Wind and rain are often said to be the great equalizers in ultimate, leveling the playing field by introducing chaos into the equation. Even through periodic inclement weather, three of the four pools in the U-20 boys’ division at the 2018 U.S. Open went according to seed. On a blustery and wet Saturday, top-seeded Triforce met expectations and cruised through Pool A, DEVYL held off Impulse to finish atop Pool C, and Seattle Supreme claimed the top spot in Pool D.
The seventh-seeded Atlanta ATLliens pulled off a 13-11 upset over second-seeded Boston BUDA, claiming the top spot in Pool B. A series of sloppy turnovers from BUDA gave Atlanta a 5-3 lead in the first half, but the Boston squad answered back with two breaks to take half on serve, 8-7. BUDA funneled possession through handlers James Cairn and Caleb Seamon, but struggled all half with efficiency in the red zone.
With the wind picking up, BUDA had a pair of chances at an all-important upwind break out of half, but poor decision making at the goal line saw their chances to take a stranglehold evaporate. The two fiery sides traded blows until 11-11, when Atlanta broke to bring the game to game point, which they secured after BUDA dropped the centering pass. Atlanta benefited all game from Matthew Shu’s quick movement through the handler space.
The third-place finishers in Pools A-D, the power pools, will clash with opponents from Pools E-H in the pre-quarterfinals, while the first- and second-place finishers in Pools A-D earn byes through to the quarters. Utah Swarm, Red Dawn, Superior and Hydro finished atop their pools and will look to continue their hot starts in the bracket tomorrow morning.
One of the most exciting aspects of YCC is the nearly guaranteed parity at every level of the tournament. Blustery and at times windy conditions made sure that we’d see our share of interesting results in the U-17 division.
Tomorrow’s final round of pool play in the U-17 boys’s division features collision courses for undefeated teams in Pools B and C, while Utah Swam and Oregon Eruption! are currently alone atop Pools A and D, respectively. The undefeated NC Hammer and Atlanta ATLas meet tomorrow to duke it out for sole ownership of first place in Pool B. Neither team allowed more than seven points in Saturday’s match ups. Pool C has Minnesota Superior and Washington Capitol Heights sitting at 2-0, with tomorrow’s final games of pool play determining seeding for bracket play later in the day.