How Carleton Syzygy Ended the Streak

Analyzing the plays and tactics that drove Carleton Syzygy to a win and brought North Carolina Pleiades' historic four-year winning streak to an end

Carleton Syzygy’s Aria Kischner and her teammates celebrate at the 2024 Northwest Challenge. Photo: Emma Ottosen – UltiPhotos.com

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*Music emoji* Two million eighty-nine thousand four hundred-ish minutes *Music emoji*

No, it’s not a supersized rendition of Rent. It’s the amount of time between the bookending defeats of North Carolina Pleiades at the hands of Carleton Syzygy. For most of this decade, Pleiades winning was something you could set your watch to. And now, like all good things, it’s come to an end. In the wake of this monumental streak’s death lies hope for the rest of the National Championship field, questions of the repeatability of this feat, and, of course, controversy about pick calls, observers, refs, blah blah blah.

But we’re not going to focus on the officiating. Rather, we’re going to analyze how Syzygy won between the whistles/pick calls. What was the tactical formula Syzygy implemented? Is this a blueprint for other contenders? Or have they jumped the gun and re-awoken the Pleiades beast to go on another multi-year reign of dominance? Let’s dive in.

Lucky Number 7

Conspiracy theorists will have a field day making sense of the Carleton player sporting #7 scoring seven goals to defeat the Seven Sisters (Pleiades). Naomi Fina put on an offensive masterclass for Syzygy with elite timing and breakneck speed to repeatedly score against UNC’s D-line talisman and Callahan award-winner, Dawn Culton.

Syzygy’s first hold is a display of pure open-field speed from Fina. Receiving the disc from the break side, Fina uses the open side resets as a launching pad to get downhill and win a foot race to the cone.

 

One of the finer details of Fina’s nose for the end zone is her spacing. Watch how she frequently pulls or holds her defender out of the space she eventually scores in, waiting to make her run on her thrower’s tempo. With great speed comes great timing responsibility.

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  1. Max Charles
    Max Charles

    Max Charles is an ultimate player from Philadelphia. He plays for AMP ultimate and just Googled, 'what's a byline?'

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