In putting a 15-8 beat down on Schwa, The All-Stars revealed exactly where each team is. The All-Stars are shaping up into the team they will be; in fact they are very close to being fully formed. Schwa has much further to go until they are the team they want to be. The positive for both teams was the defense. I know the wind gets the big assist, but the D was excellent.
One of the cool things about The All-Stars is that they are all excellent defenders. Against Schwa they were particularly good around the disc, stifling Portland's resets and containing their arounds. Again and again, Schwa was driven down into the trap and not let out. The All-Stars got some big blocks, but nothing out of the ordinary. I remember as a young player marveling at someone's ability to get blocks and wishing I could play like that, when one of my older teammates said no, you want to play defense like Al because his man never even gets thrown to. That's how The All-Stars were able to play last night.
Portland's defense wasn't so shabby either. They didn't do any one piece of defense particularly well, but they hung in and played with grit and desire the whole way through the game. This may seem like a small thing, but it isn't. Teams have to build around an identity - that identity gives them strength and purpose and allows them to push through and weather difficult stretches. (Those stretches can be points or years - I spent five years in one.) On a night where their offense fell apart, their defense held together and that's the kind of thing that you can build around.
There was a telling moment on offense that defined the game for me. (It's at 1:19:00.) Franklin gets the disc on the backhand third and has nothing. Erin Schroeder is checking down on the far side of the field and is a step open. Which is to say - she isn't very open. She is twenty-five yards away and coming straight down the field, leaving a block angle wide open. With no hesitation, Franklin puts it in exactly the right spot - a boring, routine play. This is the throw that The All-Stars were making, that Schwa wasn't. It's the throw with tempo to someone who is open, but just. It requires trust. It requires placement. These are the throws that keep an offense alive against good defense.
I'll end with scrapple. Kelly Hansen's block on Jaclyn (21:45) was the play of the game...Schwa's offense didn't play wide enough downfield and didn't play back enough when challenged at the disc....Stert was instrumental on two big upwind goals - throwing one and skying for another. That's upwind offense - get in a good spot and take your chances.....Speaking of hucks, that might have been the difference in the game. Schwa missed too many that they should have hit....Where's the Traffic game?...The line versus Molly Brown is The All-Stars -1/2.