The trip to US Open started at around midnight the Tuesday before the tournament was supposed to start. About 11 Riots and one Sockguy took a red eye into Minnesota arriving at 6:00am. After a nap in the Avis car rental area and amazing hospitality from the Whiting family, most of our team was united byWednesday night and looking forward to playing. Our new jerseys arrived as well and they are sick.
Each of our games at US Open had a defensive and offensive focus, be it staying tight in person D or using the break side. We also went into the weekend focusing on process. Are we doing the things we need to do to be successful? Was that the right choice of throw even if is was or wasn’t completed? The energy felt focused and ready as well as open and receptive.
Our first game was against Showdown. They had a good deep game and worked the disc well, however we capitalized on their mistakes and won 15-7.
Game 2 was against Traffic, a team we see often throughout the season. They brought fire. Using 7 cuts and then streaming deep they were able to get us out of position and bring down hucks. Our D stepped up and we won 15-10.
Our last game was against Brute Squad, a team we didn’t get to play in the 2013 season, but their roster was very impressive. Handler line was led by Rohre’s sister Qxhna and past Riotess Emily “Ebae” Baecher. Their cutters did a lot of work and Becky Malinowski brought down many deep shots. This game ended up being our closest margin of victory with a score of 15-12.
We started the 4th if July playing a familiar team in the likes of Fury. Again, Riot was focused on the game plan and fired up on D. We capitalized on their mistakes and processed what made them successful. Riot came out on top 15-7.
Our second game of day 2 was against Iceni, who made the trip all the way over from England to get some international competition in before Worlds. The wind was starting to pick up at this point with a clear upwind and downwind end zone. Iceni had very aggressive and tight downfield defense and a player that could bomb (at least) 40 yard back hands up wind. Energy lulled a little bit for Riot going into this game, but with leadership getting us refocused, we won 15-10. If you would like to view this game, it is up for rewatching.
Our last game of day 2 was against Scandal, the defending national champions. The wind was still strong and long points endured for both teams. A memorable moment was Gwen splitting her head open on Jessie O’Connor’s face…and then continuing to play later once it was covered. Riot came out on top 15-9.
Most of the team then attended one of the US Open lectures that Alyssa is a part of called the Girls Ultimate Movement (GUM). They put together a video highlighting their talk.
With a trip to semis guaranteed, we played our last pool play game against Bamboo from Colombia. The rest of the pool play game results determined who we would play later. The wind was very strong Saturday, which resulted in lots of turns and long points. Riot got lots of turns but we weren’t able to convert as efficiently as previous days. Bamboo worked the disc well in the wind and was willing to huck at will to either score or make us work the full field. During the second half our team got a handle on the wind and were able to win the game 15-3.
We then headed to eat a decent amount of food and rest out of the sun before our semis game. The results of the other final pool play games resulted in Brute Squad and Traffic playing in one semis game and us and Fury in the other.
It’s been said that it is very hard to beat a team twice in one tournament. Riot got the chance to do that…twice.
Our semis was played in the stadium and broadcast on ESPN3. The wind was still pretty strong, but not as much as earlier. Riot had good energy throughout this game and we took an early lead. In the second half Fury came out with grit and intensity to put up several points, and came within 4. Hard cap went on with Riot receiving and ahead by 4. Fury scored the last point, however Riot won 10-7.
Brute Squad came out on top against traffic.
The morning of finals we were able to sleep in, eat a good breakfast, and get a good warm up in. On the practice fields there was a steady but not too strong cross wind. Once we got in the stadium however, the wind was an entirely different story. It was cross, diagonal, swirly, gusty, up/down…everything.
We came out with a 3-0 run (there were about 76 turnovers in this game, so every point was hard fought and a triumph). Brute answered back and tied it at 3’s. We traded and then got a break set to take half 8-5. Soft cap went on just after half making it a game to 10. We gutted out the last two points and the game was over. 10-7. We were exhausted and happy to have won, and also that it was over.
- Cheide mowing the lawn and running over a dead bird.
- Alyssa taking the disc on turns in the hardest spots on the field. She also finally got a cheese burger.
- Rohre breaking the mark all tournament.
- Shira becoming “most improved” between solstice and US Open.
- Rewatching our semis game and laughing at our awkwardness.
- Surge’s brother’s dog.
- Learning what a frittata was.