Phoenix Rising

The new kids on the block may be young, but they're here to stay

Dawn Culton is one of many absurdly talented young players part of the Phoenix youth movement. Photo: Rodney Chen -- UltiPhotos.com
Dawn Culton is one of many absurdly talented young players part of the Phoenix youth movement. Photo: Rodney Chen — UltiPhotos.com

Ultiworld’s 2021 coverage of the club women’s division is presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author(s). Find out how Spin can get you, and your team, looking your best this season.

Raleigh Phoenix came within a point of a shocking semifinals win over San Francisco Fury in San Diego. But even in a losing effort, they may have put together the most seismic performance in the recent history of women’s club.1

Fury had not truly been challenged in a Nationals game by anyone other than Boston Brute Squad or Seattle Riot since 2014, when Washington DC Scandal beat them in the national championship game. Phoenix came into the season a promising team with a bright future, but their No. 4 overall seed and run to semifinals could easily have been chalked up to the absence (or drastic roster overhauls) of a few of the teams we’re more accustomed to seeing on Saturday of Nationals.

When Phoenix surrendered a five goal Fury run in the first half, even after claiming the game’s first break, the game seemed destined to reinforce the status quo. But unlike every other team Fury had buried over the weekend, Phoenix did not crumble. They dug themselves out from Fury’s early avalanche and stormed right back against the most successful program in ultimate history.


  1. The only performance that is in the same conversation, even in a winning effort, is Toronto 6ixers’ run to the championship game in 2019 

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  1. Daniel Prentice
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    Daniel Prentice is a Senior Staff Writer at Ultiworld. Daniel is a product of the Tallahassee ultimate community and has been writing for Ultiworld since 2015. You can follow him on Twitter @danielprent and email him at daniel.prentice@ultiworld.com.

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