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2019 U.S. Open Club Championships: U-17 Day One

Blaine, Minn. (Aug. 3, 2019) – Day two of the U.S. Open Club Championships brought us the first rounds of competition in the Youth Club Championships (YCC) division. Pool play was the order of the day, featuring match ups between some of the best under-17 boys’ and girls’ teams in the sport, all competing for a national championship.

U-17 Boys

Pool play on day one of U-17 boys’ competition aligned almost directly with the tournament’s initial seedings, as each pool’s top two seeds went undefeated, highlighted by Pool A’s Oregon Eruption! locking down their opponents and allowing a total of three points scored against them on the day. Bay Area Aftershock also went undefeated, but they did have to work a little harder for their second victory of the day when they were matched up against the Philadelphia PADAwans. Eruption! saw Ben Thoennes erupt for eight assists to lead his team, with teammate Mica Glass right behind him with six assists coming off some booming hucks and spectacular juggle catches.

Second-seeded Seattle Horizon and hometown Minnesota Superior each went undefeated in Pool B with sound victories over their opponents. These teams will face off tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.

NC Hammer went hammer time in Pool C, led by Isaiah Turner with five goals and Anil Driehuys with six assists, while Capitol Heights withstood the power of Chicago Storm and the mighty hucks of Dallas Swing to finish 2-0 as well. Caelan McSweeney of Capitol Heights led the way with nine assists.

Rounding out the top teams in the division are Utah Swarm and ATLas, your undefeated teams in Pool D. Each of these teams handily defeated their first opponents, but both found themselves pushed to the limit against Toronto Wild, the U-17 boys’ division’s only international team! In both games, Toronto Wild kept up with the pace of their opponents, but eventually the deep chances they took with their hucks sealed their fate, as Utah Swarm’s textbook, evenly spread offense and ATLas’s zone defense were too much to handle.

U-17 Girls

These are the breaks! Day one of U-17 girls’ division competition was all about breaks as the top two seeds in Pool A, Seattle Blossom (1) and D.C. Force (4) each went 2-0 and had a combined score of 59-1. These two powerhouses will face each other tomorrow at 10:45 a.m. in what is sure to be a high-scoring matchup. Seattle Blossom was led by Chagall Gelfand with seven assists while the scoring was widespread among the team. D.C. Force was led by Elizabeth Brown with five goals and both Anna Fisher Lopez and Eva Turner with eight and seven assists, respectively.

Pool B’s day-one action saw the Atlanta rATLers (3) also finish 2-0, led by Quincy Booth with five goals and seven assists.

The most exciting matchup of the day, however, was the intense, double-game point battle between the Kitty Hawks (2) and Minnesota Superior (7). Superior was hot out the gates, jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead. They maintained that lead all the way to 11-8 when the soft-cap horn went off. The Kitty Hawks scored to make it 11-9, meaning that the game would go to 13. However, the Kitty Hawks clawed their way back, and when hard cap went off, the game was tied 11-11, meaning that whoever scored next was the winner. The last point saw a combined five D’s from the two young teams, but in the end, Rubi Sovell-Fernandez intercepted a Kitty Hawks pass and flipped it to her teammate Paige Gruenhagen to secure the upset for MN Superior!