The USA start the game strong and for the first three points the Swiss struggle to make it out of their own half of the field. Although the USA could have been punished after throwing hucks to no-one on several occasions, Switzerland can barely connect on the under cuts as the wind makes the disc either stall in the air, just out of reach, or rise above their intended target.
Even though it is the States who are able to take the lead despite their turnovers, it is in fact Switzerland who deliver the first clean point of the game. The USA poach off handlers to stop the upfield but the Swiss find Corinne Wiederkehr in the middle. After gaining ground, they move around the width of field and slot in. Spurred on by the break, this Swiss boys fire up the chants on the sideline. Bodies fly for the disc on both sides this Swiss are able to start catching up, Katrin Grenacher laying out in the end zone to bring the score to USA 3-2 SUI.
While the athleticism of players such as Sarah Anciaux, whose shoulder high dive prevents Isabelle Güttinger from scoring up the line, wins them astonishing Ds, the USA turn time and time again. Miscommunications and overshot passes between the USA are giving the Swiss, who are struggling with their snappy discs being slowed by the wind, the lifelines to level the score to USA 4-4 SUI.
But the Swiss never take the lead and the USA start to run away with the game. The States don’t mess around and come straight out with a play. The stack doesn’t move and just waits for Becky Malinowski to peel off the back for Paige Soper to let rip a full-field huck for the score. The timing and placement this time round is perfect. While for the time being the USA seem capable of hitting receivers anywhere, the Swiss discs are hanging and, as a consequence, always being contested. Nevertheless, they are able to take one last point off the USA as Laura Niederhauser sends up huge huck that rolls in to back of the end zone. Although the USA’s Amber Sinicrope is there to make a bid, the disc arcs over her head to perfectly fall into the hands of Melanie Meuter, bringing the score to USA 7-5 SUI.
Nevertheless, the USA defence is spectacular. They demonstrate superior athleticism and intelligent positioning in the air, barely letting SUI out of their own half or forcing them to jack it long at the wrong moment. However, their offence is not clean, and it takes nine turns and nearly 10 mins, during which SUI call a timeout, to finally bring the score to USA 10- 5 SUI. Having said that, the Swiss defence too deserve credit for their endurance in this point. While at times the USA would rip up from end of the field to another in a blink of an eye, at others, the Swiss marks stayed strong, often forcing the USA to throw away in front of the end zone.
In the end, the final score is USA 11 – 5 SUI. While this game was a far scrappier performance from the USA than expected, this game exemplified both their physical and technical prowess. For every mistake they made, they pulled out a spectacular play, that the Swiss were nowhere near close to matching. As such, they were never in danger of losing this particular game and move forward into the semis looking formidable, yet fallible.
By Charlie Blair.