Medellín Steals the Show in Indiana

by Jacob Long

Indianapolis, Indiana—Saturday, May 11. In typical rainy, windy, and chilly Midwest weather, Medellín Revolution came in and stole the show from the Indianapolis Red at the Indy home opener as part of ‘Ultimate Day IN Indiana’. Ultimate Day featured the state high school championships, the PUL’s Indianapolis Red versus Medellín Revolution game, and concluded with the AUDL’s Indianapolis Alleycats versus Atlanta Hustle.

Red came out firing in their first point, completing a quick hold that ended with an assist from Claire Schwaba to Bri Harrison.

“You know, I woke up this morning feeling dangerous,” said Schwaba after the game. “We put up a good fight, and I learned a lot from playing against them.” Both Schwaba and Harrison were huge playmakers for Red who was missing their coach, Ryan Gorman and offensive stalwart, Brittany Winner, due to the USAU Beach Nationals tournament.

That would be Red’s only lead, as Revolution was able to hold on to a marathon point that, due to a clerical issue, needed to have six minutes put back on the clock. The following point, Revolution took the lead on a couple of unforced drops by Red that allowed the Revolution to break upwind. The first quarter of play ended 4-1, Revolution.

The second quarter started in the same fashion, as the Revolution held upwind on the score to Alejandra Uribe, and then rattled off a few more scores. In the second quarter, Red continued to struggle with chemistry on offense. At the half, Revolution led 8-3.

Coming out of half, the weather conditions got worse, leading to more drops and possession changes on both sides. Revolution took a 12-4 lead in the final quarter of the game. Red punched in two more scores, with the final score an impressive upwind point in which Red’s Lauren Boyle threw the score to teammate Kelly Kerker on a great cross-wind cross-field throw. Revolution would go on to win, 16-6.

But the scoreboard doesn’t tell the complete story. Revolution had to fight hard to overcome a stingy Red defense, which led to a lot of forced turns that the Red team just struggled to capitalize on. Red also got unlucky having three quarters end on downwind points for them which could have brought the score much closer had they been played out. But PUL rules are that the once time expires, play ends with the conclusion of the current possession.

“I was really excited [for this game] because I have not played with an Indianapolis team, and I had high expectations,” said Revolution’s Uribe. “They gave their best. They made me do things that I usually don’t do, and I had to change my game.”

Leading up to the game, the two teams took different approaches to getting ready. Indianapolis Red did a lot of scouting before the game as well as mental preparation.

“We had a lot of film and a lot of time to prepare. We expected that fast, give-and-go action with quick, short throws,” said Red captain Sydney Olund.

On the other hand, Revolution did not have as much video to prepare, and instead relied on their strong system and talent honed as a team over the past weeks. This was the last regular season game for Revolution, which consisted of five games in three weekends, with the last two weekends in the U.S.

“In the end, their offense took us over. They had a few less mistakes than us, and they pulled it out,” said Olund.

Although they took a small squad of just over two lines worth of players, the Revolution team does not think that the small numbers impacted their play. In fact, according to coach Mauricio Moore, this was a big part of their game plan.

“We have been learning a lot. This journey has been more about learning from ourselves what is the next level of ultimate,” said Moore. “In the history of ultimate, you have seen twenty-four, twenty-five, thirty [players on a roster] which is based on American Football style of lines. In my perspective, less is more. Less people means more connections and more chemistry.”

In the Indiana High School State Championships, Fishers High School took down defending champion Center Grove in a convincing 9-6 win to snap an eight-year championship winning streak for Center Grove. Fishers’ zone defense was effective in the wind, forcing Center Grove to repeatedly turn over the disc near their own end zone and allowing Fishers to capitalize.

In the last game of Ultimate Day, the AUDL’s Indianapolis Alleycats were defeated by the Atlanta Hustle in the AUDL game of the week, 27-22.

Jacob Long has been a huge fan of ultimate since he was a member of Purdue University’s club team. When he’s not actively playing, he’s consuming as much ultimate content as possible, hoping it will make him a better player some day.

Tim Kepner