I’ve got some quick notes on the first day of NW Regionals.
I certainly miss the California teams. The overall feel of the tournament is diminished as the complexity and depth of talent is missing. Open is only 7 teams and Womens only 6! I was generally disappointed with the level of play – only Sockeye’s opening half vs Furious and Rhino’s opening half versus Furious were complete. All the other games were missing something.
Furious is absolutely on the ropes. They are missing Seraglia (appendix), Wong (shoulder) and Brown (?) and only suited up 17 yesterday. To compensate, they are pulling defensive players over to play offense. In their game against Sockeye, they looked completely lost, turning it over every possible way and then not playing defense. Halftime was 9-2! It wasn’t quite as bad against Rhino, but almost. Take out their 3 breaks in a row (see below) and the final score would have been 15-8. They’ll almost certainly be playing Voodoo in the game-to-go. The line is Furious -2.5.
Congrats to Rhino for making the show. They played quite well in their game against Furious, relying on their man-to-man defense to generate turnovers. Up 10-5 and staring down the precipice of actually qualifying for Nationals, they blinked. First, they gave up a point to the Monkey offense. Then, they threw the same turnover (backhand around to a broken off cut) three points in a row. 10-9! Then they dropped it on the goal line. With disc to tie, Furious squandered their chance and threw for the goal into a crowd of black jerseys. Rhino scored and added two breaks before trading to the finish. Congrats, Rhino!
The Riot-Traffic game was a disappointment. Riot ended up winning handily, but neither team played particularly well. Give some credit to the defense. Both teams protected the endzone well, forcing a lot of passes. Simultaneously, they generated a lot of pressure on the resets and got turnovers. Traffic used sluffing and switching, Riot good old-fashioned man-to-man. However, both teams had too many unforced errors. Traffic’s came on drops and throw-aways, Riot’s on miscues and uncertainties. This wasn’t a huck-and-play-d kind of game, but the sheer volume of turnovers made this a field position game. Riot got the better of this match as Traffic turned it over again and again inside their own red zone. These easy Riot goals were the difference.
I’m not a fan of the schedule. First, the women’s schedule is bizarre. You can go 0-5 then win two games and go to Nationals!?! Also, all the games I want to watch today (Fish-Rhino, Monkey-Voodoo, Riot-Traffic, Schwa-Underground, Further-Zephyr) are all at the same time! Yech. It’ll be main seat at the Fish game and running back and forth to the others.