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)

Monday, March 7, 2011

MWTD Day 2

Wow, it finally hit me: I was actually part of a college tournament victory...well since High Tide 2007, my very first tournament ever, and a few small indoor tourneys with SOL. Iowa really came out fired up in every game, always going opening up with a run (with an exception in the Championship game vs. Wisconsin)

Conditions on day 2 were similar. slight upwind/downwind, cold (for first 2 rounds), and really muddy on all fields.

Pre-Quarters vs. Carleton College-B (Eclipse)
This team is hands down the team to watch in the D-III Championship runnings. They have great throws, intense D. I'm excited to see how their season pans out. They put our zone-D to the test, really working it, in the lighter wind. Their handlers were confident and collected, but were stifled by hard Saucy D. We controlled the tempo, coming out on top 11-4.

Quarters vs. Iowa State (Woman Scorned)
We play Woman Scorned a lot. I'm not sure if I can personally remember playing a college tournament without playing them...some really good friends on that team. We came out so fired up, really intense...lots of tenacity on defense. We really focused on minimizing turns, and capitalizing on every possession. Katie "Rage Kage" Johnson, Kelli "KP" Parsons, and Chelsea Twohig really stepped it up for Saucy on D. Our zone and man D looked pretty good, pressuring every throw and catch.
Saucy 11, Scorned 4

Semis vs. Colorado (Kali)
Saucy lost to Kali at MLC in fall in the semis. Knowing what we had to do, we were ready to get down to business. We busted through the Kali zone in the first possession. Breaking the zone without a single turn. Taking advantage of a lack of wind (and some encouragement from DK to do it...) I scoobered over the top to Apple, who moved the disc upfield to Chelsea and Liza. It was one of the quickest, most efficient zone O points I have ever seen from Sauce. Hands down, we controlled the tempo against a good Kali O, taking half 7-0. Sara Timko and Anna "FOTY" Pritchard were stifling on the mark. I was on the sideline with Chelsea Russell, and we decided that Anna was batshit crazy on the mark. Kali came back from half with a solid, really fired up. I have to say, out of all the teams competing this year in the women's college division, from what I have read, no other team fights tooth and nail to the end of a game like Kali. They never give up and battle back from any deficit, no matter what it is. It really says something about their character as a team. I remember playing against grad student handler Katie Patterson back in the day when she played for Vanderbilt. She always continue to impress me every season with her disc skills, and ability to stay collected no matter what. She is definitely one of those players I have admired as I made a transition to handling. For Saucy, Liza Minor really made some clutch plays, with some ridiculous layout grabs to keep the Saucy momentum going strong. She is playing years beyond her experience. Good catches, seeing the field well, and really making good offensive decisions (in addition to tough D).
Sauce came out on top 10-6.

Championships vs. Wisconsin (Bella Donna)
Even after listening to a little Jay-Z "It's a Hard Knock Life," we came out a little flat. Bella went up 2-0 before we even came close to putting it in the end zone. This game was definitely the most mentally challenging of the season for Saucy. We were starting to show signs of exhaustion. I'm not sure what happened, quite honestly. It's like we weren't even present there. Next thing we knew, we were down 2-5 to one of the best teams in the country. Mikey took a time out. We chatted and came back out fired up. Suddenly, we clicked again. The Saucy magic was back. We were smiling, having fun...all in all, doing our thing. It was 6's, and we pushed to half, 7-6. Chelsea Russell really said it well at half, "Look at how much fun we're having." It's this game of ultimate that brings all 28 of us together (granted we didn't have a full 28 at MWTD). We love this game, and we love playing it with each other. We love pushing each other, cheering for each other, and working hard together as a team. Bella came back and tied it in soft cap at 7's. The next point that ensued was pretty long. Bella worked it down, but on a slightly misplaced throw on the sideline, the observer got in the way. It was a turn. Though a bittersweet way to get a turn, Saucy capitalized on it. Working it down, and putting it in on a break throw to Chelsea Twohig. The hard cap horn went off during that point, going into effect after the point. Since we were up 8-7, the game was done, and Saucy came out on top.

I'm looking forward to a different Bella team at Easterns. Bella was experiencing a ton of injuries (5 players injured=3 on the sidelines, most notable Al Ellis and Sydney Dobkins, and 2 playing). Sara Scott, I think is a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the disc. She asserts herself with her play, intense D, bidding all over the place...and her deadly throwing arsenal. Her forehand huck is one to be reckoned with. One thing that is unique, is that from such an intense, skilled player, her sportsmanship is second to none. You can just tell that she loves to play the game. You know she leaves it all on the field, and has fun playing. Rebecca "Reebs" Enders really showed some brilliance this weekend also. Her throws consistently improve from one tournament to another. Keep your eye on her. Jenny Gaynor and Emelie McKain anchor a talented Bella team, bringing the fire to the team.

As for Saucy, I cannot express how refreshing to come in at every huddle, every timeout, between every point, that there are ridiculously sick players surrounding me at all times. I have full confidence in my teammates, and that every single person is a necessary part of the whole to succeed. This weekend demonstrated this to the highest level.

Thanks Michelle, WashU Ultimate, and Without Limits for putting on a great tournament! Saucy had a blast :-)

3 comments:

  1. I like that you color coded the headings with the team colors. Such attention to detail!

    ReplyDelete