Heidelberg, Germany (July 20, 2019) – The U.S. Under-24 Women’s National Team defeated Japan 15-9 this morning in Heidelberg to take home the gold medal from the 2019 World Under-24 Ultimate Championships. It was the second match up of the tournament for the U.S. and Japanese women. They faced off in power pool play, a game that resulted in a 15-12 win for the U.S. But the last time the two teams competed in the U-24 World Championships final, in London in 2015, it ended in the only loss the U.S. delegation has suffered in their history at the event.
Things started off well for the U.S.; they opened the game with a break to go up 1-0. The defense continued with similar vigor through the game, creating at least one break opportunity on nearly every point. On the other side of the disc, once the U.S. settled in and recognized Japan’s ability to jump the lane and get help D’s on deep, floaty looks with regularity, the offense was smooth. Japan stuck with their zone defense for the majority of the game, at least in the early part of the field. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. again got strong performances from Angela Zhu, Julianna Werffeli and Kelli Iwamoto behind the disc. Abby Hecko also had a great game, both on defense and one of the team’s main handlers on the turn. Samiya Ismail was unforgiving with the disc in her hands, unafraid to take the deep shots – and they worked. Sadie Jezierski had another amazing game as well, getting big D’s, breaking the mark with seeming ease and running her defender ragged.
On game point, the U.S. started on defense, the big zone cup sprinting down the field. A few throws into the point, and still well within the red zone, Carly Campana laid out from her spot in the cup to knock down a pass, and a couple throws later she made a great cut from the back of the stack to the front cone, an easy option for Ari Nelson, and got the bookends goal to earn the gold medal.
After a week of competition and 10 games, Claire Trop ended up atop the team’s statboard, followed closely by her Dartmouth counterparts Angela Zhu and Caitlyn Lee. But as is the hallmark of American National Teams, it was a full team effort, with everyone contributing in a major way in every game, led by an incredible coaching staff.
Congratulations to the 2019 U.S. U-24 Women’s National Team!