2012 Semi-finalists

The Year of the Drag’n turned out to be a successful one, seeing DnT returning to the semifinals of the USAU Club Championships.  Though everyone had their sights set on finals, the experience was rewarding.  A team as young as Drag’n 2012 with as much roster turnover as it had will surely be a favorite coming into the 2013 season.

take on at a low figure medications online – http://site.jumblebee.co.uk/?p=4232 UltiPhotos: Team Photos -- 2012 Club Champs &emdash; Drag'n Thrust Team Photo -- 2012 Club Championships

Coming in to the Club Series, Drag’n Thrust had reached semis or higher in each tournament they attended, leading to a #1 ranking.  Unfortunately, this would not stand through Regionals after a tough loss to rival CLX.  DnT was awarded the dreaded #4 seed for Nationals, in the “pool of death.” The pool included familiar opponent Slow White, the seemingly under-seeded Mental Toss Flycoons, and American BBQ.

Day 1 started off in normal fashion.  The wind was blowing, but not in a way that made it a factor in the first game against American BBQ.  Both teams showed jitters in this opening round.  Drag’n Thrust slowly made its way to a 15-12 victory, but not without giving up a few breaks along the way.  Next up was Mental Toss Flycoons, who had just lost a tough game to Slow White after having a significant late-game lead.  MTF came out hard, building a large lead over the struggling Drag’ns.  Just before Mental Toss took an 8-5 lead into half, the wind turned on high, and would stay that way for the rest of the tournament.  MTF took another pair of points to make it 10-5 before the wind became completely unmanageable.  As luck would have it, Drag’n Thrust had the perfect cast for these conditions.  We threw out the typical offensive and defensive lines in favor of upwind and downwind lines.  Going upwind, we relied heavily on Alex Baker and Jay Drescher putting it up in the air for James Hron and Brian “Strings” Schoenrock.  This set off a 7-1 run for Drag’n Thrust, culminating in a hotly contested last point and a 13-12 victory.  This game set the pace for the rest of the tournament.

UltiPhotos: Drag'n Thrust v. Flycoons: Thursday Mixed Round 2 &emdash; Drag'n Thrust vs Mental Toss Flycoons. Mixed division pool play, Thursday, Oct 2012.UltiPhotos: Drag'n Thrust v. Flycoons: Thursday Mixed Round 2 &emdash; Drag'n Thrust vs Mental Toss Flycoons. Mixed division pool play, Thursday, Oct 2012.
The next game against Slow White, while intense, felt almost like an afterthought compared to the Flycoons game.  The wind dropped down a little bit, and we were able to open the lines back up.  We had played Slow White enough times in this season to know what their game plan was, and vice versa.  We kept our intensity up, and didn’t run into any problems on our way to a 15-12 victory over Slow White and the pool of death.
UltiPhotos: Drag'n Thrust v. Slow White: Thursday Mixed Round 3 &emdash; 2012 USA Ultimate Club Championships ThursdayUltiPhotos: Drag'n Thrust v. Slow White: Thursday Mixed Round 3 &emdash; 2012 USA Ultimate Club Championships

Injuries among the men were already a problem after this first day.  O-line contributors Ryan Pekarna and Jake Henderson went down with an ugly ankle sprain and an ACL tear, respectively.  Tallis Boyd did his best to play through an existing hamstring strain, and Dan Kaler with a hip pointer bruise.  Jeff Trosvig started playing again for the first time since MUDI after a Jones Fracture.  Thankfully, our women managed to stay intact through the tournament.

The power pool games of the next day played out in similar fashion to the last two games of pool play.  The wind was making it very difficult for teams to score upwind, so we continue to rely on our big throwers and receivers to take chances in this direction.  The Odyssée game was chippy.  They played small-ball extremely well, and challenged our offense if we turned the disc over going downwind.  They played a moderately effective zone which slowed the game way down.  However, they couldn’t really keep up with our deep game, and we pulled this one out 15-9.  The Ghosts were a team that many of us had looked forward to playing for a long time.  They were so-far unchallenged in this tournament, and looked to be a huge threat after a 15-10 win over Slow White.  Jay Drescher locked down on superstar Jeff Graham, but it didn’t stop the Ghosts from taking half with a break or two.  The offensive effort was lead almost single-handedly by Pat Niles, who found it easy to reel in our downwind punts, sometimes over a pile of defenders.  In the second half, we refocused our efforts to find James and Strings deep.  It paid off when we were able to put together a small run, and take the game with a 15-12 upset.  The game ended on a comical miscommunication between Strings and Jake McKean, involving a collision and a bobbled disc.  Luckily, Strings pulled it in for the win.
UltiPhotos: The Ghosts v. Drag'n Thrust: Friday Mixed Round 2 &emdash; 2012 USA Ultimate Club Championships FridayUltiPhotos: The Ghosts v. Drag'n Thrust: Friday Mixed Round 2 &emdash; 2012 USA Ultimate Club ChampionshipsUltiPhotos: The Ghosts v. Drag'n Thrust: Friday Mixed Round 2 &emdash; 2012 USA Ultimate Club ChampionshipsUltiPhotos: The Ghosts v. Drag'n Thrust: Friday Mixed Round 2 &emdash; 2012 USA Ultimate Club Championships
On Saturday morning, we faced Cosa Nostra in quarterfinals.  This team came in as the 13th seed, and were making a ton of noise after taking second in their pool on Thursday. The boys from Texas were talented, and it was clear to see that they’d been scoring a lot of upwind breaks through the throws of their big lefty handler.  This team was one of the few all season that struggled against our zone, and we used it to our advantage on a few key points.  Though they built an early lead (a strong theme of our tournament), we pulled away in the second half to take the game 15-11.

After a long break inbetween games, we arrived in semifinals.  We were facing up against Blackbird, the defending champions, whom we had never played before.  This Bay Area team had not had a strong season leading up to this tournament, but everybody knew better than to overlook them.  The wind continued to wreak havoc, but Blackbird found little trouble navigating their way upwind.  They mostly kept the disc in the hands of Brian Garcia and Eli Janin – opting for small dishy passes to each other when they didn’t like the look of the downfield offense.  When defending the upwind endzone, this team did a much better job of marking our throwers and preventing the deep shots from going up.  Forced to be patient for the first time this tournament, Drag’n Thrust struggled to find the endzone.  We did find some success by forcing Blackbird to pay attention to our women.  Through the tournament this far, most of the focus had been on the men due to the high wind.  We abused this by isolating our women downfield for big yardage gains.  The downwind line went back to its old tricks of working it through Patty King and Jaime Glader, while also finding Sarah Meckstroth and Claire “Hurricane” Oakley for goals.  Erica Baken made her presence known by snatching up a couple crazy poach Ds in the middle of the field.  Intensity stayed high the whole game, but it wasn’t enough.  Blackbird cruised to a 15-9 victory, and went on to win finals over the Polar Bears.
UltiPhotos: Drag'n Thrust v. Blackbird: Semifinals &emdash; 2012 USA Ultimate Club ChampionshipsUltiPhotos: Drag'n Thrust v. Blackbird: Semifinals &emdash; 2012 USA Ultimate Club Championships Saturiday order cheat tablets on line – http://menataplangit.blog.unsoed.ac.id/2016/11/30/order-cheat-tablets-on-line/ UltiPhotos: Drag'n Thrust v. Blackbird: Semifinals &emdash; USA Ultimate Club Championships 2012: Saturday Semifinals
The semifinals lost left all the 2012 Drag’ns hungry for more.  Watch for big things in 2013!

(All photos are the property of Ultiphotos.com.  Go check out their site!)
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