July 18, 2018 by Scott Dunham in News, Profile with 0 comments
Throughout WUCC, we will be “embedding” with select teams and telling their stories with daily updates about their journey, history, and more. We call it Inside Break.
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Sydney, Australia, mixed team Friskee proudly claims their motto from the classic children’s book series Madeleine (We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all we love each other.) and literally wear hearts on their sleeves (and on the front of their jerseys as well). Their play at WUCC has similarly demonstrated dedication to their teammates, as hard-working team defense has been their hallmark.
In their first game in Cincinnati, they faced Colombia Urosoul. Jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead, Friskee dominated the deep space versus the shorter Colombians in the early going and also used their length to garner layout blocks on in-cuts. Urosoul adjusted to focus on quick disc movement and took advantage of some Friskee hastiness in the red zone to bring the game back on serve at half. However, Friskee continued to apply strong pressure, and despite several Urosoul catches of what looked like blocks they closed out the game 15-12 for a successful tournament start. Their second Sunday game was a comfortable 15-5 win over Panthers Bern (SUI), and they ended the day feeling pretty good about their WUCC prospects.
On Monday morning, the stakes were upped with a big game on one of the showcase fields, likely for the top of Pool G versus Hässliche Erdferkel (GER), who were also undefeated on Day 1. Like their first game on Sunday, team defense garnered Friskee some turnovers, but overeager execution after the turn often gave the disc right back and the Marburg side was less generous in returning the favor than the Colombians the day prior. The Aussies had multiple chances to break back to take half, but after a pass just out of reach in the end zone and a slip on a fast break, the Germans closed out the half up a break and continued to edge ahead throughout the second half to take the 15-10 win.
Talking about the game later, captain Max Halden acknowledged that they were perhaps a bit “speedy” on offense, with not everyone ready to push the pace at the same rate as the most eager. Relentlessly positive as always, coach Anson Chun said, “We’ll bounce back like we always do…like we did yesterday.” Talking to a couple of the players, the call was to follow the lead of “T-Vo” (Thomas Vo) to set the tone for calm execution.
Friskee’s final Monday game was against IKU (JPN) and looked to decide 2nd place in the pool. It was a game of runs, with IKU first up a couple of breaks, then Friskee bringing it back on serve to take half 8-7. However, IKU again pulled ahead to 12-10 before a furious 4-1 run by Friskee to take the game 15-13, finishing with a satisfying upwind break.
After the game, IKU provided a worthy contestant for Friskee’s “Vegemite Challenge.” The goal was to fool a teammate as to whether one consumed a taste of the notoriously salty condiment or of sweet Nutella. The video below shows how it went down, and afterwards several IKU players “enjoyed” a bit of the pungent spread themselves.
Tuesday morning cemented Friskee’s 2nd place finish in Pool G with a convincing 15-6 victory over Disctèrics (ESP), and they will face Banana Cutters (CAN) at 1 PM on Wednesday in the championship bracket.