Radiance Shines Too Brightly for Pride
By Niki Lesniak
Columbus, OH—Saturday, June 8. Raleigh Radiance went up 3-0 and never looked back as they dominated in last weekend’s windy game against Columbus Pride with a final score of 20-12.
The 14mph cross field wind hindered Pride’s reset options throughout the game while Radiance’s offense played as though it was a still day. Radiance’s poachy clam defense in the wind made Pride’s typical long shot offense unsuccessful. Pride wouldn’t put one on the scoreboard until Sophie Knowles’ assist to Iris Javersak, making the score 5-1. The first quarter ended with the Radiance up, 6-1.
To start the second quarter, Pride went on a three-point run, with highlights like Caitlin Duffner’s great grab on the line that eventually brought the game seemingly within reach at 6-4. Radiance countered with Jenny Wei scoring off a Lyra Olson huck. Up 11-6, Radiance took a time out with one second on the clock left in the first half. During timeouts, under PUL rules, teams can sub up to seven players. Radiance put Wei in during this final possession, but it was Radiance’s Anne Worth who had an incredible layout grab to end the half 12-6, Radiance.
Pride came out strong in the second half, immediately getting a break point after a D from Monica Tournoux and a score from Knowles. Pride seemed to struggle with handler communication, often crowding the non-handler throwers. The third quarter had points riddled with turnovers and peppered with athletic plays, such as Radiance’s Jessi Jones’ awesome huck to Bridget Mizener. Pride’s strategy was to put more pressure on the Radiance throwers, which did seem to be effective in causing more turns. Radiance had a similar strategy, playing a downfield loose zone on Pride cutters while playing person defense on the handlers. Radiance’s Wei seemed to gobble up any throw that the Pride throwers got off. Pride’s pressure wasn’t enough to stop Radiance’s effortless flow. Radiance was up 15-9 after the third quarter.
In the final quarter of the game, Pride switched to desperate measures. Sadie Jezierski, undoubtedly a strong player for Pride, seemed to try to carry the team. Jezierski’s hammer to receiver Mary Turner brought the score to 11-17. Yet Radiance continued using their effective zone defense in the fourth quarter, closing out the game with a win, 20-12.
Niki Lesniak is an ultimate player currently residing in Maine, though originally from Seattle. She has been playing ultimate since 2005 in the mixed and women’s division and has played in over 25 different countries.