Thursday, August 09, 2007

Unbiased YCC Girls Preview!

The girls division of the 2007 Youth Club Championships is rife with storylines and teams with something to prove. The presence of so many 2006 Junior Worlds players doesn't hurt either. The favorites get the top four seeds, but their order is bound to be shuffled, while the bottom three teams look for their chance to cause an upset and burst onto the girls ultimate scene.

Below the fold action...
Seattle earns the number one seed in the tournament, as the defending champions and traditional powerhouse look to remain the only YCC girls winners. Led by junior worlds players Drew Johnson, Alex Snyder, and Fiona McKibben, their deep roster draws largely from Northwest School and Nathan Hale. They will be looking to avenge their losses to Oregon school Churchill at Westerns, as the core of the number four seed has the experience of winning Westerns 15-3 over NWS fresh in their minds. They are joined by former South Eugene captain Julia Sherwood, along with another SEHS player and two from Crescent Valley. Oregon has been in Minnesota for several days already, and they are prepared to defend their title and avenge what appears to be a slight in seeding.

Meanwhile, east coast powerhouse Amherst sends a lot of players to New England, led by junior worlds and Brute Squad player Amber Sinicrope. Like Oregon, the core of their team has the advantage of playing together year-round. But their loss to Seattle at YCC's two years ago, along with their loss at Nationals to the Yale School several years ago, means that the east's dominance in girls ultimate is over. New England will do their best to bring the title to Massachusetts for the first time since Nationals in 2004. But their reliance on Amherst JV girls shows that this is not the strongest team that could come out of the Boston area.

With their own junior worlds and Rare Air stud Brenna Hokanson, Denver is out to prove that their second-place finish and defeat of New England in 2006 was no fluke. They hope to challenge for the title as well, with Box Lunch's Christina Ward adding more club experience to the mix. They beat New England 13-7 in the semifinals last year, in a junior-worlds-affected environment. But without New England's big names returning this year either (besides Amber), Denver is well-poised to repeat in the finals.

Among the other three teams, I can see Cincinnati coming closest to an upset against a team that doesn't take them seriously enough, but ultimately failing and losing a close one to Minnesota. Madison goes winless without the junior worlds studs they've had in the past.

Seattle 6-0
Oregon 5-1
Denver 4-2
New England 3-3
Minnesota 2-4
Cincinnati 1-5
Madison 0-6

Finals: Oregon 13, Seattle 11

The way the brackets work out, Oregon and Seattle could play twice in a row, making their first game meaningless if both go into the game 5-0. If so, I can see Seattle winning that game easily, before Oregon fights hard and reaffirms their Westerns dominance in the finals.


Anonymous said...

oh dont you just love the word "rife"?

its just rife with meaning. :)

Anonymous said...

no one gets double digits on seattle.

Anonymous said...

How can you claim that this is an unbiased preview? Predictions of any sort, are inherently biased, same goes with comparing the strengths of certain players...just saying.

Anonymous said...

Alex Snyder - 2002 Canadian Junior Team player, Callahan winner from CU, Rare Air/Fury

Anna Snyder - 2006 US Junior Team player with bright future

Just to clear things up

The Pulse said...

It's "unbiased" because, unlike the open division, I'm not playing in it and neither are any of my teammates. I was contemplating posting a "Biased Open YCC Preview!" that was just one line that said "New Jersey wins" but I decided against it.

Oops, I was consciously trying NOT to mix up Alex and Anna Snyder and did it anyway. At least I wasn't dumb enough to write "Callahan winner Anna Snyder leads Seattle"

Lukester said...

I appreciate the vote of confidence and truely hope our team does as well as it is able.
But, to be completely honest, our team could lose every game and I would still be so proud of them. I have come to love this team so much and feel so honored to be part of their experience! With many of our players picking up and leaving town in the next few weeks along with myself, I beleive we are all here knowing that it is the moments on the field and especially off the field that matter.
I wish all the teams fun and joy and to find family through their experiences!

Anonymous said...

aaawww how cute. we love you to lukey!!

Anonymous said...

ummm i think we can all agree that the pulse was completely wrong.

-a spectator

Anonymous said...

FLOOD got double digits on Seattle. It was a fantastic game that was well played and well fought. Congrats to Seattle on the win but congrats to FLOOD on making it as far as they did and doing so well in the final game.

Anonymous said...

It is because of coaches/people like Luke Johnson that the game of ultimate is what it is, a step above all other compeitive sports. He has bettered the ultimate community as well as the talents that plays in it. I'm looking forward to watching him expand youth ultimate and instill the passion for it in so many more of todays youth, as he has so generously done with me and many of my closest friends.

-Aubri Bishop