Thursday, August 09, 2007

Unbiased Mixed YCC Preview!

At 9 am on Saturday morning in Blaine, seven youth mixed teams from around the country will begin their quest for YCC glory. For three of these teams, they represent the best talent their league has to offer. The other four leagues have bids in both the open and girls divisions, but are still looking to make some noise. It's no surprise that the heavy favorites are the Paideia-heavy Atlanta team I-20 and the Pennsbury-led Philly team SEPDA. Which transportation-based team will reign supreme? If based solely on the merits of their namesakes, Atlanta wins hands down. But this is an ultimate tournament, and there are six guaranteed games for each team.

First Round

Game to Watch: For the neutral fan, the most interesting game of the round looks to be New England vs. Denver, on field 11. This one should be close and back and forth, as the tournament-tested BUDA team takes on Cutthroat, the team from Colorado. Will Cutthroat's coed league experience and improving state strength be able to overcome the players from traditional powerhouse New England? Denver will be relieved to hear that there are no players from Amherst on the roster, and will look for the "upset," but BUDA's pre-YCC tournament experience will lead them through in a close one. Pick: BUDA.

Other games: Seattle d. NEPSUL, Philly d. Minnesota

Second Round

Game to Watch: The second round has a few intriguing matchups, but the most exciting game of the round will be Seattle vs. Minnesota. This is where we'll see if Seattle has the firepower to challenge Philly and Atlanta, or if those two teams are really a cut above the rest. There's been a lot of talk out of Seattle, and their league has proved its depth at Westerns and Spring Reign, while Minnesota has hometown advantage and a large league to draw from as well. But Seattle's depth and mixed experience will reign supreme as they come away with the W. Pick: Seattle.

Other games: New England d. NEPSUL, Atlanta d. Denver

Third Round

Game to Watch: Philly vs. Seattle. This is where SEPDA will get their first test of the tournament, as they come off of their bye to face a presumably 2-0 Seattle team looking for some respect. But they'll run straight into Noah Saul and Carly Maconaghy, who will not allow their team to lose. However, if Seattle can run off a string of points towards the middle of the game, tensions will run high on the SEPDA sidelines and could see the team start to splinter. Pick: Philly.

Other games: New England d. Minnesota, Atlanta d. NEPSUL

Fourth Round

Game to Watch: Here it is, the matchup of the weekend for mixed pool play. Philly vs. Atlanta. In the last game of the day, the two pre-tournament favorites will be battling it out for a win that would guarantee a spot in the finals. The superior depth of the Atlanta girls will make Maconaghy and her Philly counterparts struggle, and I can foresee Atlanta going 3/4 on offense quite a bit. However, SEPDA boys match up well against the Atlanta boys, and only having 3 or 4 of them on the field at a time will help SEPDA more than Atlanta. But Ozone's Alisha Kramer and the rest of the Atlanta women will prove the difference in this game, as they win in a game closer than the scoreline suggests. Pick: Atlanta.

Other games: Denver d. Minnesota, Seattle d. New England

Fifth Round

Game to Watch: On Sunday morning, the dust will have cleared and teams will begin battling for placement instead of the finals. In the Atlanta vs. Seattle game, Seattle has one more chance to clinch a berth in the finals, whereas Atlanta does not want the possibility of deciding the finals on point differential. Atlanta comes out strong and never lets up, crushing Seattle's chances at a medal. Pick: Atlanta.

Other games: Philly d. Denver, Minnesota d. NEPSUL

Sixth Round

Game to Watch: Philly vs. New England stands out in a round of games that don't look close. SEPDA plays exciting ultimate, and with New England looking to play spoiler, the game should be hard-fought until the end. It doesn't mean it will be close, but it will be fun to watch. Pick: Philly.

Other games: Atlanta d. Minnesota, Denver d. NEPSUL

Seventh Round

Game to Watch: Seattle vs. Denver looks to be the pick of this round, as Denver tries to move up in the rankings over a demoralized Seattle team that could come out flat after their bye. Look for this to be the surprise of the weekend. Pick: Denver.

Other games: Philly d. NEPSUL, Atlanta d. New England

Finals (Philly vs. Atlanta)

Players to Watch:
Noah Saul, Mark Dundala, and Scotty Wright (SEPDA, Pennsbury): These three players led Pennsbury to their Easterns win and have been playing a lot this summer both with SEPDA and Roots of Rhythm. They're the stars for the Philly boys, and they can all throw accurate 80-yard hucks.
Carly Maconaghy (SEPDA, CB East): She's the most experienced girl on SEPDA, and she has club nationals experience with Wicked. She's #1 on the line for important points.
George Stubbs, Grant Lindsley, Ollie Honderd (Atlanta, Paideia): These three got the chance to represent the USA last summer, and this summer they're leading Atlanta into the finals. Expect to see them mostly on offense until the finals. Their speed and experience will be their greatest asset, along with George's ridiculous breakmark throws.
Alisha Kramer (Atlanta, Paideia): Playing with Ozone at nationals will allow Alisha to step up and be a star for I-20. She'll throw her body around the field on defense and her speed makes her a threat all day.

Philly comes out strong and well-rested, but the patience and experience of I-20 will help lead them back into the game and over the top. Depth for guys won't matter in this game, but Atlanta's girls will once again prove to be SEPDA's undoing. Atlanta 15, Philly 12.


Eddie Peters said...

Carly didn't play for Wicked last year.

The Pulse said...

should be "club nationals caliber experience with Wicked"

Fantusta said...

Finally, the SEPDA roster, for completions sake:

Aaron Pavitt Pennsbury
Aman Nalavade Wissahickon/U.Penn
Andrea Bowring Lower Merion
Carly Maconaghy CB East
Dennison Bechis Pennsbury
Eddie Peters CB East/Pitt
Emily Eisner Lower Merion
Harry Friedman Lower Merion
John Stavinga Wiss
John Pfancook Pennsbury
Justin Principi Pennsbury
Katie Erikson Cardinal O'Hara
Mark Dundala Pennsbury
Mike Plunkett Wiss
Noah Saul Pennsbury
Paige Maloney Pennsbury
Scott Wright Pennsbury
Tricia Crouse Cardinal O'Hara

The Pulse said...

I didn't realize Aman was playing ... that will make things a lot more difficult for Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

I saw aman at summer league, and although he says he's gonna get better in time, just look at him when he tries to run or jump...hes still in alot of pain... i hope the best for him, but after that injury which was only a week ago, hes got quite a ways to go.