Pre-quarters: Wake Forest (10-13)
We started off playing Wake Forest during our first round. I wanted some payback from our 16-17 loss at Nationals two years ago. In our first point, Amy, Becky and I were handling in ho-stack which left Smeri cutting in ho-stack. She faked out and cut in and got the disc from me, then put a beautiful huck to Michelle in the endzone. I think the point lasted about 30 seconds. It was pretty exciting :) Wake Forest answered back with a quick score of their own. The game turned messier as it started raining harder and we played 3-man cup to try to stifle their offensive flow, but it didn't work that well. Soon we were down 4-10.
We tried playing clam on their ho-stack, which worked surprising well. The "0" and "1" would take the mark and the closest dump. I played "2" (short deep) and tried taking away anything through the I/O lane. "3" and "5" took the open side in-cuts, wide and narrow, respectively, with "5" helping cover deep shots. "4" covered the breakside cuts, and "6" took anything deep. I played exclusively "2" during this game, which is normally already frustrating for me because there are people in front of me, behind me, and to either side, and I feel like I'm going crazy trying to communicate with people all around me. Playing "2" on a ho-stack was 10x worse because I didn't know what to expect... But it worked! Wake Forest wasn't sure what to do with our defense and ended up hucking it after dinking it around between the handlers a few times. Michelle and Smeri were reliable in D-ing everything deep. This defense generated a lot of turnovers and allowed us opportunities to score.
There was one point where Becky had an awesome full-extension, one-handed layout for a dump that was put a little bit too far. I was the third handler so I got a great view of her laying out. Sometimes I wish I had a camera in my brain that can take pictures of instances like that on the field. :)
In one memorable point, I found myself walking up to the disc 10-yards from our endzone line with Cindy at the front of the stack. I hear Jin yell "BOB!" from the sideline, and then realize that Cindy is at the front of the stack and then she starts yelling "BOB!" even more frantically. Cindy cuts break and I put up the hammer and Cindy catches the disc on her head. It was awesome :) However amazing our clam defense and offensive flow were, our 4-10 deficit was too large and while sMITe did make an amazing come back, we still lost 10-13 in the end, which moved us into the 9th place bracket.
Quarters (for 9th): Charleston (13-4)
We had a bye next round so we sat in the car to be warm. Our next round was against Charleston. We played a lot of zone defense (3-man cup) against them and since they had 3 handlers back, we were man downfield. The cup did a great job of containing the disc and generating turnovers close to our endzone line. Ashley, our newest recruit (she joined in January) did really well as the middle of the cup. She's tall and listens well and knows where to be.
We won 13-4 (6-1 in the second half) and had another bye next round because our next opponent (South Carolina) was gone. =P Automatic win!
9th place bracket final: Williams (8-9)
Our last game of the day was against Williams for 9th place. Just as we started to play it started to get windy and rainy again. The game was somewhat dictated by wind but it wasn't impossible to score upwind. We played a lot of 3-man cup when they were going upwind and it worked well because they also had 3 handlers back so we could be man downfield.
Williams took half at 7-6 them and then we tied it up to 7-7 then soft cap came on, game to 9. We scored one making it 8-7, then they came back to 8-8, universe point. We were going downwind and we were on offense, but we dropped the disc and they scored easily with a huck to a wide-open girl in the endzone, 9-8 Williams.
It's always a bummer to lose on universe point, especially if it's the last game of the day or weekend. Our spirit was down after that game, but that last point was not representative of how we played over the weekend, at all! Even though our overall record was 4-3, two of the games we lost were really close (Wake Forest and Williams) and I think sMITe did an amazing job. We played intense defense and kept up the intensity throughout the weekend. Our offense steadily improved, and even though we had some spacing issues throughout the weekend, especially Sunday, there was really good flow among the cutters, for both ho and vert.
I'm really proud with the way sMITe played this weekend. With 5 new players to sMITe (Anna, Cindy, Ashley, Michelle, Patricia), 4 returners (Becky, Agnes, Clare, Chenxia) and 3 really old people (me, Smeri and Amy -- old in sMITe years!) we are considered a pretty young team.
Our rookies really came through this weekend:
- Anna: I was really impressed with Anna's closing speed, and she got many run-through Ds. She also has really good hands and saved my butt a bunch of times by grabbing low discs and laying out for crazy stuff in the endzone.
- Cindy: She's such a solid cutter (I told her she's clutch) and I think this tournament was a turning point for our on-field relationship. I thought Cindy and I connected really well this past weekend. There was one point where there was a turnover and I saw that Cindy was in a great place for quick play. She was also looking right at me like she was asking for something so I made a motion for her to go deep, ran to the disc and hucked it to her in the endzone for a score.
- Ashley: As our newest sMITe member, Ashley is doing an amazing job at learning everything. She seems quiet when you first meet her but I feel like her personality really comes out on the field. It was really exciting to watch her get multiple run-through Ds on Saturday, smacking the disc down. On Sunday, she was marking someone on Williams and reached "ten" for stall, yelling "STALL!" (I seriously have never heard her at that volume before). The thrower put the disc down and everyone told Ashley to tap the disc and she gingerly stuck out one finger and touched the disc as lightly as should could, then ran away. It was really funny and cute to watch.
- Michelle: Replacing Smeri as deep deep, Michelle is taller, younger, and better-looking. She can also cut and catches anything that comes remotely close to her, with one-hand. I'm pretty sure I've never seen her catch with two hands.
- Patricia: I wasn't sure what to make of Patricia when I first met her and a few months later, I'm still not sure what to make of her. But I know that she can cut and she has really good hands and is a great addition to sMITe.
- Becky: I know Becky isn't a rookie but this is her first year handling so she's kind of a rookie and I'm super excited about her. Even though last year was her first year on sMITe, she is developing into a great handler. She's reliable as a dump and calm with the disc. And she has the drive to do what it takes to get the job done.