Bay Area’s Brightest: Women’s All-Star Game Recap

This weekend, the AUDL's San Jose Spiders and the Bay Area Disc Association co-hosted the Bay Area Women's All-Star Game. Top players from elite teams gathered to challenge each other in a fun and exciting feature game using hybridized USAU & pro league rules.

A layout at the 2014 Bay Area Women's All-Star Game.
Photo by Natalie Bigman.

LOS ALTOS HILLS — The stage was set at Foothill College. Two teams faced off for a friendly Friday night lights match between the women of the North Bay in white vs. their all-star counterparts from the South Bay in yellow. It was a chance for perhaps the best collection of women’s talent in any American city to showcase their talents.
The Bay Area has been incredibly successful in the club women’s game: Fury’s run of seven straight club titles was halted last year, when they finished second, while Nightlock has been competing effectively at nationals the past two years. The Bay has been nearly as dominant on the Mixed scene, bringing home titles with Polar Bears and Blackbird while simultaneously producing high quality teams like Mischief and American BBQ.

The event, which was co-hosted by the AUDL’s San Jose Spiders and the Bay Area Disc Association, had all legs on deck with Spiders player Tyler Bacon manning the camera and teammate and recent Revolver addition Simon Higgins working at the gate with team manager Andrew Zill.

Players congregated from all over the Bay Area, such as Polar Bears’ captain An-Chi Tsou and Fury’s captain Ness Fajardo, as well as players from more of the Bay’s best including Fury, Nightlock, Polar Bears, Mischief, American BBQ, Groove, Blackbird, and BW. The game was incredibly close until the South took the lead in the third  quarter and never looked back, finishing the game with a 27-20 win.

The game had a number of unique qualities that blended aspects of the pro-leagues and club rules:

  • Throws from past the 50 yard line into the endzone are worth 2 points.
  • 2 observers.
  • 12 minute quarters.
  • 50 seconds between pulls.
  • Switching offense and defense between quarters.
  • 10 minute halftime.
  • 20 yard endzones. 40 yards wide. 80 yard playing field.
  • Both teams had set lines and a total of 21 players per team.

With loud cheering from the fans, the game started with the North Bay All-Stars pulling to their opponents from the South. Both teams would trade points almost effortlessly with the North opting to swing the disc between the handlers, while the South preferred the deep look to cutters in isolation.

The first quarter was the lowest scoring with a combined total of 9 points being scored, as both teams found their legs and their rhythm. With the game tied 2-2, the South was on serve when the North got the first block. Despite the D, both teams continued to turn the disc over for a total of eight times before the South was able to punch it in and keep their O point. Once again, both teams would trade points until the score reached 4-4, but the North would get the first break taking the lead and making the score 5-4 with under a minute left leaving the South unable to convert ending the quarter.

As the game continued, the level of athleticism rose to greater heights. Two points into the second quarter, Fury’s Anna Nazarov laid out twice for the bookends score, putting the South in the lead 6-5. The South went on a small run making the score 8-5 with the first of many contributions from the combination of Fury’s Kaela Jorgenson and American BBQ’s Sarah Carnahan. The North caught up, but another connection from Jorgenson to Carnahan pushed the score to 10-8, keeping the South in the lead. As the second quarter came to a close, with 11 seconds on the clock, Fury’s Alex Snyder made a huge throw from just behind the 50 yard line to fellow Fury Genevieve Laroche to wrap up the second quarter and take the game into halftime with the first two pointer of the night, making the score 13-10.

During the 10 minute halftime the music was turned up and kids were invited to learn how to throw with the all-stars of the Bay Area. At the same time, some fans ran back and forth through the stands to try to catch jerseys shot using the Spider’s web launching contraption. By the entrance, gear was sold to fundraise for the upcoming club season, in addition to sandwiches and other snacks.

In the third quarter, the South pulled away from the North, going on a 5-1 run. Despite the dancing from the music being played, the loud laughter, and the occasional demanding heckle from the crowd to huck the disc, at no point did anyone doubt the quality of play on the field. Players from the North, such as Polar Bear’s Dulcy Donken, tried to stem the tide by converting high stall throws with spectacular layout grabs, but, aided by a number of miscommunications on throws from their Northern neighbors, the South capitalized on their opportunities. Part of what made the South successful was Kaela Jorgenson, who got the assist right out of halftime and soon after added a bookends score. She also closed the quarter by laying out while toeing the line for a goal from Carnahan, making the score 21-12, South.

The North looked motivated to score in the last quarter, starting with an enormous backhand huck from Fury’s Ness Fajardo to her club teammate Lakshmi Narayan, but it was not enough. The South immediately responded by working it up the field and having Carnahan launch a 40 yard forehand over the defender’s head to her partner in crime, Jorgenson, to score the goal. A short time later Fury’s Carolyn Finney made the second and final two point assist to a streaking cutter. The game ended with a valiant effort by the North’s scoring runs, but the lead gained by the South in the third quarter was too much. The South went on to win the game 27-20.

After the game Natasha Won from the North told Ultiworld, “No other pro team has done this and we thought it would be a good opportunity. Good for the community, good to promote Bay Area ultimate, (and) to promote women’s ultimate. Overall it was a fun event and, I’d say, successful regardless of score. At the end of the day, we wanted to showcase great women’s ultimate, and that’s what we did.”

Notes:

  • The proceeds from the $1.50 tickets were donated to the Bay Area Disc Association.
  • On Facebook, John Hsu decided to donate $0.25/attendee, up to $500.00 to an undetermined women’s or girl’s ultimate group. Still no word on the final recipient.
  • The count at the gate — not including San Jose Spiders players, staff, and guests — was 218.

ROSTERS

North Bay All-Stars

#3 Castle Sinicrope — Fury
#7 Claire Sharman — Nightlock
#8 Nancy Sun — Fury
#9 Kate Pearson — Mischief
#10 Loryn Kanemaru — Fury
#11 Michela Meister — Fury
#12 Heather Waugh — Nightlock
#13 Marie Laurenza — Nightlock
#14 Emmy Kolanz — Nightlock
#15 Katie Barry — Nightlock
#17 Natasha Won — Polar Bears
#20 Bree Cahn — Nightlock
#21 Dulcy Docken — Polar Bears
#22 Marisa Mead — Polar Bears
#23 Sabrina Fong — Fury
#25 Audrey Wei — Nightlock
#27 Ness Fajardo — Fury
#42 Alden Fletcher — Fury
#43 Bettina Chen — BW
#66 Lakshmi Narayan — Fury
#82 An-Chi Tsou — Polar Bears

South Bay All-Stars

#1 Sharon Tseng — Nightlock
#2 Jenny Wang — Mischief
#3 Preeti Nalavade — Mischief
#4 Alex Snyder — Fury
#5 Kaela Jorgenson — Fury
#7 Rachel Holz — Blackbird
#10 Genevieve Laroche — Fury
#12 Kristie Bowen — Fury
#13 Marika Austin — Nightlock
#16 Jenny Founds — Nightlock
#17 Rachel Habbert — Nightlock
#18 Brooke Smith — Groove
#20 Shannon Bubb — Nightlock
#22 Sarah Carnahan — American BBQ
#23 Remy Schor — Mischief
#31 Steph Lim — Nightlock
#33 Anna Nazarov — Fury
#51 Claire Desmond — Fury
#71 Manisha Daryani — Fury
#77 Carolyn Finney — Fury
#88 Alina Kagan — Nightlock

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