The game between Team USA (San Francisco's Fury) and Team Canada (Vancouver's Traffic) was a much anticipated match-up. Team USA had little trouble beating most of the teams they played at this year's WUGC. Their first game against Team Australia was a good battle, but after that they pretty much rolled most teams (including the serving of a bagel to Team Mexico: 17 - 0). Their toughest match was against Team Japan on Day 4. A match they lost on Universe Point: 15 - 14. Team Canada also beat most of their teams with relative ease. Ironically, their only loss also came against Team Japan on Day 1 (17 - 8). The semi final stage was set, but only one team could advance to the final.
Team Canada started the game on offense and as expected scored the first point (with relative ease and without a single turnover). Surely Team USA would answer in kind, but actually this was not to be. Jennifer Hanscom (#32) sent a low throw that was easily intercepted by Team Canada. Each team turned the disc over once more, but Canada ended up with the score and the first break point of the game. Score: Team USA 0 - 2 Team Canada
In fact, they ended up with yet another break point when Fury worked the disc down the field but turned it over on the endzone line. Team Canada attempted to score themselves, but Alyson Walker's (#13) huck to Vivian Krauchek (#76) ends up incomplete. With Team USA back on the attack, Betsy Chan (#6) comes up huge with a great D giving the disc back to her team and in for the score to Jill "Claks" Calkin (#19). Score: Team USA 0 - 3 Team Canada
What seemed like a good time for a timeout by Team USA to regroup instead ended up with a quick start of the next point. Team Canada's Anne Mercier (#89) put up a short pull giving Team USA great field advantage to start the point. They worked the disc to the endzone with precision when Gwen Ambler (#5) put up a beautiful high-release backhand to Arlie Stern (#44) for the score and Team USA's first point of the game. Chants of "USA! USA! USA!" are heard from many red, white and blue supporters in the crowd. Score: Team USA 1 - 3 Team Canada
The next point saw a few turnovers by each team. Canada's Alyson Walker sends a huck too deep for Sanya Pleshakov (#21) to retrieve. USA's Alex Snyder (#4) hucks the disc down the sideline to Nicole Beck (#17) but it's too wide for her to grab. Traffic then worked the disc to Su Ning Strube (#18) who comes up with a BIG saving grab. Unfortunately though she gets up an throws the disc away, giving possession back to Team USA. Arlie Stern finally sees an opportunity and sends the disc down the sideline to Alex Snyder who scores the point with a sensational layout grab. Team USA gets a break point back. Score: Team USA 2 - 3 Team Canada
Team USA's sideline, feeling that they are right back in this game, begin to chant "Uuuuu... Sssss... Aaaaaaaaaa..." It must have inspired something inside their teammates on the field, because despite a great layout save by Team Canada's Hilary Dunn (#55) right next to Team USA's Julie Baker (#11) they still turn the disc over. Team USA's Kate Wilson (#25) gets a great run-through D but it's called back by a travel call. However, after some discussion it's decided that the D stands due to the continuation rule. A few more back-to-back turnovers and Team USA finally earns the point after Julie Baker (#11) finds Emanuela Argilli (#88) for a deep gain. 2 passes later = the equalizing goal. Score: Team USA 3 - 3 Team Canada
With the game back on serve, it makes sense that Team Canada called a timeout. After a dream start, the game quickly turned around on them and Traffic needed to regroup. The USA supporters continued their cheering ("Ewwwwww....Saaaaaa"), but that did little to distract Team Canada. They score easily when AnneMarie Carey (#91) finds Sanya Pleshakov (#21) for the quick score. Score: Team USA 3 - 4 Team Canada
Team USA would quickly answer despite a high-stall count against Jennifer Hanscom (#32) who was pressed hard against the sideline. Somehow she found Gwen Ambler (#5) deep for the last second score over the head of Team Canada's Jill Calkin. Score: Team USA 4 - 4 Team Canada
With the score tied, Team USA was looking for a break point of their own. And that's just what they got when a high stall count against Kaitlyn Lovatt (#23) forces her to throw the disc to Stephanie Chow (#10) which is easily defended by Fury's Jody Dozono (#24). Team USA punishes this mistake with an easy downfield score and their first lead of the game. Score: Team USA 5 - 4 Team Canada
At this point the wind picked up a bit allowing for a change in strategy by Team USA. After putting up a nice floaty pull, they come down in an impressive 4-2-1 zone. It seemed Team Canada would make the zone look like a sieve as they continually pushed the disc through the zone. But a floaty huck by Su Ning Strube (#18) gets caught by the wind and ends up in a turnover by Team Canada. Several more turnovers ensued as each team either threw the disc away or came up with a big D. Both teams tired as the point continued, but eventually Team USA's Stacey Nolan (#22) comes up with the layout catch for a point despite Canada's AnneMarie Carey laying out as well. Another break point for Team USA. Score: Team USA 6 - 4 Team Canada
Team Canada answers though with a score of their own. They also scored the next point after multiple turnovers by each team finally ended with Traffic scoring. Score: Team USA 6 - 6 Team Canada
It's interesting to compare Elite Open Ultimate to that of Elite Women's Ultimate. Both are great to watch, but when it comes to turnovers per point it always seems Women (on average) have more. A turnover in the Elite Open division is considered tragedy as more than likely the other team will end up scoring the point. But in the Elite Women division, you can pretty much bet that each team will have several opportunities to rise to the occasion and get the goal.
Anyway, Team USA scored the next point by accurately and expertly moving the disc upwind for the goal to take the game to a capped halftime.
Halftime Score: Team USA 7 - 6 Team Canada
Unfortunately for Team Canada, they had to start the second half on defense. USA's Joy Chen (#33) in full red, white and blue face paint cheered her team on from the sideline. It must have helped as her team marched the disc down wind with ease for the goal. Score: Team USA 8 - 6 Team Canada
Something must not have clicked for Canada's Kaitlyn Lovatt (#23) during the halftime prep talk, because it seemed she gave up when Victoria Chow's (#99) throw was just out of reach. What, no layout attempt? This is WUGC m'lady! Team USA gives Team Canada another chance when Robin Davis (#14) drops an easy chest pass. But Traffic turns the disc over again, and this time Team USA made sure to score the additional break point. Score: Team USA 9 - 6 Team Canada
Team USA would score yet another break point when Team Canada's Lindsay Staniforth (#53) sent a huck too deep for Vivian Krauchek (#76) allowing Team USA's Gwen Ambler (#5) to slap the disc down. Team Canada wisely calls a timeout to figure things out before the game gets too far out of reach. But whatever was said in the huddle was not enough, because Traffic failed to score the next point, instead allowing Fury to score yet another break point. That's five (unanswered) points in a row by Team USA! Score: Team USA 11 - 6 Team Canada
Surely Team Canada would figure things out and stop the Fury Juggernaut. But no. Instead they would turn the disc over right on their own goalline and Team USA would punish them for their mistake 3 passes later for yet another score. Score: Team USA 12 - 6 Team Canada
It seemed the air was gone from beneath Team Canada's wings, because despite scoring the next point the energy and enthusiasm was gone. Each team traded points a few more times, and Team Canada even managed to pull the game to within 3 points at a score of 13 -10. But it was too little, too late when Team USA finally put the nail in the coffin on the very next point.
Final Score: Team USA 14 - 10 Team Canada
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