It’s good to see that both Austria and Denmark have managed to field Women’s teams here in France. Despite both countries having strong Ultimate scenes on grass, neither have managed to field teams at WCBU before. One would sense that being landlocked may have something to do with why Austria have struggled in the past.
However, both teams did enter a squad into the European Beach championships in 2013. On that occasion, Austria came out with a close 8-7 victory against the Danes, eventually finishing fifth. Here in Royan, they have no returners from that side. Coming off a 13-3 defeat to USA, they’re relying on the fact a lot of the team (and the coach Linda Leibig) all come from Mantis, a strong Austrian Women’s side.
Denmark are looking like the stronger team this time around though. A fifth place finish in the Confederations Cup (over Austria’s 10th) means they take the psychological edge over Austria, despite a narrow first-game loss to Spain. They also have six returners from their EBUC 2013 side, including Eurostars player and co-captain Maya Mileck (returner Camilla Trinderup is the other co-captain). With in-season form on their side, coach Jonas Skovgaard was looking to guide this team to victory.
Denmark start on offence. They score without losing possession. Then they pull, earn the disc back, and score again. The Danish zone is giving the Austrians a lot of trouble. Former Germany U23 Mixed player Levke Walczak catches a high disc, and then converts for another Danish score. It’s DEN 4 – 0 AUT, and Austria get the disc after a rare Denmark turn. Austria call a timeout. They then instantly turn with a hammer over the Danish zone. The yardage gain proves useful though, as Denmark turn again quickly, and Austria get their first score. 4-1.
Denmark are playing very well – taking lots of short measured passes, along with a few bigger shots. Austria don’t seem to have any players cutting for them, so they keep throwing long. Or, because they keep throwing long, no one is cutting for them. It’s tough to tell. They trade to 5-2, but then the Danes take control. Austria handler and spirit captain Angela Savio tries to get her team out of trouble, but is stalled out from lack of options. The Danes are playing great D, and it earns them an 8-2 lead.
A ten-minute point shows the Austrians aren’t giving up yet. They start to work it past the Danish zone, preferring to go over the top of the wall (the Danes like to swing it around to generate space). Both teams struggle in front of the endzones. A Danish timeout gives the stability needed, and the Danish convert. The rest of the game shows a few moments of steel from both teams – Julia Lischka gets a huge layout block for Austria. But Rikke Neerup Rørvang gets two blocks for Denmark, and then scores at the other end. Denmark see the game home safely.
Quotes from the sideline
Søren Ravn (Denmark Men) – Denmark came out hard and put the gas on. They connected on their hucks. Austria couldn’t cope with the aggressive zone.
Léa Terrin (volunteer) – Denmark were more mentally strong, and I think Austria couldn’t operate at the same level as their oppoisiton. Austria wanted to play their best and enjoy the game, Denmark wanted to win. Good spirit from both teams.
Victor et Valentine (age 13 & 12) – Sur les matchs, il n’y a pas beaucoup de blessés mais c’est quand même intéressant de voir des joueurs, d’autres pays jouer.
Linda Liebig (Austrian Coach) – Denmark played lights out from beginning to end.
By Harry Mason.