Memorial Day Matchup: Red Crank Out First Season Win Against Nightshade

by Emma Sirkin

Nashville, TN—Saturday, May 25. With both Nashville and Indianapolis looking for their first win of the season, it was Indianapolis who would prevail, 16-14.

Nashville Nightshade came out strong with a 2-0 lead. Some unforced Indy errors brought the game to 6-2 Nashville with two minutes left in the first quarter. After a timeout call by Nashville, something clicked with the Indianapolis Red squad, and they came back into the game with great lock-down defense and some smooth O-line flow. A score from Red’s Nichole Kwee to Brittany Winner brought Indy within two points at the end of the first quarter, with the score 7-5 in favor of Nashville.

“Everyone could tell that both teams came in hungry for the victory,” said Indianapolis Red Captain Kate McInerney about the early Nashville lead. “I think Red players were motivated to dig deep after seeing Nashville earn the early lead, and we all drew energy that lasted the rest of the match from some big plays early on.”

As the livestream commentator called it, a “shift in the wind” came as the second quarter began, with Indy seeming to wake up. They held on offense, and then notched two back-to-back breaks. Nashville would be scoreless until five minutes left in the second quarter. Nashville broke their scoreless streak with a huge hammer caught by captain Liz Barnes. But then the Red’s Austin Prucha gave one of her trademark performances with a huge layout D to end the second quarter to keep Indy in the lead with a score of 10-8.

The third quarter started with clean holds from both teams as each seemed to finally get the feel of the wind and their opponents. Nashville brought the game back to within one point as the third quarter ended with a score by Red’s Briana Harrison to make it 13-12, Indianapolis.

“There’s nothing like seeing your teammates play all out,” said McInerney, “It makes you search for and find extra capacity in yourself.” Indianapolis left everything out on the field in the fourth quarter with some amazing layout grabs and D’s from Prucha, Kristin Baxter, Lauren Boyle and Jen Golan. This huge effort from Indy’s offensive and defensive lines is what brought Indy the win.

The Spin “Play of the Game” was given to Red’s Lauren Boyle for her huge point-saving grab. The “Player of the Game” award was given to Red’s Austin Prucha for her multiple layout Ds and huge impact in the air.

This breaks Indy’s three-game losing streak. Red will look to continue this momentum with their final game of the regular season against Columbus Pride in Versailles, OH on June 14 as part of the Poultry Day tournament. Nashville will continue to look for their first franchise win on June 1 against the Atlanta Soul.

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Emma Sirkin has been playing ultimate since 2012 when a friend picked her up from her dorm in college to buy cleats for practice. She sometimes spends the better part of my days watching old games on YouTube.

Tim Kepner