5 great plays / lessons from the All-Stars vs. Riot game

The 2016 All-Star tour kicked off last night in Seattle. Lots of hard work went into putting the second season together and it was great to see the games finally getting started. The game film is here:

Here are 5 things that caught my eye watching the game last night (and sorry for the slightly fuzzy videos, I was having some odd computer issues this morning):

(1) 3 good hucks to study

Early in the 3rd point Riot tries to go deep to Hana Kawai, but the throw is pretty difficult. Lateer in the point the All-Stars score on a beautiful huck from Jesse Shofner to Kate Scarth. I love Scarth’s cut in this clip – watch it a few times to see how she sets it up.

Later in the game (at 3-3) Riot again goes deep to Kawai. This throw has far more margin for error than the first one and Kawai is able to track it down.

You’ll often hear discussing about:

(i) same thirds hucks, and
(ii) throwing hucks to space.

Comparing these two throws helps illustrate some of the pros and cons of these two ideas:

(2) Riot working the break side

Riot’s goal to go up 3-2 is a great example of a team doing work on the break side. Other than the scoring pass, no pass Riot takes on this possession is remotely difficult. The movement on the break side on this possession is an especially great lesson for anyone learning to play ultimate. I love the pass from Sarah Griffith to (former All-Star) Jaclyn Verzuh right before the goal. Actually, it is worth watching this clip a few times to study Griffith’s positioning during the entire possession.

Also, the scoring cut from Julia Snyder is great. I love the way she plays.

(3) A great hustle play from Jesse Shofner

The play here is a nice look from Claire Revere (who is just blows me away every time I see her play) to Kate Scarth. That throw isn’t complete, but watch the great hustle play from Shofner. Watch especially where she is on the field when the throw goes up. It would have been totally easy for her to just watch the throw – instead the All-Stars get a goal!

(4) Great athleticism from Shiori Ogawa

Everything about this play is nice – Fitzgerald to Revere to Ogawa to Fitzgerald to Ode!!! I’m sure I’ll write plenty about all of them during the tour, but Ogawa really caught my eye here.

I love the attacking idea of the throw and cut, I love the path Ogawa takes to this disc and it forced Qxhna Titcome to have to take a path that wasn’t nearly as good. I absolutely love how calm Ogawa was after the catch – both with the throw to Fitzgerald and her clear to the endzone afterwards. She’s such a great addition to the All-Star tour!

(5) Kaylor and Walhroos attacking the far side of the field

This play is definitely  aggressive, but I think still worth studying. The play reminded me a lot of how Australia attacked Japan in the Dream Cup final, which I wrote about here:

Australia’s Michelle Phillips and Moe Sameshima – I’m speechless

I love the aggressive attacking style on display here. There’s no doubt that this throw is risky, but is also extremely hard to defend. That difficulty is illustrated here since the defender – Sarah Griffith – is one of the two or three best defenders in the game.

So, a great start to the All-Star tour last night. I can’t wait to see more games!!

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