Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The Ottawa program is heading to Hanover, New Hampshire this weekend for the White Mountain Open. We'll be a little short staffed for both squads, but we'll be looking to turn some heads in both the elite and the open divisions respectively.
I quickly realize that the past year's success/failure is the only thing that early tournament organizers can go by to determine where you are seeded this year. For a program like ours, with many new players and depth/strength we have not previously enjoyed, it's something we're going to have to play our way through. Conversely, a team like Magma is in a complete rebuild, and they will be hard pressed to hold seed.
As much as I think Firebird could handle an elite seed for this tournament, I think the open seeding will be just fine. We're short in terms of our roster size this weekend (again.. a bad thing if we want to turn heads this year outside of our country) and we'll find plenty of teams that will play squirely ultimate. Learning to play and beat those teams is just as important as giving the big boys a run for their money.
It is also not lost on me that last year, a team called Slow Children ran the bejebus out of us in the final game of the Boston Invite last year. They weren't slow at all. They had some solid young players who really played some good ultimate. We play that team first thing Saturday, and we'll be looking to have a better outcome.
I guess we have our motivation not to take any teams lightly.
Does anyone know who the best teams in this tournament are? I have many eastern US readers, so maybe they can shed some light on the teams.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
To steal a phrase from a 1992 World Series game, The UPA Women's Title "will fly north of the border!".
UBC Lady Thunderbirds are UPA college champions. It is good for Canadian ultimate, and it is good for college ultimate as a whole.
Because this was a great spring series in which none of the many fans and players sitting at home could not predict the outcome. Many teams that made the trip to Boulder could have taken home the title. Alas, only one did, and was able to win in fashion fitting of a deserving champion.
The 2008 Womens UPA Champ didn't even win their sectionals. A sign of how great north west ultimate is at this time, and of how much UBC and their coach developed this spring. That is awesome.
Hopefully we will get a breakdown from the team itself, but we can tell you this
-The team allowed no more than 9 points in any game
-The team beat the very best on the way to the title
-UBC was able to beat the very same teams that tripped up Ottawa in pool play (Santa Barbara) and in the playoffs (Washington).
Congratulations to the champions. I think that the significance of this victory will be understood much better in the future.
Quick condolences to the Lady Gees of Ottawa. As the UPA reporter stated, they have a lot of future stars who already excel at the women's club level, and they wanted nothing more than to win.
I won't make any excuses for a great team. I would like to say congrats to all the team members who helped build the Lady Gee Gees into the powerhouse they now are. Players like Shannon Becker, who suffered through the performances at Canadian nationals when the team wasn't very good at the national level, can be proud at the system they have built.
Great job gals.
Just to show I'm not sexist, there was also a men's tournament and it proved to be a great championship as well.
Wisconsin, the flavor of the year for much of the college season, suffered a heartbreaking Centex tournament in March. Losing games to Michigan, Pittsburgh and Florida at that tournament, fair weather fans jumped off their bandwagon at a broken ankle speed. Suddenly their cool documentary of the season seemed sophomoric, and the focus turned to Florida as the next UPA champion.
Fast forward through an undefeated sectionals and regionals, and the Hodags were poised to redeem themselves at national finals. They did, going undefeated and besting Florida 15-9 in the championship game. Except for that Centex tournament, the team didn't lose a game all year. The crowd loves a hammer, but they also always love schools from small states who battle some adversity to win it all.
Let's just hope they kept the cameras rolling, and we can all see how they managed such a great comeback.