Crush defeats South in close battle

Girls ultimate victorious in harsh weather


Abigail Keller

Freshman Ximena Gomez Rodriguez throws the disc into play May 17. Crush beat South 9-7.

Despite the downpour May 17, Park’s girls ultimate team prevailed, winning the game against South 9-7. 

According to coach Kevin Ruda, the team struggled initially, but it kicked it into high gear during the second half.

“We definitely had some ups and downs,” Ruda said. “There was a point where we were struggling to figure out their zone, but then something clicked after halftime and it worked a lot better after that.”

Junior Izzy Nathan said because South put up a valiant effort, the win sharpened Park’s skills. 

“We all played really well. The other team threw a bunch of challenges at us. We had to think through how to get through them, and it really made us a better team overall,” Nathan said.

The game was the first of the season that Crush played in the stadium. For senior Natasha Johannes, the combination of playing in a new space and South’s competitiveness is what made the game so fun.

“Today’s game went well, we definitely were pretty closely matched with South ultimate. It was a very competitive game throughout,” Johannes said. “It also was very exciting for us to be able to use the stadium because we don’t often get to use it.”

Ruda said that Crush’s unabating intensity is what brought the team to victory. 

“There were a lot of points where we had some good strong team defense. Our intensity overall was really never lacking, which has been a systematic problem once in a while,” Ruda said. 

Johannes said although the team was triumphant, the weather caused some play complications.

“For this game in particular, it was trickier with the disk being wet and it being rainy the whole time — it made things slippery,” Johannes said. “But once we get that down, we will definitely dominate more, because we get a lot of good looks in the endzone and near the end zone. But sometimes we don’t complete them because we dropped the catch.”

Although the showers caused Crush to drop the frisbee a few times, Ruda said that they impacted South’s playing a lot more.

“I honestly think (the rain) helped us. We didn’t drop nearly as many as South did, which I think was because of the rain. So I think it overall benefited us,” Ruda said.

Crush had previously played South at the Hopkins Hustle tournament May 14-15. Nathan said that, although the weather situation was different from the last time they faced South, it ultimately helped Crush win.

“I think it made us better. It was a challenge and we overcame it. We played this team two days ago at Hopkins Hustle and it was a closer game than today was,” Nathan said. “Even though it was worse weather and kind of worse conditions, we scored more points as a team.”

The next Crush girls ultimate game is at 6 p.m. May 24 at the St. Louis Park track against Edina JV.