High School National Invite 2022: Day One Recap (Girls) | Wender Mind Kids

High School National Invite 2022: Day One Recap (Girls)

Who can catch the Dominators of the first day?

Edina at the 2022 High School National Invite. Photo: Rudy DeSort — UltiPhotos.com

This article was co-authored by Tyler Byrum.

RICHMOND — High School National Invite 2022 began with the girls division game on Friday as teams grappled not only with some of their toughest competitions yet, but also with challenging conditions and a new level of pressure. Some have risen to the occasion while others have withered. Most of the kids were happy to take to the fields with their teammates in front of parents and fans to play against strong and spirited competition. While fans got some thrills, there was some narrative that emerged from the day’s three rounds of pool play.

The Saturday Bracket

The results of the billiard game can be found here.

Top seed dominance on day one

The best of the west looked very strong on Saturday, especially the two top seeds, South Eugene (OR) and Roosevelt (WA). The Oregon club was essentially untouchable, giving up just four goals in their three games. They made solid teams like Lexington and Radnor look out from their depths. Roosevelt brought a polished game and deep lineup and had few moments of challenge in her matchup with Lone Peak, the best team both teams faced on Day 1.

South Eugene and her large junior class are enormously talented and have a strong mind to take advantage. They have a lot of pace and attack the disc on defense. After creating blocks or urging teams to make mistakes, they blazed their way into the end zone with a quick transition attack. The team maintained a constant energy throughout the day as they blitzed their opponents.

Roosevelt wasn’t quite as gassy, ​​but was similarly relentless. Their skills run deep and they are capable of bringing a number of different players onto the field who can drive the offense forward. Chagall Gelfend, Chloe Hakimi and Lucy Tanner all demonstrated their ability to dish out effectively. They also had some impressively thought out defensive moves to shake things up, with Bella Mansfield impressing on that side as well.

It’s harder to say that Lincoln and Ingraham were just as dominant, but they both looked pretty strong. Ingraham only played two games in three-team Pool D, winning both by wide margins, but the quality of their competition is unclear. Lincoln was once tested by a rowdy Four Rivers team, who made three straight pitches late in the game to close the gap. Otherwise they have posted similar results. We may have to wait until the semifinals to see how they compare.

Better have your Zone O ready

While conditions for the girls’ division’s afternoon rounds were calmer than the boys’, there was no shortage of zone defense points on Saturday. Cup zones and even junk looks were both in vogue as teams tried not to give up quick results. Lone Peak and Four Rivers were both frequent zone defenders, and they were far from alone.

Many teams had smaller rosters or rotations, so running zone defense may have been a way of saving the legs of top-end players. Teams with a wide array of defensive skills in their roster might also see benefits in running sets that direct the disc to their best block getters. Testing young players’ discipline and being able to target weaker shooters can be a winning strategy.

However, some teams felt inflexible, like they didn’t have the ability to adapt when a team could effectively control their zone defenses. Very few teams went into matchup mid-possession, choosing to guard the space even as the goal line drew closer. The clubs with disc ability and discipline or the athleticism to get over it did well on Saturday.

Depth is the key

Most teams played three games to 15 today, but they did so with sunshine and 80-degree temperatures draining their stamina. As is the case with these things, the problems worsened as the day progressed: more and more tired players made execution errors that made the points longer and more grueling. In the back half of the third round, the legs looked heavy.

It was a really difficult day for a team that had to rely on a few players to carry a large part of the workload. The teams that looked strongest weren’t those whose best players consistently dominated—it was the teams whose third, fourth, or fifth strongest individual emerged. Aside from the pool winners, Four Rivers, Lone Peak, and Radnor all received contributions from players in excess of their top-usage folks during their peaks. Sophia Slade was effective for Four Rivers and made challenging catches throughout the day. A number of players competed for Lone Peak, including River Gordon and Sarah Swenson. Erica Clarke and Diana Huang both had standout moments for Radnor.

This was also exacerbated by the prevalence of zone defense. Teams that could consistently field entire lines of players who felt comfortable attacking a zone, or at least finding space and hitting resets, had a much easier time during the day. This also allowed them to prevent games from becoming energy-sapping grinds.

How do roster changes affect Sunday?

There was an undercurrent on the fields of various players unable to join their teams. Rosters certainly felt small and marred by the heat, and there was a sense that teams were incomplete. Some teams, like Garfield, couldn’t have all of their players present at all. Some others missed players today for prom, graduation, or other previous commitments; others may be gone tomorrow for the same reasons.

It’s impossible to plan a weekend within the right timeframe without conflict, so teams know what to expect and must learn to adapt. But on Sunday things could look a little different with a change in personnel.

Ultiworld subscribers, read on to learn about some of Day One’s most notable standouts.

Bonus content for High School National Invite 2022: Day One Recap (Girls) is only available to Ultiworld subscribers

Subscribe to Ultiworld

Already have a subscription? log in

Whether you visit Ultiworld for our coverage, our podcasts or our video coverage, by subscribing you can help us continue to provide quality content. When you become a subscriber, you not only get benefits like bonus content and RSS feeds of full articles, but you also help fund all of Ultiworld’s coverage in general. We appreciate your support!