|One of Revolver's ECC experiences|
We are excited about this game being our transition to the club season since we squared off in Semis at Worlds with these guys not too long ago. In the interim, the Canadian team had been taking a lot of flak in various forums for a poor spirit showing in a power pool game in Japan. No evidence of poor spirit in this game, as we play a respectful and hard-fought contest on the hot turf and we use our motivation leftover from worlds to close out the game 15-10. At one point during this game Pat Baylis looks off a wide open Martin Cochran in the endzone, pumping several fakes before finally inexplicably throws a swing to Sherwood instead. This photo perfectly captures that moment, and interestingly, the rest of our day.
Game 2 - Ironside (L, 11-13)
Having spent our leftover motivation from Worlds to beat Team Canada again, we find that there is not a lot remaining. This game is a new low in execution and intensity for Revolver; at this point the Worlds hangover hits us very hard. Boston's offense uses the break side of the field to run 4 and 5 throw combinations to uncovered players, and our offense doesn't keep up the clinical efficiency Boston is showing. Boston is out to a 4 break lead before we get one, and then the hard-cap comes after one of our O points leaving us no chance at late-game heroics. With no time to get the train back on track, we stagger into our next stop: New York.
Game 3 - PoNY (W, 13-12)
Hangover still strongly in effect, not to mention sore feet from two hot games on turf, and we can't find our rhythm anywhere. We give back a two-break lead at halftime and pull on double game point. Luckily a miscue from NY gives us a 25 yard field and we score the winner, preserving a win at least on paper. We are remembering now that ultimate frisbee against the best club teams in the country is very very hard.
Game 4 - Sockeye (W, 15-13)
A welcome bye, and even more welcome battle against the Fish in a showcase game under the lights. We couldn't be anywhere better to regain our lost motivation. Our re-discovered enthusiasm to play shows and we are ready to battle, looking better on offense and defense than before - at least enough to forestall constant head slapping from the coach. A good win for us here, given the physical status of the team, leaves us with good momentum going into tomorrow.
Rhino has won all of their games on DGP, a very impressive feat, and we are looking for help to get into finals to rematch Boston. We don't get any, and will have to wait till Florida before we see them again. In the meantime:
Game 5 - Truck Stop (W, 14-10)
Knowing that the games today will be very hard was not the problem - accepting it was the key. Revolver finally acknowledges this and begins to do real work. Our intensity returns and we play well on defense to keep Truck Stop at bay. We are pleased with this game, Truck is a good team and we played well to win - a refreshing turn from the day before.
Game 6 - Doublewide (W 12-9)
We are all very happy to see Kurt again, and wish him the best for his knee recovery before the end of the season. Mac beats him in a one-legged race across the field so we get to receive to start the game. We drop a couple of breaks to their capable D line, but muscle back before half to preserve Mac's effort getting us the half-break lead at the start. The second half is very short due to the tight round times, and we get to earn some breaks to widen the score a bit before the game ends. DW seems like they are also battling the injury bug, both teams are undoubtdedly looking forward to a high-power rematch in Santa Cruz in a few weeks.
Game 7 - GOAT (W 15-11)
Having heard Rhino kept their streak of DGP wins alive, we play our consolation against GOAT on the now-extremely-hot turf. It is an offensive clinic to start the game, they score their first 5 goals on what seems like 12 total passes. Luckily so do we, so when our D does get a break just before halftime we are still in the lead. In the second half the Revolver defense finds a way to finally put consistent pressure on their offense and gets a few more breaks to close out the game. On the whole a good effort against a very good team.
We conclude the tournament out of finals and disappointed with our lost opportunity for a rematch against Boston. We know that, if tradition holds, the next meeting between our teams will be of significant consquence in Sarasota. We do some humility running, and commit ourselves to the start of the 2012 club season. Title defense: begun.