It’s the last game in the power pools of the Women’s division. Teams are trying to boost their seeding as much as possible in order to get the best pre-quarter (last 16) game that they can manage. Latvia and Denmark have been impressing everybody so far, and are currently fighting between seeds seven and eight. They will be going into the most difficult crossover, so a game that’s slightly easier or slightly harder could make all the difference.
We’ve already had to cover both Latvia and Denmark due to how good they’ve been. Latvia managed to dispatch Switzerland (11-10) and Germany (10-8) in their pool games. Denmark beat Estonia (9-6), Australia (8-7) and only lost to the USA by one point (9-10).
As it turns out, the winner of the game would play Germany. The loser would face Switzerland. Neither outcome was particularly cheery, but they would fight for every inch that they could.
As you might expect, these two teams are good. Very good. The first few points go in with zero turns, and no risky throws. It’s not that the defence is not good – it is, and there’s a number of high stall counts – it’s just that the teams are patient, and willing to wait for that perfect disc. DEN 2 – 2 LAT. Only here do we get the first turn, and it’s followed by a couple more. Players start bidding, and Latvian captain Dace Cīrule gets the D, and then the assist for her team. The defence of both teams has finally caught up with the offence, as Latvia D a long disc, and turn on their own endzone. Denmark convert. DEN 3 – 3 LAT.
Finally, we see our first break, and it’s an unpressured throwaway by Latvian Lāsma Kublicka. Denmark seize the chance and the disc. Ellen Jakobsen takes down a huge huck from Astrid Alsted. DEN 4 – 3 LAT. There’s a couple more zero-turn points to make it 5-4, but Latvia are impatient. They heckle “is this a timeout” as Denmark coach Jonas Skovgaard uses all the time he has to guide the team. His advice pays off. Denmark get a D, and score with a two consecutive backhand-break throws.
Latvia are frustrated, but professional. Dace Cīrule gets a lovely assist, cut it’s called back after a pick call. A few swings later, and she assists again, this time for real. Denmark reply to make it 7-5 at half. The game is tight. A rare fumble by Danish co-captain Maya Mileck is punished by the Latvians, who win a break back. 7-6. Denmark are now the ones rattled. A long point and a Danish timeout can’t stop this Latvian team. 7-7.
There are more chances for Latvia. Santa Možeika gets the D, but Helēna Dreimane drops on offence. Denmark score. Then Latvia. Then Denmark. Then Latvia. In those four points, neither side turned, and the offence was incredibly crisp. It’s universe point, and Latvia take a timeout. They need to. Something big has to happen for them to win this.
Final point. Latvia play Arste, Dreimane, Gulbe, Cīrule and Možeika. Denmark have Noer, Alsted, Jakobsen, Rørvang and Mileck. Both sides stacking their line for this point. Latvia are inches from a D twice, but Denmark are too good.
Quotes from the sideline
Martins Gosars (Latvian Coach) – It was very close. Some unforced errors and drops decided the game. Our long throws were ok, it was the unforced errors that clinched it.
Jonas Skovgaard (Denmark Coach) – It was good for the confidence of the team, because we played well.
Ieva Grabe* (Latvian Fan) – It was a very tightgame, and interesting to watch. I’m disappointed by then end, but who doesn’t love when a game goes to universe point? I congratulate the Danish team for the win, and all the athletes for managing to play in this heat.
*Ieva has been streaming a lot of Latvian games, including this one. She gave us permission to share a link to the livestreams (https://www.facebook.com/ieva.grabe.3/videos/1676953512365312/?pnref=story ), but asked us to add that, since her profile is public, you don’t need to add her as a friend.
Noah Terrien – C’était un très beau match. Très sérré avec une forte intensité et le suspense est resté jusqu’au bout! Il y a eu beaucoup de turns et de trés belles défenses! C’était un trés beau match.