4 ideas to take away from the 1st point of the Riot vs Revolution game

We are starting to look at the Riot vs Revolution game in the study group today. Since we’ve spent the last 6 weeks looking at the Molly Brown vs Revolution game, I’ll probably focus a bit more on the Riot players to start the game just to introduce them. My guess is that Revolution will give us plenty to study through the game, though!

Here are some of my thoughts from the first point:

(1) If you want to learn how to play ultimate – watch everything that Julia Snyder does on the field.

I’ve written a lot about how much I love her game before:

I really like the way Julia Snyder plays

In this game she touches the disc three times – you’ll see a beautiful forehand to space, a nice high backhand to the force side, and an easy backhand to space (after a miracle catch!)

In a way her game reminds me a lot of how Revolution’s Yina Cartagena plays. They both have fantastic field awareness and always seem to be in the right place at the right time. Both are also excellent at taking what the D is giving them. Snyder and Cartagena are a joy to watch and both make the game look way too easy!

(2) Surge is simply terrific

I’ve written a lot about her game, too:

Play like Opi and Surge using these 7 simple tricks

My respect for Surge is infinite

Surge has been one of the top players in the world for a decade and also gives back to the sport in more ways than I can count. In this point you’ll see a fantastic block and also a great example of how the thrower can help move a receiver’s defender.

(3) Learning from Qxhna Titcomb

Parts (3) and (4) are the same video clip – the 20 seconds leading up to the score, but I want to highlight the play of two different players.

First up is Qxhna Titcomb who throws the goal. She’s in the front of the stack when the clip starts. Watch her movement and watch especially how she works with Surge to get so wide open before throwing the goal.

(4) Learning from Nora Landri

Again, the is the same clip from part (3) -> this time, though, focus on the movement of Nora Landri who starts with the disc.

Downfield cuts coming from the handler position are always fun to study. Landri’s timing and positioning here are great. She doesn’t go down the field right away, stays wide, and times the cut perfectly so that Qxhna has plenty of space to throw in to. If you want to incorporate downfield cutting into your own handler cutting repertoire, Landri’s movement here is a great cut to study.


4 great individual plays from the 27th point

[sorry that I accidentally published low res versions of the videos 😦 ]

The 27th point of the Molly Brown vs Revolution game is wall to wall athleticism. Here are 4 plays that I thought were worth taking a 2nd look at

(1) Sara Taggert’s D to start the point

I love her footwork and how she keeps an eye on the disc.

(2) Claire Chastain’s block

The pass is just a tiny bit behind Cartagena, and Chastain shows off some incredible acceleration to the disc.

(3) Yina Cartagena’s hustle to get to the huck

Even though this play ended with a foul, that Cartagena got there at all is amazing. Don’t ever give up on a play!

(4) Victoria Elmore movement in the endzone

I love how she reacts to the poach and also love how she uses her body to prevent her defender from getting anywhere near the disc.

Stunning defensive skill from Revolution

We’ve been looking at the 26th point of the Molly Brown vs Revolution game and the fantastic goal from Molly Brown:

In addition to the Molly Brown goal, this points contains as impressive of an example of coordination on D that I’ve ever seen.

Here’s the position I want to start with ->  Elizabeth Mosquera is coming in guarding Claire Chastain, Manuela Cardenas has Lisa Pitcaithley, and Laura Ospina was guarding Lisi Lohre on the far sideline but is now moving to the middle as Sarah Pesch throws to Chastain.

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The movement from Ospina is the start of an amazing sequences of switches that happen seemingly effortlessly from Revolution.

Mosquera maintains her position guarding the downfield space and moves to pick up Pitcaithley.  Cardenas moves to Chastain, but also sees that Ospina is in a better position to pick up Chastain after the completion (note that the first two screen shots here are both at 0:19 in the film):

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Now at 0:21 Ospina is on Chastain, Mosquera has Pitcaithley after that switch, and Cardenas has Lohre in under control.    This triple switch happened in 2 seconds!!  I couldn’t believe this when I saw it going through the game to study this point.

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The position as the disc is in the air shows the only weakness Revolution had was Pitcaithley had room deep.  For me, though, the fact that Molly Brown executed perfectly doesn’t diminish the defensive play here at all.  Revolution’s team coordination is so good that they can execute switching like this without missing a beat.

And, by the way, when I say that Molly Brown executed perfectly, check out the cover photo for the film study group to see how close Mosquera came to getting the block!

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Breaking down a great Molly Brown goal

Molly Brown’s goal on the 26th point of their game against Revolution is fantastic:

Here’s what I saw:

(1) Molly Brown’s initial set up against Revolution’s zone

Elizabeth Mosquera is defending the deep space and is off screen. Molly Brown starts with a position we’ve seen a lot in this game -> three players on the far sideline and letting Liza Minor and Lisa Pitcaithley attack in the middle.  Counting Mosquera in the deep space, Revolution has 4 players defending Minor and Pitcaithley.

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(2) Molly Brown’s movement to find space against the zone

Minor and Pitcaithley move to the near sideline – taking two defenders with them.  Lohre sits on the far sideline drawing a defender to her.  That leaves Chastain moving down the field on the far sideline as the one downfield player that Mosquera has to pay attention to.  Sarah Pesch moves back into the open space to get an easy pass from Applegate.

All of this movement from Molly Brown is terrific.

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(3) All of this movement also opens up a nice throwing lane from Pesch to Chastain

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(4) As the pass from Pesch to Chastain goes up all three of the other Molly Brown downfield players attack deep.  The movement from each of these players is worth thinking through:

Lohre is unguarded on the far sideline,

Pitcaithley’s quick reaction will get her a bit of separation on Mosquera who has to switch directions

Minor’s defender is right with her.

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(5) The position when Chastain catches the pass is fascinating

Lohre is open on the far sideline – her position draws the attention of two defenders – Manuela Cardenas coming across the field and Laura Ospina marking Chastain.

Minor recognizes that she isn’t open deep and comes under

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(6) The result of all of Molly Brown’s great movement is that Pitcaithley has lots of room to attack the deep space on the near sideline, and Chastain puts up a perfect pass.

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Celebrating the amazing women of the World All-Star team

Saw this amazing announcement last night on Facebook:

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Honestly, even close to 10 hours later I’m speechless and can’t wait to see this group play together at Dream Cup.

Although all of the players are well-known, I thought thought it would be fun to put together a short collection of clips to celebrate this group of athletes who have done so much for the game – both on the field and through their incredible dedication off the field. So, in the order of the announcement and without too many words because the highlights speak for themselves:

(1) Georgia Bosscher (USA)

You can see one more terrific play of Bosscher’s from the US vs Canada exhibition game in this old blog post:

4 nice examples of fundamental skills from the US

(2) Carolyn Finney (USA)

We spent some time studying Fineey’s game in the film study group this year, so feel free to check out some of those posts. Finney also won the 2018 Michelle Ng Inspiration Award:

Announcing the 2018 True Veteran, Michelle Ng Inspiration, and Robin Davis coaching awards

(3) Anna Nazarov (USA)

I such a big fan of Nazarov – she is one of the most amazing role model’s in all of sports:

Why Anna Nazarov matters to me

(4) Sarah Griffith (USA)

Surge is everything that is great about ultimate:

My respect for Surge is infinite

(5) Alex Snyder (USA)

(the video should start at 12:50 here, btw)

Alex Snyder is one of the most decorated players to ever play the game – and also one of the most dedicated. Most recently she was one of the coaches of the US U24 team that won the gold medal at the world championships in Perth.

Learning from Alex Snyder

(6) Octavia Payne (USA)

Opi Payne won the 2017 True Veteran award for all of the work she’s done on and off the field:

Announcing the 2017 True Veteran, Michell Ng, and Robin Davis Coaching awards

(7) Claire Chastain (USA)

Claire Chastain has one of the most complete games of any player I’ve ever seen – there is so much to learn from her playing style:

A quick look at how Claire Chastain sees the field

(8) Yina Cartagena (Colombia)

It is an absolute joy to watch Yina Cartagena play ultimate:

Anatomy of a Cartagena goal

(9) Manuela Cardenas (Colombia)

Manuela Cardenas’s skills are just on the D line, either!

Some long throw lessons from Molly Brown and Revolution

(10) Valeria Cardenas (Colombia)

For more fantastic throwing lessons from Valeria Cardenas, see this short study:

Learning from Yina Cartagena and Valeria Cardenas

(11) Michelle Phillips (Austraria)

Writing about this 2018 All-Star team is especially nice because the Dream Cup was my first introduction to Michelle Phillips’s play a few years ago:

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

(12) Catharine Hui (Canada)

Sometimes, you just can’t believe what you are seeing when Hui is on the field:

Is Team Canada’s Catherine Hui the best ultimate player in the world?

Anatomy of a Lisi Lohre goal

Molly Brown’s goal on the 22nd point of their game versus Revolution is a fantastic example of great team work and great spacing. Here’s the full point:

Here are a few things that caught my eye:


(1) Revolution starts the point with a deep poacher who is not on screen.  Lisi Lohre finds a good position on the near sideline while her defender briefly guards Lisa Pitcaithley.  I think it is Megan Ives occupying a good position on the far sideline.   So,  with 3 handlers back and two cutters on the sideline, Molly Brown is giving Lisa Pitcaithley and Liza Minor all of the downfield space.

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(2)  Lohre stays glued to the sideline and is wide open – which gives Applegate an easy option if she needs it.  Ives’s defender is right on her, so the downfield space on the far side of the field is wide open.

Here Lohre’s defender is handing off Pitcaithley to the deep poacher and beginning to move to guard Lohre.

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(3) I think this shot and the next one (which happen 1 second apart in the game film) show the critical position of the point.

Ives continues to occupy her defender which leaves plenty of space for Pitcaithley down the field.

Lohre’s defender is coming to the near sideline and looking back at the disc.

Minor moves across the field and is wide open.  Her cut also pulls a defender out of the down field space on the far side of the field.

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(4) Lohre reacts instantly to the pass from Applegate to Pitcaithley (who isn’t quite on screen yet).  Her defender is caught moving up the field as Lohre breaks deep.

Ives’s reaction is also perfect – she can’t head down the field immediately since that would bring her defender into Pitcaithley’s space.

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(5) You can see the separation that Lohre has now.

Note also that in the beginning of this point there was a deep poacher.  That deep help is gone now and Lohre’s defender is on her own.

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(6) All of this coordination from Molly Brown leads to a really nice goal

One thing that is probably easier to study in the film than in a series of screen shots is Pitcaithley’s great throw out to space.

Fantastic work by Molly Brown.

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Anatomy of a Cartagena goal

[Sorry – I wrote this post in under 10 min – but I was so excited about this goal and the opportunity to learn from it. Hope what I wrote makes sense]

Point 19 is another great point to learn from. Here’s the full point:

Here’s some ideas to think about from the play – and specifically from Yina Cartagena’s work:

(1) Cartagena receives the 2nd pass on the far sideline. Revolution isn’t really looking to attack yet. Sally Lambert is covering the deep space.

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(2) The disc swings – Lambert comes to Cardenas. Jesse Shofner matches up on Cartagena. Still nothing looks super dangerous – the deep defender going down the far sideline will replace Lambert as the deep poacher.

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(3) The new poached Revolution player comes in – and the Molly Brown poacher also begins to come in. Now things start to get dangerous. The deep help is gone and there are dangerous cutting lanes opening up as a result:

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(4) Now the disc swings to the sideline and Cartagena attackes immediately:

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(5) And an easy pass to the endzone gives Revolution a really nice goal:

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