2012 US Open -- Open Day 2 Recap
Posted: July 6, 2012 11:43 PM
I’m exhausted. Truck Stop has played six games, and aside from some rain in the final round today (which I’ll get to in a bit), they’ve all been in sun and 90 degree heat. Beyond the conditions, the competition has been a lot fiercer than the practice scrimmages that the past month have accustomed me to, and after two days, my legs are feeling it.
Each team we faced today ran me in a different way. I’ll break it down:
Against Kie, the Colombian team, there was never time to rest. Their offense is built on rapid movement, especially among their handlers, who happened to be the guys I guarded when I played on the D line. Kie’s throwers gave their dumps multiple cuts to get open, allowing them to sprint back and forth over and over again looking for a window to reset into. They did run into trouble when our marks were coordinated with how we played the dump, but if they had open field to move in, they were very hard to contain upline. We won this one 15-2.
Kie had Sockeye’s Reid Koss playing with them. Over the past few years, Sockeye has done a great job of building relationships and spreading the game all over the world, and Reid has spent a lot of time coaching in Latin America. It was cool to see his influence on the sets that they ran, along with their eagerness to soak up what he knows about the game.
Later in the day, I spent some of my bye round talking with a few of the guys from Kie. They told me that the team here at the Open is actually a collection of players from all over Colombia, and that the real "Kie" isn’t here because a lot of their roster will also be at Junior Worlds in Dublin in August; two international trips in one summer is way too much. Still, I’m very glad that Kie is being represented here in Colorado, as it’s humbling to see that teams look to the United States for ultimate’s gold standard.
PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu, Ultiphotos.com
With GOAT, it was the downfield movement that wore me out. Their sidestack clear plays and their eagerness to put the disc deep when going downwind meant that cutters were constantly in motion, and just like Furious, they had a whole bunch of guys that were willing to grind 20 yards out before fighting to come underneath. Fortunately for us, GOAT had a lot of turnovers due to miscommunications on the dump, but when they were clicking downfield, they did well.
Truck Stop got our game to click well against GOAT, as we our defensive offense started to run its set plays better than it had all weekend. Also, David Cranston and Alan Kolick made sure the highlight reel was stocked as we headed into the half, coming up with a big off-balance grab on a long huck and an even bigger layout snag to save a swing, respectively. Though we let GOAT’s defense back into the game a bit, we won 10-7.
By the time we faced Inception, my legs were just plain tired. We were sure to warm up before each game, but five intense games had me feeling slower and less loose than I had up to that point. Luckily the wind picked up and they threw a lot of zone, meaning that I only had to fight through it while facing man defense on the endzone line and after a couple of turns that we had.
This game was rough not because of the onfield play, but because only half of it even happened! Right around half, the entire tournament was put on a lightning delay that forced all of the participants into an on-site gym. While you can imagine what a gym without AC and full of ultimate players felt like, the time passed quickly since it provided an impromptu chance for teams to have fun together. On one side of the basketball court, Overhaul’s big men held a dunk competition. On another, the Riot girls and some friends played pickup basketball. And in the middle, Ring of Fire captain Taylor Pope joined the Colombians in a game of soccer wherein he got the best of one when he nutmegged him for a goal.
PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Wu, Ultiphotos.com
After about an hour, we were allowed back on the fields, but not for long. As we traded points with Inception to go up 11-7, another bolt struck and the tournament was called for the day. Games during the round being played went to the team leading at the time, and the final round will be played on Saturday morning.
We’re into semifinals no matter what (along with Johnny Bravo, Chain Lightning, and Ring of Fire), but the result tomorrow decides who we’ll play. I’d love a rematch with Ring, but I’d welcome another quality game against any of those teams.
Luckily, we don’t play our final pool play game against Chain until 1:30, giving the team plenty of time to sleep after an evening of burritos and some time in the hotel pool.
Open Division Schedule (SRT)
Day 2 Photo Gallery by Ultiphotos.com