Today was a much longer day for those of us working on the streamed fields. With the second showcase pitch going live, we were pulling double duty to bring all the awesome action we could to viewers around the world.
In terms of the play, we got to see the mixed and women’s divisions wrap up pool play as they gear up to head into power pools tomorrow. In their last rounds of play, the top seeds in the pools faced off against each other and we started to get a feel for who the top four teams in each division could be.
The day got my adrenaline going, helping me work through some exhaustion, as the tournament really started to heat up.
Pool D in the mixed division came to a close with a battle between Australia and Singapore, the fourth and fifth overall seeds in the tournament. The two teams played completely different styles of ultimate, yet were still so evenly matched. I found the match tactically fascinating as both teams were constantly adjusting their offensive and defensive looks—adapting to whatever was thrown at them. The Singapore team showed tremendous patience, and played small ball to counteract the incredibly disciplined and tight Australian zone. There was one point where the Singapore team used 95 passes to reach the goal, with no turnovers in the point. In the entire game, Singapore threw 419 completed passes to Australia’s 187. My favourite moment of the game came in the very last point when Singapore threw what would be their first and only huck of the game—on the last point to win the match. Singapore could prove to be a very dangerous team if they continue to be so consistent on offense.
The Canadian teams had a great third day of competition here in Heidelberg. The men’s team all but secured the first spot out of their pool with two more games remaining tomorrow against lower seeds Russia and China. The women’s team solidified second in their pool and are headed into power pools tomorrow. Their day will feature an epic match up against the USA that we have all been waiting for. In the mixed division, Canada won both their games today to take first place out of their pool. Their power pool will also feature a crossover with the USA tomorrow. Canada is out for redemption after losing to the Americans in Quarters (men’s), Semis (mixed) and Finals (women’s) in Perth in 2018. While tomorrow won’t be important for Canadian teams to win, it will provide an idea of how we match up for bracket play later this week. My favourite part of the whole day was seeing the masses of Canadian friends and families, decked out in full Canada gear, all around the fields supporting our teams.
The USA women faced off against Colombia in the evening showcase game which I was incredibly lucky to get to commentate. It really does make you feel like a part of the action. There is no arguing that this was the first time the USA women’s team had been tested in this tournament as so far the highest score against them up to this point was three. Colombia came out firing, and with the game tied at fours, had already done better than any team against the Americans this week. The first half was very physical and both teams struggled to keep possession. At times the American’s appeared to rush decisions and were slow to transition to defence. Other teams will want to review what the Colombian’s were doing in that first half to frustrate the USA. Despite showing some weakness in the first half, the USA was nearly perfect in the second and are still the team to beat this week. I loved being able to witness the incredible plays and it is always special to be a part of showcasing incredible female athletes in our unique sport.
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