All-Star Ultimate Tour made their way to Rockville, Maryland to face elite women’s club team DC Scandal August 8. Scandal beat the All-Star Tour team with a final score of 15-12 at Richard Montgomery High School.
From the start of the game, both teams had a steady back-and-forth scoring until All-Star Tour’s first break of the game that made the score 5-3. Their lead continued well into the first half to reach a score of 7-4. However, Scandal replied with four unanswered goals to take the first half, 8-7. After the half, the teams went back and forth again for a few goals before Scandal pulled away to win the game.
All Star Tour’s game against Scandal was their second to last game of a nine-city tour. Local ultimate player and two-year Breeze operations intern Jason Pon, who attended the game along with several fellow interns, said he thought the grueling tour could have tired them out. “Towards the end of the game against Scandal’s zone [defense], they lost their composure and had a bunch of throwaways and a couple unfortunate drops,” Pon said.
Scandal’s focus on a zone defense helped them win the game, according to Pon. “Jesse Shofner is really fast and Scandal’s switch to zone really helped stifle her speed and keep the playing field more level,” Pon said. Jesse is the younger sister of Breeze handler Markham Shofner. She’s the reason Markham refers to himself as “The 2nd best player in my own family.” Pon also pointed out Scandal (and Breeze) Head Coach Alex “Dutchy” Ghesquiere for being able to recognize “what’s beating his team and making [appropriate] adjustments.”
Scandal’s Sandy Jorgensen was a name heard multiple times throughout the game both for her defensive plays and her offensive plays. “It was clear she was the best athlete on the field and when the handlers threw it deep to her with the smallest bit of separation proved that,” Pon said.
The All-Stars continued on to Boston for the final encounter of their nine-city tour Wednesday evening, where they lost another close game by the same 15-12 score. In all they visited Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta, Raleigh, Washington and Boston in just under three weeks.
The All-Star Ultimate Tour was developed in an effort to promote Women’s Ultimate Frisbee. Pon said he believed the game had a huge effect on women’s ultimate and the community as a whole. The crowd was large, energetic, supportive, and full of a combination of viewers new to ultimate and fans who clearly knew the rules of the game, according to Breeze owners Don Grage and Kellen Furness, who were also in attendance. At least 20 current and former Breeze players and coaches made it to Rockville Monday evening as well, as the event successfully brought together much of the DC Ultimate community. Grage said he believes this game was a well organized and enjoyable showcase for the immense talent that makes up women’s ultimate and contributed strongly to the continuing growth of the sport, just as the tour intended.