Picture of: Jacob at the Centex fields, through my busted lens, very artsy
21 March 2008
Picture of: Jacob at the Centex fields, through my busted lens, very artsy
20 March 2008
Picture: Our house north of Austin (notice the lens cap crack, i cant figure out how to get it off, gdspfac!)
16 March 2008
13 March 2008
Thanks to Pat B. for the write up. Leaving for TX on Sunday. Picture form the subway
A somewhat smaller Carleton Ultimate Team showed up to the Stanford invite ranked as the second seed, but with only 16 there, numbers were a little short. Still, placed as the top dog in a pool with Stanford, UNC-W, UCSD, and UC-Berkeley, we had a lot of tough competition on the schedule for the Saturday ahead. A relatively uneventful flight had most of the boys into San Francisco airport by 7:30 on Friday and home at the Fagin's by 8:00 or so, leaving plenty of time to eat a fantastic lasagna dinner and to prepare for the two days ahead.
Saturday started against an opponent we have been itching to play ever since we lost to them three times last year, including a heartbreaking 16-17 defeat in the last game of pool play at Nationals last year. This was Stanford Bloodthirsty. Arriving an hour early at the field for our 10:50 game, we got well warmed up and huddled to fire up against Stanford. The game started out well, with CUT getting two quick breaks (a "break" is when the defense, the side that pulls it, takes the disc from the offense and scores a goal), but Stanford broke back twice and we were even again. Still, a combination of zone (Christian Foster and Adam Fagin both had incredible layout Ds in one zone point) and hard man defense generated additional breaks, as well as smart player matchups on Stanford's main guys. Revenge was finally had when we caught the last goal to make it a 13-9 victory, CUT.
Satisfied with our victory, and expecting the rest of the day to be fairly easy, we came out flat against UNC-W. The game got fairly heated quickly, and we let our heads get out of the game. Including some accidental choking. This loss in mental focus came along with silly drops and unfortunate turnovers, and caused us to get broken multiple times in a row. By the time we got ourselves back in it, playing hard man D wasn't enough to claw our way back in the game, and we lost in a shocking upset to UNC-W, 9-13.
There was no time to rest, however, as our third game of the day followed right after our heartbreaking loss, since the UCSD Air Squids were all finished with their game by the time ours finally ended. We were able to turn our frustration from the last game into some fairly quick breaks for our defense, and then came out fired up at half to run away with the game. The final was 13-6.
Our last game of the day was against UC-Berkeley, and the story was much the same as against UNC-W. Expecting to win easily (we had beaten them 13-4 at this tournament the year before), we came out flat and looked tired from the first point. We traded breaks for a while, but eventually Cal was able to put a run on our O line that we couldn't answer. This game ended badly as well, 8-13.
Later than night, Cal would lose to Stanford in the showcase game, thus assuring that we would not be playing in the 1-12th bracket the next day. This was a tough blow, since we came into the tournament expecting to play very highly. The huddle after the Cal game had the air of lamentation, and Sam Kanner expressed our feelings best when he said "I love this team, I love all of you guys, and it hurts so badly when we don't play well." Knowing already that we probably wouldn't be playing in the winner's bracket the next day, we talked about how tomorrow presented a different kind of opportunity than we had expected, but it was an opportunity nonetheless. An opportunity to improve, to learn from our mistakes on Saturday, and an opportunity to make the best of the position we had put ourselves in. Home at the Fagin's, we were treated to a delicious spaghetti and salad dinner, and settled into the couches to watch a Bond movie on the TV. Knowing that we had a game at 8am the next day, most of us got to bed early and with frisbee on the brain.
Unfortunately, although we knew that it was daylight savings time that night, we still somehow failed to wake up until an hour before our game (we usually like to be at the fields by then). After some frantic changing and a quick breakfast, we made our way as quickly as we could to the field. Because we didn't play well the day before, we were placed into an 8 team bracket fighting for 13th. Our first game, at 8, was against Brown. Brown has a lot of skilled players, but they are somewhat short on athleticism. However, they DID manage to bring 20+ healthy players to the tournament, which we had failed to do. In fact, by this time injuries were veritably decimating our team, with our numbers brought down to just 12. Jerome and Nolan were out with hip flexor problems, Alex Kinsey with severe illness, and Rob Bradley with quad problems all were forced to sit and to try to do what they could from the sidelines. We went up on Brown by a fair amount to start, taking half 7-4 or so. We realized that they had very few deep threats and only wanted to throw it underneath, so we began to exploit that by forcing their cutters deep. This resulted in a large numbers of turns. Dan Mammel, in the halftime huddle, said that he had heard some of the Brown guys saying "we just don't have the speed to keep up with them," which was heartening because many of us had already played huge numbers of points this tournaments and felt much slower than usual. The game ended without much more remarkable happening, in favor CUT 13-7 or 6 or so.
Our next game, the semifinals of the 13th place bracket, was against the team that had upset us at Vegas. We came out against Oregon EGO with some energy, getting a quick break. However, some unfortunate and hasty errors on offense gave them that break back and a bonus, putting us down. We rallied our flagging legs (some players, specifically Sam Kanner, CK, Christian Foster, and myself were now playing at least 3 points out of every 4 to make up for our personnel losses) to generate two more breaks to take half 7-6. The second half was mostly trading until the end, with us being up 12-11 with a chance to score and end the game. But, in what was a characteristic problem this weekend, we got hasty and tried to force it, but instead turned the disc and were scored on instead. They we were broken, making it 12-13 EGO. Our O-line finally punched it in on the third try, making it 13-13 game to 14. With huge amounts of sideline support, we rushed down the field, laying out and making throws as difficult as possible. Sadly, one of Oregon's throwers got the disc and, while falling down, managed to put up a flick which floated perfectly into his reciever's hands, just inches away from two pursuing CUT defenders, ending the game 13-14 Oregon. This was a tough loss to take, since we thought we had the game in hand, but there was one more game to play.
Whitman was our next opponent, and our last game of the day. We talked about what we had been doing wrong all weekend, which was, generally, rushing and taking risky shots when we had open looks underneath. The game started off well, with our zone D generating turns left and right. We went 5-0 right away, calmly working the disc into their endzone once we got the turn. Whitman eventually punched one in, and we seemed to fold a little bit, expecting the game to be easy. Instead, we were broken twice in a row to make it 5-3. We then took half 7-3 with one offensive point and one break. However, there was a half left to play and we seemed to want to just coast our way through the game. This does not, it turns out, work very well. Whitman came back on us, and made a game of it. They even tied it at 12s, and we saw a repeat of the Oregon game happening before our eyes. However, our offense finally managed to put it in, and our defense got a D and finished the game 14-12, CUT.
The weekend left us 4-3 and with a lot of frustration, as well as plenty of things to work on. While it would be nice to be able to blame our play on our lack of numbers, that would only be an excuse. We simply didn't play the way we wanted to, and we all know that we have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks. Nonetheless, when we played well it was a beautiful thing to watch and incredibly fun to play within. And of course, who can say no to two days of 70 degree, beautiful sunny California weather. After watching the finals, we headed back to the Fagin's to splash around in the pool and to grill food for dinner.
07 March 2008
I've been swamped with end of term papers and presentations, though hardly an excuse for the lack of posts.
Stanford is this weekend, should be excellent weather. I wanted to pass along an email from teammate Grant L, "DON'T BELIEVE THA HYPE. CREATE THE HYPE." Right, so we face Stanford first game, should be grudge fest, then finish the day out against 2 more cali teams and UNC. I am bringing my computer for real (last time i didn't have an ID so they wouldn't let me bring my comp, something about a bomb), so be expecting some brief write ups
Props to Tish Fagin for creating PCUT (Parents of the Carleton Ultimate Team) and the associated paypal account to supply food/drinks/supplies/ at our tournaments. Flying/driving/hoteling really takes a toll on our cash supplies that we would rather use for drugs and hookers, so thanks parents! If you would like to get in contact with Tish about donating or helping at any of the tournaments click on her name above.