All quarterfinals games went as expected in the Women’s division, even if early on it looked like there were some potential upsets brewing. Russia easily handled a tired Latvia 13-3, and Great Britain started out with a big lead on France, eventually winning 11-9. However, in the other two quarters, Austria was surprisingly able to hang with Switzerland, even going ahead 6-5 at one point, but the Swiss used their height to complete some nice hucks, scoring the last three points for a final score of 8-6. In the last quarterfinal, it seemed as if a speedy Finland team would upset Germany. Inspired by the cutting prowess of Hanna Öunap, who scored the first three points for the Finns, Finland maintained a lead throughout the entire game until a key timeout allowed Germany to score the last three points, winning 10-8.
In the first semifinal, Great Britain took on Switzerland in a tight game in the arena pitch. Neither team had more than a two point lead at any point in the game, and there were three different lead changes. The experienced Claudia Strehler ended up making the difference in the game for the Swiss. On universe point, Great Britain turned it over near their endzone twice, and after the second, Strehler struck with a nice pass to Melanie Kunz for the Swiss win, 9-8.
In the second semifinal, Germany faced off against Russia. Germany went up early, but Russia’s stormed back on the handling of the Pustovaya sisters, and Margarita Parshukova caught a layout Callahan to put Russia up 5-4. The game was intense and riddled with calls and discussions, made more difficult by the language barrier between the two teams. Russia built a lead on the huck connection between Sasha Pustovaya and Olga Kochenova. Kochenova finished with three assists and six goals, involved in an incredible 75% of Russia’s 12 points. Germany made some great layouts and played with intensity, but was never able to crawl back into the game, and Russia maintained distance, finishing the game 12-9.
Switzerland and Russia will meet in the Women’s final tomorrow at 13:00 CET, livestreamed on http://live.ecbu2013.org.
Feature photo by Edmundo Mercier: Swiss fans celebrate their women’s team’s universe point win in the semifinals against Great Britain