As Open quarterfinal round started, the wind was at it’s calmest point of the weekend. This allowed some of the higher-seeded teams to advance to the semifinals without ever being seriously threatened with elimination.
Great Britain’s defense denied Belgium their primary options, as their top receiver, Jasper Looniens did not score a single goal, and their primary handler, Hans Reggers, did not record a single assist. Led by Harry Geller’s 4 goals, Great Britain advanced, winning 13-8.
Top seed Switzerland faced more of a challenge from France. Swiss handler Lorenz Stauffer, made an impact downfield as well as behind the disc. He added 3 goals to his 4 assists, and a 5-1 run from Switzerland put the game away, 11-7.
The next quarterfinal was a pool play rematch between Russia and Germany. Though Russia upset their pool’s top seed in pool play, Germany would get their revenge. The efficient German offense was too much for the Russians. Germany’s Jan Rether (4 goals, 4 assists) was dominant downfield, and Germany led wire-to-wire, taking the game 13-9.
The last quarterfinal between Spain and Ukraine was by far the most contentious game of the round. Ukraine has been successful all weekend in games that haven’t been the prettiest ultimate, and this game would be no exception. It came down to a 7-7 universe point with Ukraine receiving. Off the pull, the Spanish marker thought he had a point block in the Ukraine endzone. The Ukrainian thrower called foul, and after a lengthy discussion, the result was a do-over (Note: reviewing the play on video, in my opinion it clearly was a foul). Ukraine patiently worked the disc down the field until Oleksandr Stakhovskyi found Dmitry Bogdanov to send Ukrain to semis.
After a five-hour break, the four remaining teams returned in the afternoon for the semifinals.
Switzerland appeared clinical to open their game against Ukraine, scoring their first two O points and converting a break without a single turnover. The Swiss defense continued to force turnovers, and Switzerland broke two more times for a 5-1 and 7-2 leads. Ukraine’s Oleksandr Stakhovskyi (1 goal, 3 assists) continued his strong play in the tournament, but the deficit was too much for Ukraine to overcome. Despite a strong second half, Ukraine fell 10-7 as Switzerland advanced to the final.
Though Great Britain looked vulnerable early in the tournament, they have found their rhythm in bracket play. Great Britain broke to open the game, but were unable to stop Germany’s Patrik Vogtel, who scored Germany’s first four goals, from getting open deep. The teams traded to 5-4, before Great Britain broke twice more to take half 7-4. Germany got one break back to open the half, but they wouldn’t get any closer than that. Led by Jamie Cross and Harry Geller, Great Britain’s offense would not be broken again, as the teams traded out the rest of the second half. Great Britain wins 12-9 to advance to the final against Switzerland.
Switzerland and Great Britain will meet in the Open final tomorrow at 12:00 CET, livestreamed on http://live.ecbu2013.org.
Updated Finals Prediction
Great Britain over Switzerland, 12-10.
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