This week I’m writing about the gold medal game between Mantis and Box at the Austrian ultimate championships. The game is here:
and my first blog post about the game is here:
The play I want to focus on today is Mantis’s scoring possession to go up 6-3 and I would like to highlight the great movement and spacing from #11 Silke Delafortrie, #16 Julia Lischka, and #18 Trixi Peterstorfer. When I saw this play for the first time I just about jumped out of my chair and the more I watch it the more I think it is an outstanding example to learn from.
The first thing I’d like to highlight is the downfield movement of Silke Delafortrie who starts back in a handler position at the top of the screen. Watch her begin to move down the field immediately as the disc moves away from her. This quick reaction is what puts her in such great position after the huck.
I’ve written about some dangerous downfield attacking from the handler position previously. Players like Carolyn Finney and Jenny Fey come to mind (not to mention the amazing attacking strategy that the Colombian national team employs!). Delafortrie movement in this possession is a super example to learn from!
The next thing I want to talk about appears on the screen for only about 1 second – it is the line of three Mantis players moving down the field behind the huck. Those players are #11 Silke Delafortrie at the top of the screen, #16 Julia Lischka in the middle and #26 Lisa-Maria Hanghofer at the bottom of the screen.
The way these three players maintain their spacing across the field as the play develops is what makes Mantis’s scoring play look so easy. I don’t want to give away the punch line here – having watched the score already in the first video, as you watch this video think about how their spacing contributed to the score. Also thounk about what each of these players could have done that would have made it more difficult for Mantis to score:
The way the cutting teamwork on this possession contributed to the score is one of the best downfield cutting lessons I’ve ever seen on film.
Now I have to give a shout out to Trixi Peterstorfer for some incredibly smart play after catching the huck.
The quick dish to Delafortrie is a really natural play and equally natural would be to head down the field to score. If you freeze the shot as Delafortrie catches the disc it looks like Peterstorfer has the whole endzone open. But she doesn’t. Her defender has dropped up to stop the deep cut. Peterstorfer stops her cut immediately and turns around to get an easy 10 yard gain.
Even better, she turns in the direction the disc is moving and fakes a backhand (yay lefties!!) which draws her defender away from the forehand side of the field.
This is a fantastic cutting and throwing lesson – there’s not one bit of wasted movement and not one thing that I can think of that Peterstorfer could have done better.
Finally comes the score. After the nice backhand fake, the throw out to space from Peterstorfer is perfect.
The cut to score from Julia Lischka is terrific and is the end result of the great spacing I talked about above. She had the middle of the field, maintained great spacing, and was in the best position to attack the open space in the endzone.
And I have to highlight the non-cut in the endzone from Hanghofer. She maintained her wide position on the field all the way through the play. That positioning (combined with Peterstorfer’s backhand fake) helped draw the deep defenders to the middle of the field and opened the far side of the field for Lischka. This kind of play doesn’t show up directly in the stat sheets (and barely shows up in the film!) but learning from great spacing examples like this is so important as you look to improve your own play. Sometimes (probably always, actually) the right non-cut is just as critical to the team as the right cut. Great work from Hanghofer!
I hope to write one more blog post about this game – thanks again to Michelle Phillips for writing about it originally!