I’ve been writing about the Team USA vs. Team Canada game a few weeks ago at Spring Reign. This is probably the 10th post – I’ve lost count – the previous posts are here:
Today I’m writing about Team Canada’s Catherine Hui. This game is almost a highlight film for Hui – she’s making play after play after play after play. I love her attacking style on O and on D, and if that type of style suits your game you should study every move she makes in this game. If that’s not your style, just watch and enjoy ’cause damn is she fun to watch.
I’ve been trying to also write a bit about each player’s journey over the last several years, but sadly for me I don’t know Hui all that well. It feels safe to assume that she’s spent the last several years being a total badass, though, so I’ll just go with that. Watching her play in this game reminded me about Gwen Ambler’s tweet about Hayley Walhroos during last year’s All-Star tour. The exact same comment applies to Hui:
So, here’s the link for the game film and I’ll show 5 great educational examples from Hui in this game:
(1) Hui’s goal in the first point
This picture below shows Hui getting the disc in the middle of the field just after Team Canada receives the pull. She’s got all kinds of open space down the field to look at, and also note that Team Canada has done a nice job leaving the middle of the field wide open for Hui.
Hui throws a 10 to 15 yard pass down the field and takes off to the left of the screen. This pass is set up nicely by Canada – with all of the space open downfield in the middle, the US defender has to respect the deep cut, so the under cut is wide open.
One thing that everyone can (and should!) learn from Hui here is the cut. Fury uses a very similar cut quite often on their pull play and we sort of borrowed the idea for a simple O set for the All-Star tour last year. The cut goes to what seems to be a not-so-dangerous part of the field and turns into a dangerous scoring cut really quickly.
The picture below shows the situation as Hui comes back onto the screen. She’s got the whole right hand side of the endzone open. A beautiful throw sets up an easy score.
Great work this whole point by Team Canada, and great lessons from Hui.
(2) Hui’s huck in the 6th point
A misscommunication on Team USA’s D line leaves Hui unguarded and the punishment is immediate. Lesson to all of the teams competing at Worlds, here – put the “leave Hui unguarded” D plans in the trash.
There are actual lessons here, too. As I talked about in the post about Alex Snyder, look at how Hui is scanning the field as she receives this pass. You can’t punish your opponent’s mistakes if you don’t know where the threats are.
Hui puts a perfect pass out to space for her teammate to catch. It helps to be unmarketd, obviously, but you want all of your hucks to looks like this – nice, easy passes out to space.
(3) Hui’s help D
I almost feel as though I need to apologize for including so many examples in this section. Every single second that Hui was on the field playing D she was looking to help her teammates.
The time in the game film is in all of the pics. A few of them show her half following the player she’s guarding and 1/2 finding ways to clog up the lane, and the others (like the first pic below) show her just ignoring the player she’s guarding and getting totally in the way of Team USA’s O.
I don’t want to mislead anyone, though – this is really aggressive play from Hui and not everyone is going to be able to get away with playing this sort of D. The reason Hui’s play in these examples is so important to study is that it shows what “not chasing” on D looks like. Even if you don’t want to play as aggressively, everyone can learn from Hui’s play in these examples. Try to guess who Hui is actually guarding in the screen shots below and they watch the plays on the game film and see if you were right!
In the first post in this series I talked about the difference between Team USA and Team Canada’s ability to get the disc down the field after receiving the pull. Canada had 8 goals in 6 or fewer passes after receiving the pull. The US had 1. Hui constantly clogging up the cutting lanes is one (major) contributing factor for this striking difference in efficiency.
(4) The D on the huck to Griffith at 33:30
One of Hui’s efforts to muck up Team USA’s O deserves extra study – the block on the huck to Sarah Griffith at 33:30.
The sequence starts with Alex Snyder holding the disc in the middle of the field. She’s going to swing the disc to Kaela Jorgenson who is just off camera in the left hand side of the screen. Griffith is starting her cut in the middle of the screen and Hui is just a bit to the right behind Griffith watching the play develop.
Jorgenson and Griffith aren’t quite on the same page on the expected cut, but that’ll get resolved as they play together a bit more. It is also, I think, a red herring – Hui has this play figured out from the start. Look at her defensive position in the picture below.
Jorgensen’s pass is fine and Griffith has her defender beat, but Hui’s help D here saves the day for Canada. The camera catches the set up for this block so well that this is the only example of how to help deep that you ever need to study. 100 out of 100 from Hui, here.
(5) Hui’s goal at 48:45
This example shows what happens when that deep help breaks down. Hui is just off the screen in the beginning, but she’s guarded by Team USA’s Calise Cardenas who is guarding her under with Hana Kawai helping deep. In the game film you can see the two defenders talking to each other about the D followed by Cardenas adjusting her position.
As team Canada moves the disc up the sideline, Cardenas stays under but the deep help, unfortunately, also comes under. Even though you can’t see Kawai’s position since she’s off the screen, you can still compare it to Hui’s position in the previous example. On D, Hui was paying much more attention to the deep space. On O, she’s able to attack the deep space because the deep help has come under too far:
The result is a pretty nice goal for Canada – maybe not as easy of a throw and catch as some of the prior examples, but a good lesson anyway. An especially good lesson when you compare it to the example of Hui’s deep help on the huck to Griffith.
So, a great game from Hui who is an incredible player.
Hope to continue writing more about this game next week. I’ll probably go back to looking at some specific plays rather than just players.