May 22, den Bosch
Our men fought hard during the 3rd competition day. Here is a detailed write-up by Chris:
Last competition day before going into brackets! Despite a less-than-wonderful weather forecast and the absence of some key players, Ultimaas went into the day with confidence, aiming to earn a spot among the top teams in the country in June.
Game 1: Ultimaas vs. Blue Spider Dogs (Loss: 13-12) We played this team to universe point in our first competition day, so we knew it would be an interesting matchup. We didn’t have an answer for their hucks in the first half, but we *were* able to get a feel how they wanted to run their offense. We were able to keep pace, but weren’t ever able to quite take the lead going into half.
The best thing about starting the game on D? Starting on O in the second half! They still managed to keep an edge on us most of the half, but we really started to lock down the defense and were finally able to force a universe point at 12-12. Unfortunately, they completed one last huck on us, and were able to convert the winning point soon after. This was a game that we knew we had to win, but we just couldn’t quite finish it off. Sadly there were also repeated foul and pick calls which had a negative impact on both the spirit and the outcome of the game.
Game 2: Ultimaas vs. R’damnit Ultimate Frisbee Rotterdam(Win: 15-9) It was tough losing that first game, but we were confident in our ability to rebound and win out on the day. So confident, in fact, that we more or less completely failed to warm up before the second game, and went in with really low energy. I think we lulled ourselves into a false sense of security: ROTTERDAMNIT was playing savage-plus-one with two ladies, and we went up 3-0 in short order. Then they tied it…and kept scoring. We knew that their entire offense was running through one handler, but could never quite figure out how to stop him. We essentially traded points and were able to take half with the lead, but it was not the situation we expected or wanted to be in.
In the second half we made some strategic adjustments on defense, and also did a better job moving the disc and taking advantage of easy options on offense. Cuts started looking a lot sharper, and once we got the disc moving we found open avenues everywhere. It took some willpower, but we slowly gained control of the game, and closed it out with a 6-1 scoring run. It felt good to get the win, but possibly a bit embarrassing that we made it so hard on ourselves, especially in the first half. Cheers to ROTTERDAMNIT; they were running their asses off the entire game, and they did it with smiles the whole time.
Game 3: Ultimaas vs. BFrisBee2’s (Loss: 13-11) We learned our lesson from the second match, and got a good warm-up in a half-hour before game time. By this point, the weather had turned completely: not particularly hard rain, but consistent. BFrisBee2s seemed like a pretty good team, but they’d lost to ROTTERDAMNIT…good for us, right?
Unfortunately not. We flat out lost the first half, and not because they were outplaying us: our decision making was *terrible*, and we repeatedly gave them the disc. Granted, the weather affected both teams, but they were just more efficient than us in the first half, and ended up taking it by three points.
In the second half, though, we fought back hard. We were able to pretty much shut down their deep shots on defense, and started making more and more of the right decisions on offense. We got as close as 12-11, and had a couple of chances to score and force another universe point. It got away from us at the end, though, and they were able to finish it after a marathon point. In any case, it was a pleasure playing such a quality, good-spirited team, and despite losing, it was a great game to close the day with.
Final Thoughts I think we were all a bit disappointed at our overall finish on the day, but we played three very close contests, and if just a few other things had gone our way we might be looking at 3-0 on the day instead of 1-2. Regardless, I think it gives us some focus on areas to work on in the build up to the finals in Amsterdam. We know we have a high-quality group of players…it’s just a matter of playing together more and strengthening some fundamentals. Per usual, spirits were high as we enjoyed the traditional Ultimaas tall boys-and-fries on the train back to Maastricht; can’t wait for next month and Amsterdam!