Stanford Invite: March 5-6, 2016
Saturday, March 5, 2016
On March 5th and 6th, the Squids drove up to the bay area to compete against several top ranked teams from across the nation. In such a competitive environment, the team had a great opportunity to focus on refining its’ offensive and defensive strategies and maintaining a high energy level throughout the weekend. With a slightly smaller roster than usual, the team persevered through wind and rain to play Texas A&M, Oregon, and Central Florida in Pool Play on Saturday.
The Air Squids warmed up nice and early to prepare for their 8AM game against Texas A&M. The Squids came out strong offensively, with Cody ‘Nofksy’ Kirkland hucking a full field backhand that Zach ‘Denim’ Spidell laid out for in the endzone. After a few arduous points of trading back and forth, the game was tied up at 5-5. A&M had difficulty stopping our deep shots, however they did take advantage of the imperfections in our zone defense and obtained a few scores through over-the-top looks. A&M took half and then maintained a marginal lead until the Squids were able to tie it up once again at 9-9. Unfortunately, the execution and defensive intensity of the team faltered and A&M walked away with four breaks to finish the game 13-9.
The following game was played against Oregon’s Ego. The conditions worsened and the rain made for ample turnovers and hectic marathon points. Despite many notable defensive plays made by Scott’ Omari’ Radlauer, Stefan ‘Dent’ Samu, Jake ‘Crouton’ Gutkowski, and Zach, ‘Denim’ Spidell, the team often found themselves unable to convert these turnovers into goals. As the game progressed, both teams improved their offensive efficiency, yet Ego was able to extend its lead and win the game 13-6. After this tough loss, the Squids were determined to minimize errors and capitalize on turnovers in the future.
The third and final game on Saturday was against Central Florida. Although their athleticism did not match that of the Air Squids, their height and size advantage made them a formidable team. The wind provided this match with an additional challenge, and our much improved zone pressured multiple turnovers. Once again, the team could have done better converting these turnovers into breaks. After being down 4-7 at half, an inspirational talk by Squid Alumnus, Stephan ‘Pumba’ Hubbard, and the coaches led the Squids to rally and to tie the score at 10-10. The Squids needed a tough upwind break to win it, however this did not come to fruition and UCF won in hard cap, 11-10. While this was another tough loss, it was visibly apparent that the Air Squids had continued to grow as a team throughout every game. After a frustrating day of Pool Play, the team was determined to rest up and raise the intensity level during day two.
Sunday March 6th was a great day to play ultimate. The Air Squad assembled and warmed up for their first match of the day against Texas Tuff boys or something like that. Both teams traded points back and forth. When they would score, the Squids O-line would respond by Cody and his fellow handlers tossing the disc deep to cutters in the endzone. The game was tied at 9-9 but Texas got off a couple of breaks that made a comeback the only option for the Squids. Despite a valiant effort, hard-cap was called the point before the Squids had the chance to tie it up and the final score was 11-12.
By this point in time, the Squids were pretty tired. Pretty tired of losing. The team continued to grind and practiced throwing in the heavy wind before the final game against Carleton (CUT). With unrivalled effort, the Squids battled against this team with everything they had. Our zone defense looked better than it had all weekend (and season) which was able to generate multiple breaks in a row. Our offense was consistently completing deep shots and taking care of the disc near the endzone. Despite trailing Carleton pointwise for almost the entire game, it was safe to say the Squids were quickly figuring out how to play like an elite team. Near the end of the game, things got lit. Scott ‘Omari’ Radlauer caught a huck, and after a quick timeout, tossed it up to a flying Josh ‘Cuzco’ Hicken in the endzone. That tied up the score which was then followed by a brief universe in which the Texas handler dropped Cody’s ferocious pull. Easy as cake, Cody threw it to Josh in the corner of the endzone and the sideline flooded the field. Joyous celebrations ensued, and the Squids drove back to San Diego stoked to have ended on such a high note.
Overall, the Air Squids went 1-4 and took 13th place. The team not only refined and improved their offensive and defensive plays, but they unleashed a new levels of intensity. Many first and second year players found their stride and were able to contribute to the team’s momentum in new ways. Likewise, many older players on the team held it down and continued to fine-tune their skills. At this point in the season, the Air Squids are getting better every day and are looking forward to bringing it for the rest of the season!
Feb 13 - President’s Day Invite 2016: February 13-15, 2016
Jan 30 - Santa Barbara Invite 2016: January 30-31
Nov 21 - SoCal Warmup Tournament: November 21-22