BERKELEY, California — After a month or tryouts and a couple practice weekends and a team retreat, we were more than amped to play in our first tournament of the season. Since the tournament was in Eugene, OR, a few of us flew to Portland and drove down, while the other half of the team road-tripped up. We all arrived at Malina Wiebe’s parents’ house by 11pm and got settled in as we had an early start and a full schedule of games to be played. Full schedule and results here: Eugene Summer Solstice #37
Saturday morning, everyone woke up extra cheery and excited for the day ahead. After a quick breakfast at the Wiebe’s house, we drove to the fields and cleated up in preparation for our first game of the season. It seemed like “Cheerleader” was played on repeat 7,000x, but then it was game time!
On the day, three (Ivy, Grind, Elevate) of the four (+U-23 Team USA) teams that we played were first-year teams that were athletic and chock-full of potential—it will be exciting to see how they develop in the coming years. We opened the day with a spirited game against Ivy (Portland, OR) and, despite the score, were challenged from start to finish. Next up was Grind (Seattle, WA), a team that was small in number, but mighty in fight. During the third round, we had a bye, so we hung out with our friends, took lots of
selfies, and cheered on Marisa Rafter and the rest of the U-23 Team USA (everywhere USA).
Some might say that all of the teams that we played on day 1 were first-year teams because the U-23 Team USA was also playing its first tournament together in preparation for Worlds in July. Playing the U-23ers was a matchup that we were looking forward to though we were not as stoked about the outcome. It was exciting that the U-23 team was coming together so quickly, but it was also a little frustrating on our end as we had suddenly developed a case of the drops. Anyway, it was a hard fought game and one that we took a lot away from.
To round out the day, we matched up again Elevate (Salt Lake City, UT) and it was a nice way to end the day. Elevate’s athleticism and good throws definitely pushed us to make cleaner cuts and better decisions. To finish the day, Teresa Feng was presented with the spirit award—a tasty shot of contraband vodka from Utah—which ended up being water.
The showcase game between the U-23 Team USA and the U-23 Team Canada was at a different field site, so we rushed over there after the games to cheer on Oosa and grab a bite to eat. Some were successful in getting the tournament food and some were successful in going to the beer garden. In all, it was a nice way to end the game.
Since we had some time to kill before bedtime, we cagged around Eugene a little. For many, this meant hitting up Voodoo Donuts and a boba shop nearby. What happens when you give a group of 20-somethings boba? This:
Back at the Wiebe’s house, sing alongs with Malina’s niece and the rest of the team carried on until our early bedtime. Finishing second in our pool meant that we had to play a pre-quarter at 8:30am the next morning.
Waking up, breakfast, and warmups came and went, then our game against Shotgun Betty (Boise, ID) began. This was a challenging game because the women on Shotgun Betty were incredibly athletic and had a high frisbee IQ. As it turned out, the team was most of the women from a mixed team just playing together in a women’s tournament as they are wont to do once a year.
Advancing to the quarters meant that we would face Schwa (Portland, OR), a team that we were really looking forward to playing. Schwa is a blend of new and old faces though a lot of the newer faces are Oregon girls coming off a College Nationals win. The game went back and forth as the wind picked up and we ended up giving up a couple breaks at the very end of the game to lose it. Overall, there were positives from this game, but it left the team wanting more.
Chaos ensued following the Schwa game and before we played U-23 Team Canada (everywhere Canada) in a consolation game. As it turned out, we only played what was maybe 2/3 of a real game since we started late and the game got capped. Lesson learned: it only takes a break to win or lose. We ended up on the losing side of this game and went on to play in another consolation game.
Underground (Seattle, WA) was our opponent in our eighth and final game of the weekend and we were actually really excited about this game as well. Historically, Underground has been a fun opponent to play and this game didn’t disappoint. UG used their deep game and a zone late in the game to rush towards a comeback, but luckily we finished out the game strong and ended the weekend with a W.
Overall, we finished 7th, which was a not the most ideal outcome, but it’s early in the season, we learned quite a bit, and saw flashes of what we can look like at the end of the season. We are looking forward to practice this weekend and improving together!