Tomorrow morning’s semifinals are shaping up to be exciting in the U-20 boys’ division. Triangle Area Triforce is set to square off against Seattle Supreme. The defending champions breezed through pool play, their closest score being a 15-8 win over Texas Two Step, but today proved a different story.
In an absolute barn burner, Montreal Hydro battled back from a 6-1 deficit to bring Triforce to 7-7. Hydro’s big zone proved challenging for the Triangle squad, and the Canadians were able to generate turns both in zone and in transition and punch them in with offense marshaled by Jakob Brissette. After a long 7-7 point, however, Triangle’s Jake Taylor reeled in the hold for half, allowing Triforce to keep the lead. The teams traded in the second half until soft cap went off at 9-9. Triforce punched in their downwind hold and generated a turn on the following point. After two possession-saving layouts from Andrew Li, Triforce claimed the upwind break and the 11-9 victory, along with a spot in the quarters against Boston BUDA. The following quarterfinal was a back-and-forth slugfest between last year’s finalists, but ultimately BUDA’s lack of discipline with the disc proved costly, and a few too many unforced errors allowed Triforce’s clean offense to claim an 11-9 win.
Seattle cleanly cut their way through pool play and the beginning of the bracket, outscoring their opponents 57-24.
In the other semifinal, fifth-seeded Washington, D.C. Foggy Bottom Boys, with only a single loss to Seattle Supreme on their résumé so far, look to take on the seventh-seeded Atlanta ATLiens, coming into the semifinals with a big pool play win over second-seeded BUDA.
In classic Minnesota fashion, the weather for the second day of U-17 play at the Youth Club Championships in Blaine pulled nearly a complete 180 from the blustery wet Saturday to a hazy, gusty and hot Sunday. In many divisions, the wind seemed to be an important factor in many games – upwind holds and breaks were hard to come by, defenses forced throwers to take tougher shots into the teeth of the wind, and hucks often sailed out the back of the end zone. But this narrative didn’t entirely fit with what we saw from the U-17 division today.
On the boys’ side, close games, some decided on the flip, were abundant in pool play, forcing championship contenders to step up their games earlier than they may have expected and play finals-level games multiple times in one day. After going 3-1 and coming second in their pools, Seattle Space Jam and Atlanta ATLas, the respective one and two seeds in the division, were both forced to edge out the upstart, upset seekers Utah Swarm and NC Hammer in two quarterfinals games which were likely closer than either of the higher-seeded teams had hoped for. But depth and discipline were the keys to both teams’ success as they each executed two important upwind breaks, and their near-guaranteed downwind breaks to win their respective games 12-8: ATLas over Utah and 13-7 Seattle over NC Hammer. Bay Area Aftershock took on undefeated D.C. Capitol Heights after taking second in their own pool behind the 12th-seeded Oregon Eruption. The D.C./Bay Area match up was one of the closest games of the division with Aftershock winning by only two points. Oregon Eruption continued their unlikely (though certainly not unearned) march through the bracket after taking their pool undefeated and stomping the hometown Minnesota Superior, never letting another team even reach a double-digit score against them. The Eruption/ATLas match up and Aftershock v. Space Jam games are sure to be exciting rounds on championship Monday.