Northwest Regionals 2010 – Day 2 (Sunday)

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.

Northwest Regionals 2010 – Day 1 (Saturday)

Twenty-five members of Revolver drove down to Ripon, CA for the always competitive Northwest Regional tournament this weekend. The only missing man is a proud new father, Joshua Greenough. Congratulations to him, his wife Margo, and the new addition Hannah!Saturday at Regionals was more like ReSectionals, as we would face four opponents from the Bay Area, three of which we met at Northern California Sectionals a couple of weeks ago. Our pool would play four games today while the other pools would only play three, so we especially wanted to win efficiently. Rain the previous night left the green fields coated in water and rather soft in certain parts, but hot sun would dry the grass soon on this hot day, if not the sod underneath.

Game 1 — Pool play, pool A — 8:30a vs Silver Bullet (Santa Clara, CA)
We started on defense against a slight wind and quickly earned our first of many breaks on the weekend with an around backhand toss from #40 Mac Taylor to #28 Martin Cochran, who didn’t seem too impeded by the cast on his throwing hand–a great sign. One of the team’s main goals for this weekend is to improve pulls, namely avoiding out of bounds, so the captains implemented a three-tier system. If either tier 1 puller is on the D-line, he pulls, otherwise the disc goes to tier 2, and then 3. First tier was #37 Jonny Hester and #32 Sam Kanner, second tier was #5 Taylor Cascino and #14 Mark Sherwood, and third tier was #13 Tyler Grant and Taylor. Pullers would then be promoted or demoted based on performance factors including whether pulls were in/out of bounds and whether they were fielded inside or outside the endzone. This game only saw one OB pull by Cascino and we played quickly, allowing one score each half for a 13-2 victory.

Game 2 — Pool play, pool A — 10:20a vs Boost Mobile (Palo Alto, CA)
Boost had a first-round bye and didn’t start warming up for our game until after we had finished our first match. At Sectionals they had given us our toughest challenge, a 15-10 score in our favor, by opening up a deep game with very athletic receivers. Today at ReSectionals they appeared ready early to battle again as we traded to 2-2 before our D-line shifted gears. Deep Ds on consecutive points by Cascino and Cochran brought us to a 4-2 lead. A goal line block by #12 Nick Chapman and a deep help D by #27 Ashlin Joye made it 6-2. A layout block on a dump pass by #11 Nick Handler set up a flick huck from Hester to Taylor with nice positioning on a hanger for the fifth break in a row to take half. One section near the middle of the field is very soft and almost seems to have been laid down recently. Neale Mahoney on Boost slid for a catch at one point and somehow dug his foot under the sod, driving a piece of earth vertically up to his knee! He replaced his divot. The second half echoed the first as Boost could only muster two more goals, and we won 13-4.

During the bye we ate sandwiches from Brian Garcia’s cooler and some went back to the hotels to cool off while others stuck around to watch other games and/or play Liars’ Dice in the shade.

Game 3 — Pool play, pool A — 2:00p vs Journeymen (Bay Area, CA)
We had managed to avoid the J-Men at Sectionals, but they caught up with us at last for a game today. We peppered them with a medley of man, zone, and transition defenses as our O-line played the minimum one point en route to a 13-0 victory.

Game 4 — Pool play, pool A — 3:50 vs Wolf (Bay Area, CA)
In the rematch of the Sectionals final from a couple of weeks ago, the end result would be much the same. First half highlights included a battle of the 200+ pounders as Wolf captain Nick Slovan couldn’t come down with a hanging deep shot against #13 Tyler Grant. Another Wolf popped up an around lefty flick swing pass that Kanner brought down in an awkward sky; he immediately jetted toward the endzone for a curling 40-yard flick from #8 Eric Halverson and bookends. The halftime score was 7-2 and our O-line took care of business in the second half, including nice hucks by #29 Bart Watson and #9 Cassidy Rasmussen to finish 13-6.

Everyone attended a team dinner at Kelley Brothers Brewery in Manteca to watch the first half of the Stanford-Oregon football game before people dispersed to watch The Social Network or head back to the Best Western to unwind.