What To Watch For: Thursday’s Final Round

The logo for the USA Ultimate 2012 Club Championships in Sarasota, Florida.Here’s what we’re watching in Thursday’s last round:

OPEN

In one of the most intriguing match-ups in arguably the most competitive Thursday pool, the game between Seattle’s Sockeye and #6 seed Atlanta’s Chain Lightning will leave one of the teams facing a bottom pool tomorrow as everyone is 1-1. This will be the first time these perennial contenders will meet this season, making it even more exciting to see how this year’s squads size up with one another. Both teams were upset earlier and will be looking to gain some momentum heading into Friday’s games.

Maybe the most anticipated game of Thursday’s pool play, the showdown between #4 seed Austin’s Doublewide and #5 seed Boulder’s Johnny Bravo is poised to provide plenty of fireworks. The winner will take the pool. The teams’  two previous meetings have been decided by a total of three points — Bravo won 15-14 on double game point at Labor Day and Doublewide took the South Central Regional Finals 12-10 — and there is no reason to expect this game to be any less competitive. One big question going into this match-up: how much will Brodie Smith be able to contribute? He’s been playing today and could make the difference against a very good Bravo squad.

MIXED

This will be the fourth time this year that Boston’s Slow White will face Minneapolis’ Drag’N Thrust. Slow White holds the 2-1 edge in the series, but Drag’N Thrust won their most recent matchup at the Chesapeake Invite in late August. Every game has been close, and both will feel they can get the win in this game — and in the pool.

WOMEN’S

It’s rare that two semifinals level teams meet in pool play on Thursday. But the matchup between Washington, D.C.’s Scandal and Toronto/Ottawa’s Capitals will be just that. The Capitals — a 2011 semifinalist — took the regular season off after a trip to Japan for Worlds, but won the Northeast Regionals fairly handily. They will be gunning for the early upset. Scandal has played a lot of games this season and will rely on their battle-tested mentality to go for the win.

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