Why they will win: They have the incredible powers of Matty Tsang. He is, hands down, one of the best coaches I have seen in this sport ever. Any true athlete would love the opportunity to play for him. Oh and if that’s not enough, they have won 5 national championships in a row. Not many teams can say that. They bring a huge intimidation factor that comes with such world wide success and domination. A team can get close, but when the game gets tight, it can be hard to mentally believe you can beat Fury. Oh and they have Alex Snyder, Alicia Barr, Nancy Sun, and Shmi Narayan…try shutting those girls down.
Why they won’t win: Large amount of turnover in their roster in that past few years. The loss of Arlie Stern and Jody Dozono and the leadership they bring are hard shoes to replace. If this team can convince A1 to show up from D.C. they will be in much better shape.
Why they will win: This is one of the grittiest (yeah that’s a word) teams I know. They are tough, competitive, and they know how to wear a team down. They will work the disc through the skills of rock star Kira Frew and then crush you with the athleticism of Jen “Hot Cop” Kwok and Candice Chan. Oh, and if you haven’t seen Jeff Cruikshank coach (and play) then you are definitely missing out.
Why they won’t win: Capitals have their number right now after Canadian Nationals. Traffic is set to play them on Thursday. This game will set the tone for the weekend. Their only other losses are to Riot and Fury, who they will have to get past in order to win. Their roster sometimes gets tighter in big games, so they may not have the legs late in the tourney.
Why they will win: Drive, hunger, and great defense. This team has all three. They practice and play hard, and they have had a fantastic season with their only losses being to Fury and Traffic (and UNO). If Riot’s hucks are on, then watch out. They also have a killer zone if (and when) the wind picks up in Sarasota. Gwen Ambler, Loriana Berman, and Surge Griffith and all reasons to come watch this team play. I haven’t seen them play a ton this season, but when I have, they certainly seem determined to win.
Why they won’t win: Losing Miranda Roth on your team is like losing the spoon to stir the brownies…let’s just say, it’s a big loss. Not to mention, they also lost Jenn Wilson (temporarily retired) and Liz Duffy (playing for Ozone now). The question is do they have the mental toughness to beat Traffic and Fury when they just lost to them at NW Regionals?
Why they will win: They have nothing to lose. They are still a new team (in their second year I believe) even though Colorado has had a strong presence at Natties in years past. They seem to have a potentially lethal combo of experienced players with young athleticism. Also, you put Anne POGOriler and Enessa Janes on the field at the same time and you are going to have match up problems. These two are sick. Got to be honest, it’s great to see Enessa back in the women’s game.
Why they won’t win: Lack of experience as a team in big games. I am not sure this team has found it’s identity (however, it should be noted that I have not seen them play all season). We will see if they can find the grit to win against Fury, Riot, and Traffic – all teams they haven’t been able to beat this season.
The next group of teams are all capable of upsetting and going far in the tournament. Brute Squad, Ozone, Capitals, Showdown, Scandal, and Phoenix are all fantastic teams. Each team brings a different style, but what it will come down to for these teams is peaking at the right time. Here are just a few observations:
Scandal performed very well last year at Nationals and will be hungry to win. They should be able to rely on their team experience last year and with the huge pickup of Manu Argilli from Fury and the lethal play of Octavia Payne, they could definitely upset some top teams.
Brute Squad had awful luck with the loss of 3 players (I believe) to ACL tears this season and has had a bit of a rough go since. However, with the dynamic trio of three legends in our sport Dom Fontenette, Johanna Neumann, and Vy Chow, you absolutely can not count this team out. Oh and by the way, I am calling that Laura Bitterman gets at least 14 D’s in the tourney. She is filthy.
Showdown is the definition of a team with fight in them. They never quit. The combo of all-star Cara Crouch and standout Katey Forth is ridiculous. It is magic to watch these two play together. Showdown is coming off of a great season and I know they are hungry.
Ozone is always ready to take down the powerhouse teams. They have a rocking roster this year and brought on a lot of young talent. Angela Lin is inspiring with her game and commitment to this women’s game. Liz Duffy was an enormous pick up from Riot and is one of the best women in the game today. If this team can click at the right time and keep their head in the right place, they could go very far in the tourney. They also happen to have my favorite young player, the very talented Sophie Darch.
Phoenix is a team that knows how to play hard and grit out a win. With the help of mastermind coach Tully Beatty, this team is hungry for the win. Cate Foster will inspire you to jump in circles, Lindsey Hack will sky the crap out of you, and Leila Tunnell (the 2012 Callahan winner) makes the Tunnell siblings the most dynamic sister/brother combo in our game today (in my opinion). Watch out for these tough chicks from North Carolina.
Last, but definitely not least, are the Capitals. They are last year’s runner ups. They are this year’s Canadian National Champs. They are a killer team with a winning mentality. They are another team that possesses a total intimidation factor. The play of Anne Mercier is inspiring. Even with loss of some key players after Canadian Natties, they might just be hungry enough to fight for the win.