Hatch split into two teams for White Mountain Open (WMO): Team Chicken and Team Egg. Beckybear and I co-captained Team Chicken. Shira and Maya ran Team Egg. Doris the other "official" Hatch co-captain was off being delinquent in Chicago. I tried introducing myself as Doris for the weekend but I couldn't do it.
On Saturday we had 3 handlers and 9-10 cutters and all the tryouts were cutters! How intriguing.
Team Chicken started off the day with a 9 am Round 1 against Canadian team Mystik (pronounced "Mystique"). We started off with vertical stack since that's the bread and butter of organized ultimate (everyone knows vertical, right?) and man defense. Everyone is decently fast with various degrees of throwing and catching skills but in general I thought we had a solid team considering many of us have never played together before. Towards the end of the first half we threw in zone with a 4-man cup for good measure, which worked really well. For some reason Nell was like a human bulldozer this game and took out two of the Mystik girls. I think both of them tried to D Nell and they both ended up on the ground but Nell got back up and was fine while the other girls took injuries. :( We took half 7-3.
During halftime Becky explained how we run ho-stack (she is a second-grade teacher after all), so during the second half we worked on ho-stack. I think ho-stack is difficult to get used to (as a handler, I hated it the first year I learned it... it didn't seem like the cutters were getting open all that much), but it's so awesome if everyone knows how to use it. I feel like if I were a cutter, I'd like all that extra room to cut in. Anyways, we ended up winning 13-4.
Our second game was against another Canadian team: Storm (5 out of the 10 teams at WMO were from Canada). They're a fast, tall, and experienced team, much different than the first team we played. We started out in ho-stack but Storm poached off the handlers and D-ed almost everything that we tried to throw up-field. We tried doing some handler-active movement with short passes and give-and-gos among the handlers, but we couldn't seem to get the hang of it.
Our defense had trouble setting and Storm easily broke us both around and inside before our mark got in position. Our downfield defense was trailing the Storm cutters by a good 10 yards and it just seemed like they were a quicker, more athletic team. We ended up losing 13-2.
A few things I learned about Canadian teams: They give me a high-five after I've done something good (like break the mark for the score) AND after I mess up, like don't get the D and my girl scores on me. Except I'm not really looking for the high five, so they just slap my hand as it's hanging at my side. I guess they try to recognize when their opponent makes an effort? Also, they don't cheer the other team after the game. Over the course of the weekend, we tried yelling various French things like "Good Game" or "Freedom!" (we were very proud of freedom and America on the second day), and the Canadian teams don't even acknowledge it (either because our French is that atrocious or they're not looking for it).
Then we had a bye so we watched our Hatch counterpart Team Egg play Sugar Shack from Vermont. Our other half looked really good as well, there was flow happening and solid throwing and catching from everyone. I was hanging out on the sideline talking to Becky when I suddenly heard a loud "CRACK" and I look up and Daphne and a Sugar Shack girl are on the ground, holding their heads/faces. I ran up to Daphne to see if she was okay and she had fluids coming out of every orifice on her face (it sounds gross I know). Her eyes were tearing up (I think from the force of impact, not sadness or hurting tears), and snot was coming from her nose, and then she spit on the ground. Apparently she was fine, and the Sugar Shack girl took an injury. :( Team Egg ended up winning 13-7.
Team Chicken then played their third and final game of Saturday against Missconnduct. We were really pumped up during this game and it was awesome to see everyone fired up and wanting the disc. We played well together, much better than we did the first two games, and we stepped up our defense. We ended up taking half 7-3.
During the second half Missconnduct stepped up their game and cut more aggressively and came back really fired up. We barely held onto our lead as we won the game on hard cap 9-7.
After Team Egg's last round, our teams recombined for dinner and Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis in the hotel room. Everyone agreed that the scenes with Jamie Lee Curtis and Chad Michael Murray were just really really uncomfortable. =P
We wake up the next morning and guess who was our opponent for the first round??? Yep, Missconnduct again. As we were warming up, I learned a little bit more about some of our tryouts and their casual but brave attitude towards where they were going to stay for the night (as of the afternoon before, they told me, "We're just gonna find a Dartmouth dorm to crash in.") The next morning one of them said, "I crashed on a futon and people kept calling me Lindsay." (Her name is Lily.) And the other one said, "I slept in my friend's car." You guys make me feel like I never really lived it up in college. =P
We also had a different group of people for Sunday because some people only played Sat and some only played Sun. Anyway, both teams started off really fired up for our second match-up for the weekend. We traded points for the entire first half. We set some 4-man cup zone and played man D, and Missconnduct mostly played man D on us. They ended up taking half 7-6.
We came out strong the second half, tightened up our defense, and took the first three points after half, making it 9-7, then traded some more and finally winning the game 13-10. It was a really great game and our team looked a lot better, more cohesive than yesterday even if there wasn't a huge turnover in the makeup of our team.
Then our next round was against Storm (really?? again??). We knew what we needed to work on and we focused on getting as many passes as we could before a turnover. We played their poachy defense like a zone O and we ran the disc through the entire width of the field, which opened up a lot of space for handlers to throw through the "cup" to the cutters. I think we did a lot better than yesterday even if it wasn't reflected in the score that much. On defense our marks still got broken a lot and we still trailed the cutters by several yards, but at least our offense looked better than the day before.
We had a bye and we watched an exciting game between Team Egg vs Mystik (I think). They traded points the entire game and it was 8-8 when we left to warm up for our last round. Dunno if they won that game or not.
Our last game was against QUB, another Canadian team. The wind picked up during this game and it was an upwind/downwind first half. We played like we were really tired and QUB was a lot more fired up than we were. I think I played the worst in this game than in any other game this weekend. I made a lot of poor decisions, throwing it deep to people who were for sure open (they were kinda open), throwing it away on poorly executed backhand breaks, turfing easy forehands. Aghh it was so frustrating and I felt so bad (I always feel horrible when I throw something non-catchable because the cutters put in so much work to get open, the least I can do is throw something that's catchable). Anyways, I think the final score was 13-5 for QUB.
I had a lot of fun playing in WMO and getting to know some new people. Before WMO I didn't feel like I was physically or mentally ready for another tournament, but now I'm more excited for the club season. :)
"WHY ARE YOU SO DARK?!?!" (in Mandarin) - My mom every time she sees me after not seeing me for a long time.
My mom really values pale skin on her daughter, which is really unfortunate because I spend so much time outside. When I was younger, I played tennis, all year round (we can do that in good ol' Cali), and now I play ultimate, almost all year round. And even though I wore a hat when I played tennis and a visor when I play ultimate (I'm not sure why it wasn't the other way around), I still got really dark, wherever skin was exposed, during the summer months. I was also bad about wearing sunscreen when I was younger; the smell made me nauseous. But I like to think I've gotten older and wiser, and I try to remember to put on sunscreen (and reapply!) whenever I play ultimate now. I even have different sunscreens for my face and for the rest of my body!
I have what I call the "Asian skin phenomenon," which means my skin gets really dark really fast (but I don't burn!) And during the winter, my skin tone gradually lightens up and I'm more or less have my normal Asian skin state by the time spring rolls around. But when I get really dark, my tan lines become really apparent. I used to be really embarrassed of my sock tan, especially because I wore crew-cut socks so my sock tan was really high! But now I have 23 pairs of awesome low-cut Costco socks and have begun to love and appreciate my sock tan.
But sock tans aren't the only tan lines I have. I also have the roll-up-my-sleeves shoulder tan line, the neck-line tan line, and roll-up-my-5-shorts-(just once!) tan line right above my knees. Once in a while, I also get weird tan lines on my face from my visor. Most of the tanlines go away pretty quickly (my visor tan lines) or I just don't care that much about (my shorts tan line and my sock tan line), but the one I've had consistently for probably my entire life is my shoulder/chest tan lines from rolling up my sleeves or wearing halter tops or tank tops.
I don't know if you see where this is going, but my wedding dress is strapless (and too big right now, but that's a different story). And my wedding is in September, after an entire summer of running around outside.
I know what you might be thinking... "It can't be that bad, right???" Eh, wrong! Here are some pictures of me at my friend's wedding in August last year. Mind you, Daphne saw these pictures shortly after the wedding and she said, "I thought you were wearing a t-shirt under your dress!" :(
They're kinda embarrassing to look at :(
So here it is... my number one frisbee goalthis summer is not to develop an awesome backhand break like Shira's, it's not to achieve a sub-7 mile time, or really push myself in every workout and practice (although those are very high-priority goals that I will be striving for), my number one frisbee goal is to not have tan lines in September. And just to clarify, the goal is to be fairly light-skinned and without tan lines. (So I can't just tan all summer because I'll be seriously dark.) Ridiculous, huh?
So, how am I going to achieve my tan-line-free and light-toned skin? I've been thinking (for several months now) about various different solutions.
1. Don't play ultimate (or do anything outside)! Yeah, I agree that's silly. Although I could just hide inside for the entire summer and be really productive on my research, that doesn't sound very fun and I'll probably go stir-crazy.
See? Look how much fun I was having while playing in the pouring rain at Regionals? (You can't see the rain, but it was definitely raining). And I'm pretty sure I was telling a cutter, "HAH, please cut back in, I don't have that throw in these conditions." Anyway, the point is, I like playing ultimate and I still want to play this summer.
2. Tanning Booth This was my brother's suggestion when I told him my goal was to not have tan lines. In fact, I think his exact words were, "You HAVE to go to a tanning booth. You can't have tan lines on your wedding. That'll be so horrible." Seriously, I think sometimes my brother makes a better bride than I do.
There are a few problems with this solution, the main one being I don't want skin cancer!!! Plus, this just makes my entire body darker, not necessarily getting rid of my tan lines. It's not like I can pick and choose which parts of my body goes into the tanning booth, right? I don't really know how these things work.
3. Spray-on Tanning The tan without the skin cancer, right? The best of both worlds?
I guess with this method I can pick and choose which parts to make darker, but I don't really like the idea of it rubbing off on the dress, on other people, on everything I might touch. Has anyone actually tried this before? Sooo I think I'm going to nix this idea too.
Ok so my first three ideas are not really feasible or attractive options for me. The rest of these ideas will hopefully be do-able.
4. Hiding under a big umbrella Whenever I'm not playing, I plan on hiding under one of these:
Jin also has a giant one so I might steal some of her shade too =P
5. Underarmour heat gear I've been asking around whether people have actually tried UA heat gear. I figured the easiest way to not get shoulder tan lines is to not have exposed shoulders. So what if I just wore long sleeves all summer? (Which is what I've been doing so far this year.) But it's going to get a lot warmer and a lot more uncomfortable to wear long sleeves.
But apparently the UA heat gear is supposed to keep you cooler in the heat. What?? Wearing a tight long-sleeved shirt is supposed to keep you cooler? How counter-intuitive! The UA website claims:
UA HeatGear® Longsleeve Tee with Compression fit provides the woman athlete with superior muscle support.
She stays weightless and dry while working out harder and longer.
Reinvented with longer silhouette for total coverage.
Rotated side seams for reduced abrasion and a more flattering fit.
Sweetheart neckline for total comfort and rolled shoulder seams for abrasion free comfort.
UPF 30+ technology helps protect skin from sun's harmful rays.
Odor control technology helps prevent the growth of odor causing microbes.
5 oz. Cationic 82% Polyester / 18% Elastane.
Ooooh fancy. Plus Japanese ultimate players wear them all the time:
If the Buzz Bullets wear them (or something similar), how could I go wrong!? Do you have any experience with the UA HeatGear® apparel?
I could just borrow them from my mom... She only has about 3-4 pairs. Yes, I will look ridiculous, but if you've actually read the whole thing up until now, you should've figured out that I'm crazy anyway. Plus, who said that beauty wasn't costly? (in a socially shunning type of way)
7. Tube tops! Maybe I can alternate between UA HeatGear and tube tops at Hatch practice this summer to try to achieve the balance of not being too dark and also getting rid of existing tan lines.
I know most tube tops don't look like that but it was one of the first hits that showed up when I Google Imaged "tube top." Plus, I'm not that self-confident to wear just that. And don't you actually need boobs to wear a tube top? I'm way too flat-chested to pull that off. =P (I know, TMI, sorry.)
I guess you can call this a cross between a self-tanner and lotion that doesn't turn you orange? It "delivers fabulous natural-looking color gradually that lasts twice as long as the leading lotion sunless tanner and infuses your skin with a blend of effective moisturizers, antioxidants and Vitamin E to keep it looking healthy." Huh. Ok.
Well, I bought the $8-bottle from Walgreens the other way because I was curious. And put some on my not-so tanned areas (i.e. chest and feet... ha). I realized that it had a weird smell... it didn't smell bad but it smelled familiar and kind of sweet and I wasn't sure what it was. So when I saw Bryan later, I said to him, "Smell me!"
B:::SNNNIIIIIFFFFFFF:: K: "What does it smell like?" B: "MAPLE SYRUP!!!!" K:::sniff:: "OMG it does smell like maple syrup..." with a disgusted look on my face. B: "That's so hot."
Oh! Oh! And I have a tanning coach! Alisha aka Sluts!!! I don't really know what she has in store for me, but she says she will help me achieve even-skin-toned-ness. YAYYY
Anyway, I reread my post and decided it makes me sound completely neurotic and crazy. Oh well. Some brides obsess over favors, some obsess over cake flavors or flowers. This neurotic frisbee bride obsesses over tan lines. =P
We had our team end-of-season dinner tonight (thanks Amy for hosting!) Here are the freshmen/rookies we initiated by nicknaming them:
First up is Alex, freshman, who is 5'0" and aptly named "Pint Size."
Next is Chenxia, who even though she's a senior, only got her shirt today... It's because she wasn't there last year at the awards dinner. But this girl is solid on the field and doesn't get pushed around.
Next is Michelle who loves everything (her award was "The Free Love Award") and she's "The Claw" because her arm has a mind of its own and naturally gravitates towards the disc and snatches it out of the air.
Next up is Patricia "FUCK" Li, another freshman on our team. She has such a potty mouth. Hrm, why is "Peanut" crossed out and "Fuck" written on top of it? Well, let's just say Smeri messed up and it's funnier this way anyway.
Next up is Cindy who is in California right now (we miss you Cindy!) but her nickname is "Martha Stewart" because she's such a mom (she brings bandaids!) and you don't want to mess with her. Haha ;)
Next is Ashley who is "THE WALL." No one gets around her when she's marking, and she stands her ground on the field. Multiple people (including me) just bounce off of her when they collide with her.
Another freshman, Carolyn, is nicknamed "Miss America," my personal favorite nickname out of the bunch. Smeri calls her "classically pretty" with her blonde hair and blue eyes. And she even showed up at team dinner with French pedicured nails, for Pete's sake!! Also, she was Smeri's secret tournament buddy and gave Smeri blue glitter eyeliner so Smeri could be beautiful like her.
Daisy is "Popcorn" for being an excellent popper on the field.
I went to Sollievo (a massage place in Davis Square) yesterday afternoon to try to fix my knee/hamstring. Starting in February, my left hamstring right behind my knee has been really tight and painful after any practice, workout, or tournament. I have been on and off about stretching and foam-rolling and now that our college season is over, I went to this massage place to see if they could do anything. I didn't have any particular reason for picking Sollievo except that had a groupon for $45 for a 60-minute massage back in January and I bought one for me and one for Bryan.
I told the lady my background and she basically kneaded my entire left leg, from my lower back, to glutes, hamstring, and calf. She said that my knee and the muscles around it were really tight (I don't know if she was just saying that or if she could really feel it). There is this place right above the knee and a little to the left that she pressed on for like 3 minutes straight and it's still kinda sore to touch today. But basically, after an hour, I can finally hold my leg straight for the first time in 3 months! I can sit in a chair and extend my left leg parallel to the ground! It feels kinda amazing :D I'm going to take the rest of the week off and just stretch and foam roll and hopefully I can be tip top shape for the rest of the summer :D
As for a more comprehensive review of Sollievo, the masseuse was really nice and asked a lot of questions to make sure that she wasn't hurting me or whether something felt good or not. It was actually a bit more talking than I would've hoped for but it's good that she wanted to know how I was responding to what she was doing. She spent like 40 minutes on my hamstring and like 15 minutes on my shoulders and muscles right under my armpit (like, what is sore after you do pushups) and that felt awesome too. And then 5 minutes on my back, which was kinda worthless because she didn't push hard enough.
On a random side note, Bryan's masseuse told Bryan that his calves were so tight and, "do you rock climb or something??" Hahahah
Wow I can't believe regionals is finally over... I can't believe my 5 years of eligibility is finally up! (I think Michelle on Northeastern is super happy about that.) Anyway, so here's my version of regionals (as much as I can remember of it).
sMITe drove to Jenny's house on Friday night... Thanks Jenny and Mr. Barry for letting us stay at your amazing house! Btw, Jenny's dad is *the* most interesting person I know. He's been in space 3 times, each for a duration of about 10 days. He applied every year for 14 years until his application finally got accepted so he could go up into space. He told us that his astronaut friends and he played quidditch in space. Isn't that awesome?!?! And he's also been on Survivor. AND he builds robots for a living. Their house has 3 robots or something and they talk, joke around, open doors, receive pizza deliveries, etc.
Anyways... we wake up Saturday morning and it's drizzling and windy outside. It continues to rain and be windy during warm-up and our entire first game against Harvard. The game was generally messy with lots of turnovers for both teams. Personally I felt really slow and awkward. I couldn't get a flick huck off for the life of me, because of the wind and because I semi-jammed my thumb the day before. There were so many times where we worked it down to our endzone and weren't able to convert for the score. Suddenly we found ourselves down at 2-7 (it was 10:00 am at the time) and we saw lightning in the sky. Then the horns sounded and everyone evacuated the fields to go hide out in their cars.
We were goofing off, singing to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" which was on our regionals pump-up mix. Well, I guess singing wasn't the right word. The only words we really knew were "TURN AROUND" and Michelle would croon the rest of the words to the song. We had three cars all parked right next to each other with our windows rolled down and we were trying to sync our CD players to start at the same time. =P Anyway, now "Total Eclipse" has become a pump-up song for me.
At noon, we went back on the field to finish the point (the lightning siren went off during a time-out). Harvard had the disc 10 yards outside of their endzone and they broke the mark for the score and half. After half, we managed to squeak a few points in but Harvard still won handily 13-6.
Amy played really well in the Harvard game. She's such a solid ultimate player all around. As a handler, she is proactive in dictating offensive flow. She has nice dump cuts both back and up the line and she throws accurately for both in cuts and away cuts. In zone, she is patient with the disc and has the ability to see holes in the cup and has great timing throwing through the cup to poppers. Amy also has beautiful flick hucks and amazing backhand breaks. She chases discs down and has the most amazing and aggressive catches. On defense, she shuts her girl down consistently and constantly helps out her teammates by helping them deep or having great positioning to get the D. She's a great leader by example, never presumptuous and brings out the best in people. She also satisfies sMITe's little-known requirement of having a large butt-to-boob ratio. :) And she's graduating soon!
Chenxia is a graduating senior but staying for her MEng year so sMITe gets to keep her for another year. She's a super strong and speedy cutter. She'll try 110% to catch every disc, even if it means laying out or sliding into a disc. I personally like her cutting because she's loud and I can hear when she cuts so I know where to throw. On defense, she always seems to come out of nowhere to get run-through Ds. She's tireless in the cup and a great asset to the team.
Michelle is one of our freshman this year and she has serious ups. Not only can she jump really high, she also has amazing one-handed grabs, like her arm has a mind of its own and her hand naturally gravitates towards the disc. Michelle is also really non-nonchalant about skying people, which contributes to her bad-ass-ness. Michelle came onto the team with awesome pulls and hucks and they've still improved over the season. Michelle is also a reliable and consistent deep deep in junk D and has improved so much about communicating to other defenders on the field to create a great defensive team.
Ethan is a reliable zone O handler who gets the disc across the field. She also has some amazing one-handed grabs for discs that don't seem like they could be caught. Ethan has really stepped up as a handler this year and has been actively calling for dumps and swings and has great timing on her swing cuts. She also has strong hucks that aren't pushed around in the wind.
(As you can see I'm posting part of my write-something-nice-about-everyone notes that we shared pre-regionals.)
Our next game was against Williams. The rain cleared up and it was less windy. We traded points for the first half, playing a lot of 4-man trap cup. We had a lot of frustrating points where we did a great job of working it up the field, either in ho or vert, and then turned it at our endzone line (ARGH!). Williams took half 8-7 and scored the first two points out of halftime, making it 10-7 them. We got our heads back in the game and had a lot of nice cuts on the open side and scored a few with deep looks, tying it 10-10. Theeennn I dont' know what happened but we lost 3 points in a row and they won the game 13-10.
Sunshine'senthusiasm for ultimate (and life!) is contagious and she gets everyone excited to play ultimate. She's a solid cutter and can get open both in and away. She also has an uncanny ability to read even in the craziest winds and has the most amazing catches EVER. This girl lays out for uncatchable discs and manages to grab them. Anna also has really exciting hucks. Use them more! She's super intense on defense and her pink bunny ears only make her THAT much more scary. Her girl must be like, "OMG a rabid bunny is coming to get me!" and drops the disc out of pure fright. But seriously, Anna's shut-down in-your-pants defense is inspiring, with or without the bunny ears, and she motivates everyone to play her best. She does have a long way to go in terms of her weather-controlling abilities but no one can expect her to master those skills in only a year. ;)
Patricia is one of our other amazing freshmen, but this girl has the dirtiest mouth on sMITe and wishes every play was named after a curse word or STD. Other than that, Patricia has great timing on deep cuts and has gotten really good at reading the disc. She is one of the speediest girls on sMITe and makes nice sharp cuts, especially in the endzone when it counts. Patricia also catches aggressively and is patient with the disc.
Alex is yet another awesome freshman. She's so tiny and cute (look how much bigger the Harvard girl is than she!) and she has improved so much this year in terms of cutting, throwing, and catching. She also has a great attitude and is always so happy! :) She learns quickly and has the great quality of asking questions when she doesn't understand something. She's patient when she has the disc and is great about making space and allowing offense flow to happen on the field.
Mangpo is a second-year sMITe player. She's is a super sweet girl and she's improved so much this year. She's really dedicated to the team (I don't know many other girls who can play ultimate and sing in an acapella group all year round, for two years too!). She has nice sharp in-cuts and has great connections with handlers. As a mark, she's really receptive to calls from her teammates on the sideline. Mangpo is tireless in the cup and works well with anyone in it. Recently she's gotten really good at defending the wing in zone. I also love that our beaver cheer has evolved into, "I AM a beaver" because of her :)
Our next game was against Bowdoin and it started raining again, like really big fat painful rain. Even with my visor, I couldn't really see anything the first few points. I don't even know how people saw, let alone catch things, it was ridiculous. I think we took half this game and we were up 14-12 or something, and ended up losing 14-15. I don't really want to talk about it.
Carolyn is our super tall super beautiful freshman. She doesn't wear eyeliner but it looks like she is. Smeri is really jealous. Carolyn is so much fun to have her on the field because she cuts so well and is always open. She has improved so much this year in terms of cutting, catching and throwing. I especially love her throwing fakes and long step-out stride to get her backhand off to the dump. It works every time! And even though I haven't seen her in action yet, I also know she has untapped abilities of selling discs to boys.
Becky gets my vote for the most improved player on sMITe this year. I can't believe this is only her second year! I love Becky's dump cuts - they're great and she gets open every time and it's reassuring to have her as a dump. She has some amazing catches and she isn't afraid to get dirty to get the disc. Her hucks have also been improving a lot! As a captain captain in training, she is super dedicated to sMITe and can be counted on to bring her best to practice, whether it's actually playing or being an active sideline. I can't wait to see her dominate as a handler next year. She already has the disc-hog tendency that every great handler has. teehee :)
Cindy has been away for the last few weeks because of a family emergency, but she surprised us all by coming back for regionals! She is an amazing first-year player who picked up the game really really fast. She has an infectious enthusiasm for ultimate and just makes everyone around her really excited to play ultimate. Cindy is an active cutter and initiates cuts really well, making her a threat as a middle cutter in ho-stack. I can always count on her to be open both in and away and she catches everything. Cindy plays shut-down defense and gets countless run-through Ds every game. She's also amazing as a dump defender and has an effective mark because she stays on her toes and listens to sideline help. In zone defense, Cindy is tireless in the cup and works well with anyone who's in the cup, keeping the cup together. Cindy is dedicated to the team and genuinely cares about her teammates.
Now that I think about it, I met Cindy last year during summer league. I got a bunch of emails from her early on and she sounded super excited to learn ultimate and she had just gotten married, so she came out to a few summer league games and I was trying to teach her how to be a wing, etc etc. Man, what a world of difference from last year's Cindy to right-now Cindy.
For the last game of Regionals, we started playing Vermont and we played about 6-7 points when we saw lightning in the sky, so we just cut the game short (they weren't our official opponent anyway), and headed back to Jenny's house for pizza. Oh yeah, and while it started to rain, I realized that I didn't have the keys on me so a Carolyn, Michelle, and Smeri went back on the fields to look for the keys and actually found them.
Wow, I can't believe Ashley joined in January and hasn't even been playing for 4 months. She has great hands and can catch anything coming her way. As a former rugby player she's great at using her body on defense to get in peoples' way and body them out. She's also a great mark and a reliable dump defender with those long arms of hers. Ashley asks questions when she doesn't understand something (instead of just not speaking up) and it really shows on the field as she has been improving over the spring season.
Agnes has a huge mark and gets many Ds as the mark in a 4-map cup. It's really awesome to see Agnes on the mark and the disc trapped on the sideline because you KNOW that the thrower is going to have a hard time getting the disc around Agnes. Her cutting and catching has improved immensely this year. She communicates well on the field and tells the handler whether she's cutting in or away. It's also really exciting to see Agnes grab discs over everyone's heads because she's so tall!! :D
Clare is the most intense and competitive ultimate player I know. She's super speedy and can outrun any girl on the field. On offense she can always be counted on to be open both in and away. She's not afraid of the ground and tries her best to catch anything coming her way. Her throws have improved so much since she started playing and it's really exciting to see her throw up-field. She plays shut-down defense on the dump and isn't afraid to get physical with anyone. On the sideline, she keeps up with the team and helps out her teammates with loud "up" calls. We all know that her injury-prone boyfriend is infecting her with his injuries but maybe now that she's moving off-campus, she'll heal a lot faster so she can dominate next year!!
Smerbear is the fastest girl around and can beat anyone in or deep. It's so exciting to have her as a primary cutter because she catches anything and throw everything. Smeri is an aggressive cutter who thinks (sometimes out loud), "that's MINE, b!tch!" every time she catches the disc. And with that 2/3 Asian stutter of hers, how could she NOT get open every time? And now Smeri is a jill of all trades who can play any position, O or D, including actually being a handler handler no matter how much she denies it. She has beautiful hucks that go super far and float nicely (most of the time). Sometimes she gets a little excited and trigger happy but we all know she's psycho competitive so she'll get the D right back. Smeri is a lefty and sometimes confuses a lot of people on the field because they think they're forcing the wrong direction. Then Smeri would whip out a flick break because that's what lefties do. But Smeri isn't always the most coordinated girl in the world and is known to elbow, knee, and injure herself while throwing. It doesn't help that Smeri's old either. But I guess that's just what makes Smeri so amazing... She's like, the oldest AND fastest person in women's college ultimate. Smeri is a natural leader on the field and gets everyone psyched up and motivated to play with intensity. Maybe since this is our last college tournament together I will actually find the courage to yell "GIVE IT TO ME B!TCH!" at her. (Btw, I totally forgot to yell that this past weekend :(...)
Anyway, thanks to all the fans who came to watch this weekend, Jenny, Mr. Barry, Trisha, Shan, Matt, Bryan, Eugene, Dorphne.
And thanks to Jin and Shuangy for another great season of sMITe! :)
Well, this is it! This weekend is going to be my last college tournament of my LIFE. (Not to be melodramatic or anything. =P) I'm feeling a whole bunch of emotions that I don't really know how to deal with. I'm excited to play with so many awesome people that I've gotten to know this past year (or past 4 years!) I'm nervous and jittery because I'm always nervous and jittery before big tournaments. And I'm feeling really sad because I've played with some of these people, like Amy and Smeri, for a really long time and I'm going to miss playing with them (I know there's still summer league and other fun tournaments, but it's not the same, and Smeri doesn't play for fun anyway). I'm also kinda scared because Smeri told me she's going to abandon me since we'll have nothing in common after we stop playing sMITe together. =( I'm also feeling kinda relieved because I've played on sMITe for a long time and I'm ready for a change.
And for purely nostalgic purposes I dug up some old pictures from my first year on sMITe:
This is the very first tournament I played in for sMITe: Club Sectionals on Sept. 16-17, 2006. Wow and I just realized that Smeri has her arm over my shoulder! Haha I think that was the first, maybe second, time that we met each other. :) I guess that's what playing savage does to a team :) And there's Amy too, already the star freshman and captain-to-be.:) You know, we all look EXACTLY the same as we did 4 years ago. =P
Then a short month later, we played in Purple Valley and here are Smeri and me doing leg raises in a random dorm at Williams... Btw, I don't think leg raises really does anything for me except make my legs go numb. Funny this was the LAST time sMITe played in Purple Valley, mainly due to the fact that Smeri hates sleeping in college dorms. Haha. Now that she's not on sMITe anymore I wonder if they'll start going to Purple Valley again. =P
Then this was Huck a Hunk in November of 2006. We were traffic signs! =P
I *think* this was 2007 at some tournament in the fall. We played in 5 tournaments that fall so I don't actually remember any of them. Btw, look at all the pictures in this post... Smeri has her eyes closed in ALL of them. Oh wait, that's just how she normally looks. You know, because she's 2/3 Asian. =P
We had our entire team at practice today! It was so awesome to be able to scrimmage 7 on 7 with our full team. We worked on ho-stack defense, helping each other take the in and away cuts to minimize senseless running on the field, but also to be smarter about team defense.
It was a crazy windy day with huge gusts of wind but everyone handled it really well. Also, right before the scrimmage began, it started raining and then it turned into giant drops of rain. It was bizarre because when you looked up it seemed like there were only rain clouds above Briggs, and then everywhere else had bright blue skies. =P
It really helped our team to have a designated deep cut, i.e. someone who always cut deep whenever a handler got the disc. It helped generate flow and the handlers always had a deep option. We scored multiple times by having the designated deep just cut to the endzone.
I'm super proud of sMITe. We have so many rookies and second-year players on the team but it definitely looks like we play with a lot more experience. I think we have a perfect-sized team of 14 and every player on sMITe contributes immensely to the team in their own way, both on offense and defense. I'm super psyched about regionals :D
I'm going to wait until later this week to get sentimental about my last year of college ultimate, my last real sMITe practice, and my last sMITe tournament, and probably my last time playing with Smeri for reals. Feeling sad already... :(