Dibs' sectionals writeup. I took a significant portion of this from Bitusa's personal blog.
This past weekend, the UCSD Air Squids, traveled an hour north to Long Beach to participate in SoCal Sectionals.
The Squids entered the tournament seeded 2nd out of 25 teams, so the competition on Saturday was pretty easy. We faced local rival USD first in moderate wind. USD had one player with nice hammers that shredded our zone in the first couple of points, but after a while we switched defenses and ran away with the game, winning 11-5.
Game two was against Redlands, a very young and inexperienced program. Our fish got a ton of playtime, and the D line led by Brooks "Cork" LeComte and Eric "Beil" Abhold held strong the whole game. We won 11-3.
Game three was against UCLA's B-team who are coached by ex-squid captian Brian "Millhouse" Chen. Again, our young D line was able to play almost the entire game as we won 11-2.
Game four promised to by our hardest game of the day, as we faced off against SDSU. These guys beat us last year at sectionals and we were not about to give up a loss this year. Our offense came out strong and we stacked both the O and D lines to start the game. Our hard pressure D and clean offense led us to an easy 11-5 victory.
Our last game of the day was supposed to be against Cal State Fullerton, but they decided to forfeit, so we got to go home early with an 11-0 victory.
Our strong performance put us in the Semi-final at 11am on Sunday. Both the semi and the final were games to 15. We faced UCLA, another team coached by an ex-squid, Jon "Yugo" Miles. UCLA came out fired up and put on a strong showing breaking us in the second point of the game for a 2-0 lead. They held that break and gained two more before half. We tried to regroup at halftime, but after halftime they put a little run together to go up 10-5 on us. We managed to trade some points but they held their own to get to 13-8.
Then the Squids found some magic. We started to string a series of scores together and finally stopped making the stupid mistakes that got us into the 5 point hole to begin with. We slowly crept closer to UCLA. At 14-12, we were 6 minutes from hard cap, so we knew we had to score quickly. By taking the underneath cuts that UCLA was giving our tall set of cutters, we quickly moved the disc down and scored in only a minute. Now we were within one point of tying them. With the score 14-13 UCLA, and the sidelines packed with both squad's B-teams plus a pack of cheerleading girls who had come down from LA, we pulled for what could be the last point of the game. The frisbee went up against a significant crosswind and then proceeded to blade back at a mild angle towards UCLA's handlers. One of their players went to catch it and... dropped the pull! We ran down and I picked up the disc and realized that my defender was forcing me the wrong way! An easy throw to Josh "Forge" Nickerson brought the score to 14-14 as hard cap went off. Double game point. Squids pulling to UCLA for a spot in the Sectional finals versus UCSB. Our most experienced players filled the line, and prepared to pull for what would be the last point of the game. UCLA caught the pull this time, but the Squid line covered well and immediately put pressure on the worn down UCLA line. After several swing throws among their handlers in the backfield they dropped a pass and we had a chance to end the game. Once again, we would not waste a prime opportunity. We moved it quickly down the field and I was able to catch a pass up the line on my defender and threw it to Justin "Bobble" Elliott on the open side for the game winning score. The sidelines erupted! Ice and Lite (A and B team) rushed the field screaming and jumping with eyes wide and jaws dropped. For all the yelling we were doing it was hard for all of us to believe what had just happened. This is the biggest comeback I've ever been a part of as a Squid. We took the game 15-14.
Energy was flowing and we were pumped up to beat Black Tide who had defeated us with a victory at their home tournament three months earlier in the season. It was time for revenge, and we were not going to wait for Santa Barbara to hand it to us. We started the game with a 7-2 run. We took half 8-3. Tide's team leaders were not at their finest and while we slacked towards the end of the game, they only turned the disc over more. We never let them get closer than 4 points and finished the final with a win 15-10.
By winning Sectionals, we have locked down the second seed going into Regionals in two weeks in Colorado.