Feature Game Preview: DC Scandal vs. Boston Brute Squad

Scandal brings it in
Photo by Kevin Leclaire — Ultiphotos.com

Scandal and Brute Squad have not met yet this season in sanctioned play. However, at Virginia Fusion, they clashed twice. Since Fusion is mid-September, just a few weeks before Regionals, you can bet both teams were not holding much back.

In those games, Brute Squad was able to take half both times. In the first, lead by a couple of huge Becky Malinowski skies and strong contributions from Emily Baecher, Boston took a back and forth half, with the score 8-6. Scandal would use some runs to bring it to 13-13, before breaking twice to take the game, 15-13. Their second battle would start similarly, with Brute grabbing an early break before letting Scandal get it back, and then Boston snagging another halftime lead, 8-7. With the game tied at 10-10, Scandal would run away with it, eventually winning 15-11.

The two teams met at last year’s Club Championships in Friday power pools, with Scandal winning 15-13. Scandal is 6-1 against Brute Squad since 2010.

You can watch the game LIVE on Ultiworld by subscribing to our livestream package, starting at just $12 for 11 games.

Game Details

  • Thursday, 3:45 PM
  • Field 9
  • Round 4
  • Pool C 1/2 game
  • Streaming: Ultiworld

What The Game Means

There is a very high chance this Thursday afternoon clash will decide who takes the valuable top spot in Pool C. Both of these teams have been two of the strongest Women’s teams this season, with an impressive combination of ability and results. Provided they finish 1-2 in Pool C, the winner of this game will draw a prequarters game against the pool four seed in Pool B, and perhaps more importantly, avoid a potential quarterfinal game against a pool winner.

That could mean the difference between a prequarter against Nightlock followed by a quarterfinal versus Traffic and a prequarter game versus Phoenix followed by a quarterfinal against Nemesis, should seeds hold.

For Brute Squad, the game is an important litmus test. Their best win this season was a 15-8 Northeast Regional final against Capitals, a game in which their opponent may have folded up the second half to reserve legs for their next game. While Boston has been solid in their limited exposure to the teams atop the ladder, they have yet to face the type of challenge they’ll need to overcome if they want to make it to the semifinals. Beating – or even playing very tight with – Scandal might be the proof they need.

The Numbers

ScandalBrute Squad
3Overall Seed6
3USAU End of Season Ranking6
3UW Power Ranking5
10-1Record Against Common Opponents7-2

Matchups to Watch

Opi Payne defending Laura Bitterman: This match up puts a lot of speed, and even more quickness, in one tiny patch of field. Bitterman’s ability to generate separation and give her throwers good sized windows underneath, while still being a threat to break deep, is a huge element of Boston’s offense. Payne also got a massive layout D in the endzone against Bitterman Sunday at Fusion. It is a nice bonus for Scandal that Opi handles after the turn, taking Bitterman away from the lanes.

Amber Sinicrope & Christie Kim defending Anne Mercier: The midseason addition of Mercier has added a player with the total throwing complement to the DC offense, so taking her out of the play is important. It is no wonder Brute puts their best handler defender in Sinicrope on her, plus backup in Kim. Both have very active marks and will need to take away Mercier’s early looks to slow down Scandal’s fast disc movement.

Becky Malinowski defending Kirsten Unfried: The dream may be Malinowski vs. Jorgenson, but Malinowski will likely be looking to take away the less flashy but hyper productive Unfried. The Scandal offender has got great hands and very good field vision. Malinowski’s size and athleticism can help her recover against one of the most intelligent cutters in the women’s division.

Sandy Jorgenson defending VY Chow: Chow may be one of the most intuitive players currently in the women’s game, so Scandal chooses the brute force method, siccing the monster athlete that is Sandy Jorgenson on her. The threat of a Jorgenson run through D – she has explosive closing speed – makes throwers think an extra second about whether or not Chow, one of their favorite under targets, is open.

Amy Wickner defending Leila Tunnell: Tunnell is a great player with the total package, but her ability to get damaging throws off regardless of her mark is her biggest asset for Brute Squad. Whether it is a giant backhand huck to the break side or a slicing forehand, Tunnell can and will hurt defenses. Wickner has the tough assignment of trying to make her throws as difficult as possible. Athletic defenders downfield can make plays if she can help give them the opportunity by forcing throws wide, excessively floaty, or to be rushed.

Keys to Victory

  • Scandal benefits from utilizing the lanes and spacing very effectively and moving the disc through them rapidly. Defenders have to stay close enough to shut off the immediate break throw.
  • Brute Squad has good team speed and the throwers to really open up the deep lanes. Leila Tunnell, Dory Ziperstein, and Emily Baecher cannot be given break side deep looks.
  • Boston has the best dump & swing attack in the division, which is especially effective in the red zone. When they are patient with it, they are very difficult to stop.
  • Scandal’s four-man cup gave Brute some trouble at Fusion, with a light wind. Brute’s handlers are very patient – particularly early in the game – but can get flustered late.
  • Both teams are aggressive after the turn, particularly Scandal, who prefers to get something going immediately. The team better in transition will have a definite edge.
  • Two games so far, and two second half leads blown for Brute Squad. Do they have the depth to compete with Scandal for two halves?


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