September 4, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 15 comments
Yesterday, USA Ultimate posted their preliminary end-of-season Club Rankings, giving us a look at the likely bid allocations from Regionals to the Club Championships. There is a lot to talk about from the allocations, particularly on the men’s side, where San Diego Streetgang edged out Portland Rhino by two ranking points to grab the final strength bid for the Southwest.
Regardless of what could change when USAU finalizes the rankings, one thing is certain: the Northeast Region will be enjoying a record year. The Northeast has or is tied for the most bids in every Division — the Men’s Division has three, the Women’s four, and the Mixed five.
The teams have also earned those bids in, generally, a dominant fashion.
In the Men’s Division, a Northeast team has landed in the Finals of almost every major Club tournament this season, excluding Colorado Cup, where New York PoNY lost in the semifinals to Denver Johnny Bravo. Boston Ironside made the finals of the US Open and the Chesapeake Invite. Toronto GOAT just won the Pro Flight Finale and had just one loss — to Ironside — at Chesapeake. PoNY took home the Terminus title.
On the Women’s side, Boston Brute Squad swept the field at the Colorado Cup and, shorthanded, played well at Terminus. New York Bent has been up and down but clearly belongs in the elite conversation after wins against Molly Brown and Brute Squad along with a near upset against Atlanta Ozone.
While the Toronto Capitals have had a bit of a mediocre regular season by their standards, they are known as a team that turns it on for the Series. They went 2-4 at the Pro Flight Finale, but nearly upset the tournament victor Seattle Riot in pool play.
Quebéc Nova rounds out the fourth bid for the Women’s Division. The somewhat mysterious new team was shutout at the very competitive US Open, but put up good enough games against teams like Riot to secure another bid.
The Mixed Division has always seen bicoastal dominance, with the Northeast and Southwest collecting the lion’s share of strength bids. But this year, a fifth bid for the NE and three teams in the top 10 mark a high point for the Region. Tournament wins for the Northeast includes the Boston Invite (Slow White), US Open (Odyssée), Mixed Easterns (Slow White), and the Chesapeake Invite (Slow White). Wild Card made the finals of Seattle’s ECC.
New NYC based team SHUYAMOUF, formed from the ashes of Puppet Regime, helped seal up a fifth bid with some important wins over Mid-Atlantic competition at the Chesapeake Invite.
The big question facing the Northeast now is whether or not they can challenge for spots on the podium in Frisco. Last year, just one Northeast team made the semifinals of the Club Championships: Ironside. Only five teams made it into one of the 24 quarterfinals slots.
The South and West continue to dominate in October — of the 12 semifinalists across divisions, five were from the Southwest Region, two were from the South Central, and one was from the Northwest.
But after GOAT’s impressive performance at the Pro Flight Finale and outstanding performances at tournaments across all three divisions, the Northeast looks poised to regain its footing as a powerhouse region in club ultimate.