We peppered teammate and Facebook employee Josh Wiseman about the facts and fictions of The Social Network over the hotel breakfast of egg, sausage, English muffins, waffles, oatmeal, and cereal. Then we headed out to the same field we would be on all weekend, where the soft zone had been christened “the bog.” Each opponent learned about this 10×15 yard bog the hard way, while we actually started incorporating it into our individual cutting and defending routes.
Game 5 — Bracket play, quarterfinals — 8:30a vs Outlaw
This morning the captains demoted Kanner to tier 2 and Cascino to tier 3 while promoting Grant to tier 2. We shot to an 8-0 halftime lead in the occasional rain and a quick 15-2 passage to the game-to-go. Afterward, with the rainclouds moving on, we headed across the field complex to watch our next opponents. Rhino ran away from ECU toward the end and we returned to our field to begin warming up.
Game 6 — Bracket play, semifinals — 10:45a vs Rhino (Portland, OR)
Rhino has regained its verve over the last few years since they knocked us out at the last Northwest Regional tournament held in California, back in 2007 (also the only year we didn’t qualify for Nationals). They have rebuilt into a devoted core of young athletes and come to rely on their deep game, which can just as easily lose it for them as win it. We hadn’t met them all season, but we’d watched several of their games in preparation; we tried to impede their north-south flow by poaching and forcing the disc to the sidelines where the margin for error was smaller. Rhino broke first and maintained a thin lead as Orange-Beanie guy made several amazing catches in traffic. Our O-line got the job done for the most part, featuring a couple of cool, precise flick hucks by Watson. Soon enough the D-line made good and reeled off three breaks in a row to take half 8-6 and completely switch the momentum. The second half went according to plan with a couple of extra breaks as Rhino seemed to lose confidence. A 15-11 tally secured a berth at the USA Ultimate championships!
Game 7 — Bracket play, finals — 1:00p vs Sockeye (Seattle, WA)
Another tango with Sockeye! We’ve met several times this year with varied results:
- Lost 12-13 at Texas Shootout in round robin.
- Won 13-10 at Worlds in power pool.
- Won 17-13 at Worlds in finals.
- Lost 8-15 at ECC in round robin.
- Won 15-9 at Labor Day in finals.
This incarnation ended up being the third in a series of lopsided results as we won 15-8 (8-4 at half) to take the top spot out of the region. Highlights include a rare handblock on Mike Caldwell by Joye, a poach layout block by Handler, a nifty sky goal by #10 Robbie Cahill on a hanging huck from #1 Garcia, another athletic left-handed layout goal by Cahill on a laser backhand from #6 Wiseman, and a speedy layout D by #50 Beau Kittredge on a blady flick that fluttered the disc enough to force an OB catch. Lowlights included our pulling percentage. Sockeye broke us once and certainly had other chances, but they gave it back more often than usual, and our D-line converted a high percentage of possessions. History suggests that we haven’ t seen the last of Sockeye in 2010.
On to Sarasota.