XEUCF 2021: Recap of Day 1 (Women)

A Swedish surprise to start the tournament!

Mantis against 3SB. Photo by Raf Celis

Thursday was a day of few surprises, including the weather: it didn’t rain. The teams had to deal with swirling winds, especially later in the day, and some handled these conditions better than others. The weather is likely to deteriorate over the weekend. The teams that cope best mentally with offensive errors can have the advantage in the final rounds of the tournament.

Pool A

The “surprise” here is that Valkyrie (Stockholm) is 2-0. Despite being the bottom seed, the Swedes were a fashionable choice to do well here given the strength of their roster.1 and kept that promise. A 15-7 victory over the 2016 European champions Fabulous (Bern) was followed by a 15-9 win over Terrible monkeys (Prague). This set up a win-win game for the top of the pool with currently undefeated favorites CUSB Scream (Bologna). This play will determine who enters the cross play and who qualifies directly for the power pools. Shout is playing without their Laura Farolfi talisman, who is there, but with crutches.

Valkyria captain Molly Robbins said the team was focused on getting a good start: “Our biggest worry was getting out in the first three points and not having those wake-up points you usually have with these falls. classics and those communication issues. That was our goal: to get the first three points in a clean way and not waste time waking up. We were proud to have hit the ground running and hit hard to start.

She also explained how proud the team was to represent Stockholm and Sweden in Brugge: “We were not unhappy with the standings because we did not play at this level. We are new to the scene and there are players representing Stockholm and Sweden for the very first time. Valkyria is the oldest club in Stockholm. It started out as an inner powerhouse and we’re really happy because some of the founding mothers like Nadia [Melnikova] are here to finally see Valkyria reach the European turf scene.

Melnikova, one of those founding mothers, then added: “I said I would retire when Valkyria played the Euro on grass, so now I’m officially allowed to!”

Pool B

YAKA (Noisy-le-Sec, France) conceded 11 points today. This included a 15-8 win over box (Vienna) and a 15-3 win Heidelbärchen (Karlsruhe and Heidelberg) representing a good day’s work. The French are the tournament favorites for a reason. They will also face another undefeated team tomorrow with Flowers (Wroclaw) made an impressive debut at EUCF. The Poles beat box 15-13 and Heidelbärchen 14-11. YAKA is expected to win this match tomorrow afternoon, but the young Poles made an impressive statement at the start of their European history. They lead a disciplined attack and take advantage of the team’s good throwing ability, moving the disc to the break side and playing fast. Defensively, they’re quick in all areas and work extremely hard, invading the disc whenever possible. It will not be a walk in the park for the French. Their results also mean they are the second seeded team at the bottom of the pool to climb to second place, showing parity in that division in Brugge.

Pool C

This pool is so far in the process of sowing. Gravity (Dublin) beat both LCV (Leuven, Belgium) and 3SB (České Budějovice, Czech Republic) and will face without a win Mantis (Vienna) tomorrow to seal the first place. 3SB and LUV will play for the most favorable spot in the recovery bracket in a game that should be close. Gravity held up very well to the elements and is among the teams that will benefit the most from the continuous wind. Their captain Àine Gilheany said their day could be summed up by saying ‘we love the wind’, but then said the day was successful and they felt well prepared for the rest of the tournament, starting with the Austrians. tomorrow. .

Gravity are a confident team that have adapted to the loss of stars Fiona Mernagh and Sarah Melvin by using more cutters like Emily O’Brien and Jessica Chambers. Handlers Gilheany and Helen Barron set the pace, with handler Sinead Dunne standing out by executing the D-line attack. Their area could be a factor as we deepen the tournament. They also adjusted well to the loss of coach Ian French2 with handler Leanne O’Neill taking on the dual role of coach and playing a big role in Gravity. This helped them to adapt well and to cope with all the conditions placed on them.

Pool D

This is the only pool without a slice of recovery given that there are five teams, and it will take longer to resolve than the other three. Top seeds jinX (Berlin) were played close to Freespeed (Basel), exiting 15-14 winners 3 in a match where they took the lead for the first time at 14-13. The Swiss were decisive and clinical behind stars Laura Kunzelmann and Levke Walczak, but the team as a whole performed brilliantly in the first half. The Miriam and Mareike Förster twins were metronomic as managers4 while Sonja Lauruhn did a great job as a defender and cutter. The loss of Greta Luttermann to cramps5 was part of the momentum given to the Germans which decided the match. JinX will welcome three more players as the tournament progresses, and those extra legs could make all the difference. Captain Frederike Wagener helped turn things around in the second half with a massive defensive performance, while handler Caroline Tisson and versatile Katharina “Hugo” Schulze also played a starring role.

Captain Anna Gerner said getting back to basics was what changed the game for them. “I think we just played with more confidence and tried to forget that it’s XEUCF, it’s the first game of the day, that it’s windy, that there are people who watching at home and watching here, and just regaining our trust. The mantra that we tried to have throughout the game was that it’s going to be windy, that there will be turns, just forget about one mistake because it doesn’t matter, what matters c is the next defense we’re going to have. We said it before the game and I feel like we really did. We had points with five or six turnovers and we continued to correct. It doesn’t work for all points, but we did it step by step. “

Despite their good start, the Berliners are still focused on taking things as they come, especially since there is no slice of recovery for their hen. ” We look [not having a chance at recovery brackets] as an advantage because that’s all we can influence. We came to this tournament like a blank sheet of paper, we had no idea what was going to happen, so we’re just going to make the most of it. It’s a pretty new team because although we’ve been training together for a few years now, we haven’t played any tournaments so this is the first time we’ve played together and we’re finding out. When it comes to a tournament like XEUCF, this is your third and fourth best women on the shine line and they made it today. We can play with seven women on the pitch and have full confidence in everyone. “

The Germans beat the Italians DiscoBolo (Bologna), just like Troubles (Warsaw). The Poles also beat CIC (Copenhagen), who lost to Freespeed earlier today. All of this means that Troubles and jinX, the top two seeds, are well on their way to taking the two automatic spots. They play in the slot machine in the early afternoon, and the final game later in the afternoon will see Troubles take on Freespeed. If jinX beats the Poles, this match will be the winner; if Troubles is undefeated at this point, it could create a heartbreaking three-way tie.

Look ahead

The likely participants in power pools are starting to become clearer. YAKA and Gravity seem to be sure to get there, while the winner of Valkyria and Shout will also be there. Whoever loses this match will be a huge cross-play favorite, just like Flowers. It looks like Troubles and jinX will come out of the final group, although Freespeed has shown that they are not to be underestimated.

Whoever wins the Valkyria / Shout match will likely face Gravity in power pools, a tantalizing match, as well as Flowers and the jinX or Troubles. Troubles and Flowers in the power pools would be a rematch of the Polish national universe final. In the other power pool, it looks like YAKA will take on Valkyria and jinX / Troubles, with all three in great shape.

We’ll have some clarification by tomorrow afternoon with power pools starting Saturday morning. It might be colder here in Bruges, but this division is starting to boil well.


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