne Mercier was unbelievable for Capitals, both throwing big hucks downwind and getting the disc at will up the line, both upwind and downwind. Danielle Fortin and Mercier worked the disc amongst themselves until one could get off a big backhand huck before the mark could set. Malissa Lundgren controlled the downwind game for Capitals, although she missed on a lot of throws to the endzone that could have shortened the game for Capitals.
Traffic, as the have all weekend, struggled to complete long passes consistently, and they continued to give short fields to teams. But Kira Frew was on fire, consistently hitting great backhand break hucks, and Catherine Hui was a consistent receiver. Traffic went down early but was able to claw back several breaks with Betsy Chan and Louisa Thue hitting upwinders.
The end of the game was hectic, as Traffic brought the game to 14-14 but was able to break upwind. Candice Chan caught a huck going upwind and called timeout with 35 yards to go, but Traffic was able to punch it in, with Betsy Chan hitting Candice Chan on the force side to seal the break. But Capitals was able to get an upwind hold behind the strength of Danielle Fortin and Anne Mercier. Mercier actually hit her head making a deep D on a throw to Kat Neal that would have won the game for Traffic, but stayed in the game. Kidd made a great deep catch, hitting Fortin upline, and Mercier losing her defender to get upline and score the goal to tie it at 15s.
The ensuing point was almost a great hold for Traffic, as Candice Chan caught a huck from Mira Donaldson on the upwind goal line, but there were no teammates around, and she was stalled out on what appeared to be a quick count, but there was no outlet and no contest. Capitals unabashedly punted and were rewarded with a D just five yards out of the endzone. They finished the game as they played, with Mercier hitting Fortin upline and Fortin hitting Mercier upline again to win the game, 16-15.
Quarterfinals: Fury over Capitals, Nemesis over Showdown, Riot over Ozone, Scandal over Molly Brown.
Semifinals: Fury over Nemesis, Scandal over Riot
I plan to do a live audio stream of the Scandal-Riot game, if both teams win their quarterfinal matchups.