Poultry Days Showdown

by Emma Sirkin

Versailles, Ohio—Friday, June 14. At the 38th annual Poultry Days tournament, Indianapolis Red and Columbus Pride met in the final week of the regular season. With a huge crowd of people from all over the Midwest and the weather holding off, Indianapolis Red started on defense. Indy showed off their zone defense throughout the night, which proved to be a struggle for Pride’s offense. After a sloppy first point with multiple turnovers, a huge backhand huck from Pride’s Libby Lehman converted Pride’s offensive hold. Indy Red responded with a clean offensive hold. Some points later, with a downwind break, Indy went up 3-2 with five minutes left in the first quarter. After back-to-back breaks by Columbus Pride, the first quarter ended with Pride up 5-3.

At the start of the second quarter, Columbus Pride got an upwind break to make the score 6-3. But after a fantastic bid by Red’s Kristin Baxter, the game seemed to shift Red’s way. Red hopped on the break train with another upwind score from Claire Schwaba to Ashley Farnkopf. Red’s Austin Prucha left her feet on the next point with a huge layout grab on D followed by a huge sky downfield, which turned into the score that would put Indy up one. Pride finally got a score from Sophie Knowles to tie the game at 7s. After a timeout from Pride with five seconds left in the half, Pride turned the disc and gave it to Red to finish out possession. Red capitalized, bringing the halftime score to 8-7, Red. 

The wind continued to be a factor in the third quarter as the first point took over six minutes. Red’s Brittany Winner found Prucha in the endzone to bring Indy up by two points. Pride responded with a quick, clean offensive hold. Pride’s momentum continued with a fantastic layout D by Knowles. The third quarter ended tied at 9-9.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Pride came out firing, getting a quick first-throw D on Red by Mallorie Griffith. That would give Pride a break point and their first lead since the first half. Red’s Prucha responded with an amazing layout grab in the endzone to tie the game back up at 10s. Two clean offensive holds tied the game again at 11s. A nice inside break from Indy’s Emily Nadler to Baxter gave Indy a crucial break and the lead. Pride then scored back-to-back scores, which ultimately gave Pride the game. Pride would walk home with the win at this year’s Poultry Days classic with a score of 15-12.

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 her days watching old games on YouTube.

Tim Kepner