By: Noah Robiner
Blaine, Minn. (Aug. 6, 2017) – Four teams remain in the YCC U-20 mixed division at the U.S. Open Club Championships, and each semifinal match up tells a story of how the tournament has played out so far.
The Madison MUFAbots take on Seattle Bankroll tomorrow in the first semifinal. Madison is one of two teams that advanced from the lower pools to the quarterfinals after serving a devastating loss to Cincinnati Notorious P.I.G., a power pool team, in the pre-quarterfinals. The mixed division is known for parity and high turnover, but the 15-3 win was quite the statement, even given the known turnover factor, and certainly gave Madison the confidence they needed to take down an energetic and athletic Philadelphia Forge that looked like a real title contender in pool play.
Seattle, Madison’s match up for tomorrow morning, locked up a slot in the quarterfinals from their strong pool play performance. They managed to edge out an up-and-coming Maine Rising Tide team that had displayed some of the best chemistry of any team in the division. If they can continue to develop their system and hold on to some returning talent, expect Maine to make a deep run next year. Seattle has looked like the deepest team in the division since the first pull on Saturday morning. Sunday’s match up will be a test of whether their depth can pull through and take down the scrappy underdogs from Madison.
Minnesota Superior will take on the Bay Area Happy Cows tomorrow morning in the other semifinal match up. Superior looks like a team that has gotten better with each game they’ve played, developing chemistry and smarter defense. They boast one of the taller rosters in the division and have been able to use their height effectively to open up deep looks and contest hucks.
The Bay Area Happy Cows missed out on the opportunity for a rematch of last year’s final with Swing Vote after the D.C. team suffered a harsh loss at the hands of another lower pool upstart, San Diego Powerline. The Happy Cows took care of business with their smart zone D and tall and fast backfield prowess.
Each match up has its underdog and it’s favorite. The final will either be a clash of two powerhouse dynasties, two Midwest underdogs or some combination of the two.