Philly Invite: Day One Recap

Mental Toss Flycoons at the 2013 Philly Invite.
Photo by Jolie Lang — UltiPhotos.com

This year’s Philly Invite, the site of the Triple Crown Tour’s Pro-Elite Challenge for the Mixed Division, gives us an early look at many of the East Coast’s top Mixed teams.

The day started off with Odyssée, the recently crowned US Open champions, being absolutely blown out by Philadelphia’s AMP. The home team played a great game. Odyssée, while generally taller, couldn’t keep up with AMP on the ground. AMP played a conservative, technically clean game, and delivered a 15-6 drubbing, a point differential that would not be matched all day.

Odyssée continued to struggle for the rest of Saturday, notching their only victory over the winless 7 Figures. About 1/3 of the Canadians had to stay home this weekend, leaving Odyssée with a severely depleted roster of just 17 players. While obviously playing to win games, it’s clear that Philly is not as important to the team as the Open. In spite of today’s losses, Odyssée still have their eyes on a trip to Italy for Club Worlds and don’t care whether they earn their ticket in Canada or Texas.

Though AMP went undefeated, they never looked quite as good after their first game of the day. After their unexpected domination of Odyssée, AMP started off too loose against Montana’s Mental Toss Flycoons. A series of drops, miscommunications, and other unforced errors let the Flycoons take a 7-3 lead. However, AMP sharpened their game and rattled off a 5-0 run to take half. After the break, they put two more in right away and never looked back.

Their other two games, against Slow White and 7 Figures, were somewhere in between their Odyssée game and the first ten points against Montana. At the beginning of the game against Slow White, the wind picked up. As the disc began to dive and hop, players who had warmed up in that morning’s calm began to drop the disc and throw it away. The game was tight until late in the second half, when AMP surged ahead and Slow couldn’t reel them back in.

This was the opposite of Slow’s problem in their first game against Chad Larson Experience. CLX went up early with consecutive breaks after the second point. Doug Jacobs scored the first two points, hitting the ground hard on both. The teams traded points until midway through the second half, when they broke to make it 11-10. The next point, Slow brought the first zone D of the game and broke again but it wasn’t quite enough. CLX won 16-14.

Slow White ended up going 2-2 and Chad Larson went 4-0 on the day.

All of the Championship bracket spots from Pool A are locked up, but CLX and AMP will meet on Sunday to decide seeding in the bracket. The loser will play The Ghosts, while the winner will match up against the winner of Cosa Nostra-Ambiguous Grey. While both teams will likely conserve their legs that game, AMP may try to use its massive, home-team squad to its advantage, trying to wear out CLX and guarantee a game against Cosa Nostra or Grey, who will probably be tired from their do-or-die 8:30 game.

Ambiguously Grey is the only team at Philly Invite who did not make the trip to Sarasota. They came into Philly just trying to prove that they belonged after a lackluster showing at the Open.  Before today, they talked about Philly as a good opportunity to prepare for Regionals. A win over Cosa Nostra would likely have them thinking a bit farther ahead, whether or not they’re willing to talk about Frisco.

However, Grey is going to have a hard time of it against Cosa Nostra. Except for their loss against Boston’s Ghosts, the Texans looked dominant this weekend. In addition, Grey lost 15-7 to The Ghosts, who play similar brand of athletic, intense Ultimate. The fact that most of Grey’s points against the Ghosts were scored against a barely practiced zone may say something about their ability to hang with the tall, fast Cosa Nostra squad.

The Ghosts often looked a little shakier than Cosa Nostra earlier in the day. They squeaked out a universe point win against Bucket, who finished the day 0-4. They used their speed and height well, though sometimes seemed a bit too trigger-happy, badly overthrowing open receivers. However, when it counted, Ghosts showed up against the Texans, winning 15-11 to clinch a spot in the championship bracket. They will play the loser of CLX/AMP in the semifinal.

  1. Alexander Palmer
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    Alexander Palmer is an Ultiworld opinion columnist. He is the captain of Columbia University's Open team, Uptown Local. He has played in the Club series with Flight NYC. He lives in New York City.

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