2013 Nationals: Friday through Sunday

Drag’n Thrust’s pool play victories earned us the top seed going into prequarters on Friday morning.  We were happy to be so well positioned, considering that every game from this point forward was must-win.  But we also knew that our opponents were the top teams in the nation, and we would have to fight hard for every point.

Our first game of the day was against Steamboat from Cincinnati, a team we haven’t played in a few years.  Steamboat had a tough Thursday, losing a heart-breaker to Cosa Nostra 14-15.  Though 0-3 on Thursday, that score showed that they were dangerous.
Things started off well for Drag’n when we took a 3-1 lead.  Unfortunately, the game was then paused by advanced weather sensing machines, sending players to cars to wait out the lightning.  An hour or so later we were back on the field.  Steamboat came out hot, bringing the game to 3-3.  The game stayed tight into the second half, neither team letting the other pull away, though Drag’n gained a slight advantage of a break and a half.  There was a significant upwind-downwind factor, and Drag’n attempted to capitalize with zone defense.  We struggled with the spacing of our cup, causing an observer to lay down the law, but despite our difficulties we still managed to create turnovers.  At 11-9, we really hit our rhythm, going on a 4 point run to close out the game 15-9 and advance to quarterfinals.
Our quarterfinals opponent was Mischief from the Bay Area, the team we played the most this season.  We saw them twice in July at the US Open, splitting wins, but they got the better of us when it counted in the semifinals, 15-9.  They had another convincing victory over us at the Pro Finale in California at the end of August, winning 14-10.  Having this sort of history creates psychological challenges for both teams, as if the quarterfinals at Nationals weren’t challenging enough!  Mischief may have had the mental edge on DNT going into the game, but they also had struggled in the tournament so far, losing 2 out of 3 pool play games on Thursday.  Furthermore, a speedy Mischief defender, Adam Brown, was injured and unable to compete in the game.
Mischief came out hot, asserting themselves with confidence to take an early lead, 3-6 in Mischief’s favor.  Their O line had an impressive start, and their D line managed to put our O on the back foot.  However, Mischief ran a tight rotation to accomplish this task, with players like Tyler Grant playing most points of the game (and, unsurprisingly, Grant played a key role most points), whereas Drag’n coach Jake Henderson leaned on our depth.  This tactic paid off, as Drag’n caught fire and put up 5 in a row, going from 3-6 to 8-6 for half.  The wind was still blowing hard in this game, and Drag’n transitioned to upwind and downwind lines.  Coming out of half, the teams traded upwinders for 9-7, and Drag’n answered back for yet another upwinder, with Josh “Shwa” Hemmesch finding Sarah Meckstroth for 10-7.  Wanting back in on the action, the Drag’n downwind line managed a break, with Austin Lien hammering to Jay Drescher for 11-7.  Jay’s matchup with Sean Ham was particularly exciting this game, with both having some great moments.  On the next point, Mischief marched it down, but Drag’n made a great defensive stand, getting the disc back for an upwind try.  Unfortunately, a Drag’n turnover allowed Mischief to convert the point for 11-8.  After a longer point, Drag’n got back on the scoreboard when Tallis found Hupps for 12-8.  Mischief answered back for 12-9.  Hupp kept things exciting with a big layout underneath, and Austin found Pat on a huck for 13-9.  Mischief then surged on a 2 point run, bringing it to 13-11.  Answering back, Mike Petersen made a huge upwind huck to James Hron, who then found Meckstroth for 14-11.  The Drag’n defense came down hard and both Jay and Brian “Strings” Schoenrock got big D’s, adding to their impressive stat totals, but we could not convert, and a Mischief handblock followed by a score made it 14-12.  On our second game point, Jaime Glader found James to seal the deal, 15-12, sending Drag’n to semifinals.
Despite being the lead goal scorer for the team, the fastest Jordan Hupp ran all weekend was probably to the car after the game, since he was late to catch a flight to make it to his sister’s wedding on Saturday.
Our Saturday opponent was The Ghosts from Boston. We faced them at Nationals in 2012, winning a very close game, but we hadn’t seen them yet in 2013. Our semifinal game was played in a stadium and filmed by ESPN. It is available online for those with ESPN 3, and it should be up on YouTube at some point. So I won’t give the play by play here, but rather I encourage you, dear readers, to check out the game! In short, we took a big lead, they had a big comeback, and we managed to hold on for the win, qualifying for the National final on Sunday. After multiple semifinals appearances in years past, this would be the first Nationals final for Drag’n Thrust and most, perhaps all, of its players. Many a tear was shed in the aftermath of this game. With this win we also qualified for the World Ultimate Club Championships in the summer of 2014 in Lecco, Italy. Bonus!
add in cart cheat drugs online – http://near-fest.com/?p=5103 ESPN filmed the finals too, so check it out! In short, we won an exciting game over the Polar Bears from the Bay Area, avenging an early season loss at the US Open and becoming national champions.
How to describe what it felt like to win Nationals? I certainly can’t do it justice for the whole team, so I won’t try. Just speaking for myself, a lifetime of competition and 12 seasons of club Ultimate have taught me that it is really about the journey, not the destination. Club Ultimate is about a group of like-minded athletes working towards common goals, forging bonds of friendship and experiencing life together. As such, every club season is special, and this season was certainly no exception. Winning Nationals, though, was the best icing on the cake that I could ever hope for. I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to share the field with my team this season.   put in cart inexpensively pills without prescription – http://hana.mhs.narotama.ac.id/2016/11/30/put-in-cart-inexpensively-pills-without-prescription/ I am thankful to our captains, Austin Lien, Patty King, and Josh Hemmesch. I am thankful to our coach, Jake Henderson. I am thankful to each and every teammate, and I am so happy for all that we had this experience. Occasionally I visit an informal list in my head of the best moments of my life. This season added many great memories, but winning semifinals and winning finals both make that short list. That’s all there is to it for me. It was the realization of a common dream, and I’ll carry it with me for the rest of my life.