2012 Chesapeake Invite -- Mixed Division Recap
Posted: August 27, 2012 11:51 AM
AMP's Patrick Sherlock recaps the Mixed Division field at the 2012 Chesapeake Invite:
Though the wind came up at times and storm clouds caused a delay before the third round, conditions during the games were again optimal in Poolesville, Maryland for the conclusion of the Chesapeake Invite.
Prequarters teams were up for an 8:30 start while 1 v 2 pool crossover winners got to sleep in. Early-morning rust was especially evident in the Termite's/Cahoots matchup, which featured the North Carolina team up early before Termite's Entourage stormed back to win on universe point. Termite's would fall in their meeting with Ambiguously Grey in the following round, but win out 11-9 and 11-10 over Bucket and Overhaul for 5th place.
Bucket progressed from pre-quarters with a universe point win of their own, besting Wild Card, before losing to Drag'N Thrust 13-4 in the most lopsided quarterfinal. The Minneapolis team continued to roll in semifinals with a 13-10 win over Ambiguously Grey.
In the bottom half of the bracket, AMP overcame 7Express 10-7 in a game full of conversation, but well-managed by the observers. AMP had the best of the early break opportunities in their quarterfinal matchup with Slow White, but could not convert and eventually fell behind after a 3-break run by Slow going into half. Boston played the second half with better possession and precision, picking up another break en route to a 13-8 win.
In the next round Slow White found a rematch from the Saturday crossovers with Boston rivals The Ghosts, who turned up looking stronger on Sunday morning with a 12-9 win over regional rival District 5 and 13-8 upset over H Pool winners Overhaul. The semifinal played out similar to Saturday though, Slow White advancing 13-9. After 3 weekend losses and a couple close calls, Ghosts will likely see their top USAU wildcard ranking fall a few places, but counting them out of national contention would be unwise if the full depth of their roster is available at future events.
The energy on the field and from the sideline of the Slow White v. DragN Thrust final made clear that both have the team ethic and talent necessary to be competing on Sunday in Sarasota this October. Offensively, Slow runs on the terrific understanding between handlers Jeff Smith and Jasper Hoitsma, supplemented by the terrific upfield cutting and continue throws of Kim Sabo, new to the team this season and formerly of Overhaul. DragN Thrust has strong male players, but their talented female roster really stood out, creating opportunities with short break throws and clutch catches.
This game turned on several second half mistakes. Leading 8-7, DragN suffered short field drops on back to back points to give Slow White the edge. The Minneapolis team maintained their composure to tie the games at 9s and then 10s before Slow twice turned on their goal line and DragN capitalized. Another break followed and DragN pulled on game point, 12-10. Another short field drop from Slow was wasted by DragN, but the following possession saw a Slow White pass picked off, leading to a quick transition score and 13-10 championship win for DragN Thrust.
The shorter games, played just to 13, increased the intensity and significance of every point, with teams one miscue away from seeing a 5-5 score without breaks turn into a 7-5 halftime deficit, with a final only 6 points away. While Chesapeake concludes the regular season for nearly every team, who now turn their attention to sectional and regional opponents, the talent on display made clear that this was a preview of matchups to come in Sarasota for many. It will be fascinating to watch teams adapt tactics and strategize to win when it counts, with a full 15 points to play out, and a greater reward at stake.