I was recruited by Michelle Ng and Without Limits to write about my experiences in my final season of College Ultimate. 2011 has many possibilities...let's see how they pan out. E-mail me (robyn-fennig@uiowa.edu)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Centex: Recapped by yet another person who was there.

Saucy vs. Washington Element
We came out super flat with no intensity whatsoever in this game. It was frustrating. We made some adjustments in the second half to take away their deep game and shut down the break side of their vertical stack better—but it was too little too late. We came out short. But I think it was the kick in the butt we needed. We can’t come out flat against good teams and expect to win all the time.

Saucy vs. Northwestern Gungho
We came out like we needed to against Washington in this game. We were fired up, had intensity. It was wonderful. We controlled the tempo of the game from start to end. Our rookies got play time in a huge tourney, and really stepped it up. Jojo caught multiple goals in this game. She’s going to blow up soon, I’m telling you.

Saucy vs. UCLA BLU
The intensity from the Northwestern game carried over. We were having fun. Everyone was contributing. It was more solid Saucy offense, and intense D. We were capitalizing on turns and had really open lines. Jojo and Jenny really improved this game, making some really good cuts offensively, becoming more assertive as the continue cut. Really stoked for them.

Dance-off. I’ll have a guest post about that. It’s looking good. You’ll love it, promise.

Pre-quarters: Saucy vs. Cal Pie Queens
I feel like after the first three points, we controlled the flow of the game. An-Chi is a baller, everyone knows this. But she had so many uncharacteristic errors…wide-open drops in the endzone, particularly. If she catches those, like she normally does, the score is closer. The story of this game is how Saucy was able to capitalize on turns. The wind was pretty strong in this game, and they struggled a bit with our zone. We punted a few times for field position. I was a little turned off by the things their coach was yelling. For instance, they turned the disc on their endzone line (upwind endzone). Mikey told me to punt it, so I throw a hammer over their zone. Cal coach’s response was to yell “yeah, they’d rather do that than play.” Well, when their team turned the disc 2 throws later, and we put it in easily. I’d say, you’re right…I’d rather play smart all day. I guess I always have this overarching respect for what I call the “California dynasty” teams. The UCSB-Stanford-Cal-UCLA dominance in our sport. Some of his remarks turned me off a bit. The girls on Cal, great SoTG, great sportsmanship. Great team to play.

Quarters: Saucy vs. Michigan Flywheel
We saw Flywheel at Easterns. We knew that we’d be seeing the team from the second half at Easterns, not the first half (i.e. they would not be giving us easy chances to score at the endzone line like they did they did in the first half). Every point was a battle. Breaks were important in this game, as the wind was not that huge a factor. Both teams showed that their defense could manufacture breaks. I think that Michigan is becoming one of my favorite teams to play. They are solid, top to bottom. There is no doubt that this team is a quarters or semis team at nationals this year. I’m calling it now.  We came out on top, and were able to win on hard cap.

Semis: Saucy vs. UNC-Wilmington Seaweed
*Someone please tell me what "FTB" on the back of their jerseys stands for...haha
Every time I see them play, I’m impressed with their athleticism and ability to pick up the other team’s junk (for lack of a more eloquent way to put it). They are a really good team. Kelly Tidwell really gave our team some troubles. She’s a baller. Well, we went up something like 5-2…something to that effect. They came back and tied it up. They take half. We’re down mentally. Personally, I think our man-to-man was weak in this game. We couldn’t shut down the force side. Their handlers just ran the show…strike cutting us to death. (Something to work on in practice?) I think we were pretty evenly matched. Look forward to seeing them again in the future…lost on hard cap. I really had fun in this game. Seaweed is a super fun team to play…super intense, but I’m impressed with how much fun they have with each other playing the game. I loved my matchup with Sara Casey (did I spell her name right? I hope so..haha). She challenged me and she was a super spirited athlete. Baller.

3rd place game: Saucy vs. Tufts EWO
Well…I am unsure what happened in like the first 4 or 5 points. I had a phone interview that I had to do (fyi, I got my spot…so I guess that’s some good news in this game). Some points, we played brilliantly. Working the disc without a turn. Other points, we played sloppy. We played poor defense. Some points, we couldn’t catch a goal. I mean, there was a point (2nd from end of game) where we could have won the game, but we turned the disc over FIVE times in our endzone. Unforced turns…we had a HUGE case of the drops. Oh well. I think this game was a mental battle for us. People were still dwelling on our semis loss to Seaweed. It’s something our team’s gotta learn to do better. Bounce back from losses. Not lose the mental game. Something to look forward to.

Overall thoughts:
-In response to a recent SkydMagazine post: yes, our team is for real. We finished 4th at the best pre-nationals tournament of the season.
-The Northwest didn't perform as strong as everyone thought they would. While I was attempting to change in the parking lot, I overheard some players complaining about how their region failed to perform. I like to think of it more as other regions are finally stepping up to the plate and improving a ton! I think it's great for our sport.
-We have a ton to work on going into the post-season/series. We are not close to peaking…I’m excited to see our team perform at the Conference and Regional Championship tournaments.
-We have the ability to be scary good if we can overcome the mental game late in tournaments.
-My legs are le tired. But I had the time of my life at my last regular season college tournament.

1 comment: