December 8, 2021


Only The Finest Women

Club Championships 2021: Raleigh Young Guns Target Unlikely Upset (Women’s Semifinal Preview)

Phoenix up coming in line to attempt to challenge dialed-in Fury.

San Francisco Fury absolutely dominated the to start with day of the 2021 Club Championships. Photograph: Kristina Geddert —

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The aged guard having on the increasing youthful guns. A system in its 16th straight period of semifinal appearances going through a application earning only their 2nd semifinal visual appearance in their record, and the to start with in a 10 years. A defense that has specified up a full of 14 points in four game titles looking to slow the offensive firepower of a dynamic and supremely gifted roster. It’s San Francisco Fury versus Raleigh Phoenix, and it really should be a pleasurable a person.

Enjoy Reside: ESPN3, 5:30 PM PDT (total broadcast routine)


Record: 11-
History vs. Phoenix:
Statistical Leaders: Jessica O’Connor (3G, 7A, 2D), Lisa Couper (7G, 1A, 1D), Kaela Helton (4G, 2A, 4D)
Route to Semis: 3- in Pool A (defeated Rival, Pop, BENT) → bye to quarters → 15-6 more than Riot in quarters


File: 15-3
Record vs. Fury:
Statistical Leaders: Ella Juengst (9G), Tyler Smith (2G, 8A, 1D), Dawn Culton (6G, 3A, 5D)
Route to Semis: 3- in Pool B (defeated Nemesis, Parcha, Traffic) → bye to quarters → 15-7 in excess of Tabby Rosa in quarters

Fury are the best seed, undefeated in opposition to all comers, and with crushing victories in pool engage in and in the quarterfinal towards their historic rivals Seattle Riot. In a season in which most groups turned around big parts of their rosters, Fury as a substitute introduced approximately all of their 2019 workforce back and as a reward extra 2019 Mixed POTY Anna Thompson and 2019 D-1 College POTY Dena Elimelech. When we say that Fury’s roster is completely stacked, nevertheless, we might be essentially underselling the efficiency of this roster.

Even though it is tricky to count the sheer number of merged championships that Fury’s roster has, it’s a lot easier to count the variety of Workforce United states of america Globe Game titles associates: six. Anna Nazarov, Carolyn Finney, Claire Desmond, Cree Howard, Opi Payne, and Sarah Griffith all have performed at the absolute maximum degree of the activity for their state and provide a great deal of veteran leadership. Every single and every player for San Francisco, nevertheless, could be thought of a house name and quite possibly the star player for almost any other crew, and the fact that Fury has all of the gamers that they do on their roster is an complete humiliation of riches.

In a shortened season without the need of significantly time to improve 7 days more than 7 days, that working experience pays off, and with the oldest regular age of any women’s workforce Fury absolutely has it in spades. And yet, this is a group that constantly looks to have boundless electricity, a little something that San Francisco coach Matty Tsang actually preaches in his workforce talks. “I do say in the huddle that from much absent it should really appear like we’re constantly winning,” he acknowledged, which, other than for a couple of early details towards Riot, Fury have been all weekend.

With consistent and regular aid from the sidelines, Fury’s protection has smothered teams at Nationals to the tune of providing up 4, 2, 2, and 6 details in their 4 video games. They’ve gotten contributions from fairly considerably their full loaded roster and demonstrate no symptoms of stopping their roll, while the new little ones on the block may possibly have anything to say about that.

Alongside the the latest preeminence of the other a few semifinalists, Phoenix’s ascendence arrives as a breath of new air, primarily with the 2nd-youngest roster in the women’s division. They comply with the guide of Portland Schwa and Toronto 6ixers from 2019 in breaking up the logjam that has been the top rated four teams, but they are not just psyched to be below.

“I guess the initial issue I would say is, certain, there are three groups that have experienced a ton of achievement over the earlier number of several years,” acknowledged Phoenix mentor David Allison. “We really do not care about that. We are a staff that is listed here to get it this 12 months. They are certainly proficient, but we never see it as any distinctive from the degree of expertise that we deliver.”

Phoenix unquestionably have the gamers to problem for the title, as they carry in both of those veteran and rising talent even while missing some stars in Anne Really worth and Jessi Jones. Lindsay Soo and Claire Revere are two of the returning leaders, and even in their mid-twenties are in the more mature fifty percent of the Raleigh roster. Karen Ehrhardt and Ella Juengst are two of the fantastic young stars that Phoenix picked up this year, with Ehrhardt in distinct coming up huge with a format score in Phoenix’s come-from-guiding acquire in pool enjoy in excess of Vancouver Targeted traffic. Amanda Murphy also earned mentions from equally Soo and Allison, with the coach sharing that he considered that she need to be the breakout player of the year, in his view.

The other notable additions for Phoenix convey in plenty of Nationals knowledge and record, even if most haven’t produced it this significantly in advance of in the Club Championships. Mary Rippe returns to Phoenix from a solid Durham Toro facet, joined by previous Toro teammate Tyler Smith. Austin Prucha is a long-time veteran of the recreation with stints with Madison Heist and Washington DC Scandal, with whom Keila Strick also played just before signing up for Raleigh. West Coastline transplant Audrey Lyman, formerly of San Francisco Nightlock, came up massive for Phoenix in their quarterfinal versus Florida Tabby Rosa, but she and the rest of the Raleigh roster have a considerably harder task forward of them in facing Fury.

These two groups really do not have substantially recent record from each individual other, obtaining most not too long ago faced off at the 2019 Professional Championships wherever Fury received comfortably 15-6 about Phoenix, and even though this isn’t a extremely changed Fury team, Phoenix’s composition each in phrases of expertise and mentality unquestionably has shifted since then. Phoenix’s strength this period has been their youth and their offense, while to listen to coach Allison explain to it, “our offense has the ideal O-line protection in the region.”

When the youthful expertise is humming for Raleigh their offense can capture fire and be a drive to be reckoned with, but youth and inexperience can also come with the faults that force the Phoenix offensive line to have to demonstrate that their defensive abilities are worth their salt also. With how suffocating the Fury protection has been and how clinical they can be in converting any break alternatives they are specified, Phoenix will have to be disciplined in order to not allow for Fury to go on a break operate as they did in opposition to Riot.

From Fury’s standpoint, they’ll basically glance to keep on the defensive strain and offensive execution that they’ve experienced all weekend –and time — versus the youth and electrical power of Phoenix. The veteran team is hunting forward to a diverse matchup than they’ve traditionally seen, specifically with Raleigh as a likely emerging power in the women’s division. “I appreciate the young talent on the crew and how they perform,” beamed Fury coach Tsang. “You know if it continues the way it is I certainly consider that is yet another team that ought to be in the major discussion.” We’ll see tonight if Phoenix can notice that likely tonight or if Fury will dismiss the upstart group and continue their commanding performances.