Julia Dunn will be covering games and finding stories in the Women’s and Women’s Masters divisions. Here’s her first recap for the ShowGame.
The first round of games for the Women’s Masters division started off with a nail biter between the talented Australian and Finnish Women’s Masters teams. Both teams, at the top of pool B, were barely fazed by the windy conditions. The game showcased beautiful hucks, and the teams played a tight and spirited game until the very end.
The Finns started the game off slowly, with the Australians taking a 7-3 lead. Finland threw in an unexpected poach defence that stalled the Australian offence. They tied the game at 7-7 before half.
“Finland had quite a good, loose, poachy zone, so we had to find a way to get through that”, said Australian captain Joy Lee. Australia adapted to the defense, and stayed upbeat throughout the entire match. “It was more about just going back to our principles of offence, just reminding ourselves of the principles we want to play offence with,” Lee explained. As the wind picked up, the teams started to trade points bringing the game to universe. Lee scored on a downwind point, and secured Australia’s first win of the tournament.
Lee, named Player of the Year in 2014 by the Australian Flying Disc Association and captain of the team, played a large role for her team’s offence with her dynamic handling. On the Finnish side, Heidi Pekkola led the team in assists, and demonstrated her wide range of throws despite the windy conditions. Both teams played a balanced game consisting of scrappy bids for errant throws, but also demonstrated their ease in throwing in the wind with well-placed hucks in tight spaces.
The styles of playing differed greatly, according to Lee: “I think the style, particularly how we look for long throws is quite different.” She noted that the presence of wind changed the game a bit, making it slightly more challenging for the Finns to cut the field with their curved and cross-field hucks. Both teams had beautiful movement, working up the field with ease, but Australia was ultimately able to complete more of their hucks.
Lee commented on the novelty of the division, too: “I am really super excited to play in the Women’s Masters division because it’s still a quite new division.” The first Women’s Masters division came into being at WUGC 2012 in Japan. Lee stated that “more than ever, you don’t know what the other team is going to bring”. The multitude of teams in Women’s Masters and Women’s divisions demonstrates the growth of women’s ultimate around the world. Both teams mentioned how much they love the level of spirit in the division, and Finnish player Sonja Perttula commented that they hope to meet Australia again later in the tournament.