On Thursday the 1st of October our trip to the European Ultimate Club Finals started. A 6 to 8 hours journey by car ( depending on navigation skills of our players … ) took us to the beautiful city of Wroclaw in Poland. Our Air B’n’B apartments which were situated in the city center became the first point for a team meeting. Although weakened by some injuries and therefore less players for the tournament we were totally motivated to show our highest ultimate skills in the next days. Due to our big win at Regionals in June this year we got a place in the Elite Pool (i.e. Top 8) and our goal was to confirm it by fighting for the disc against the rest of europe’s ultimate clubs as hard as we can.
Game 1: Welcomed by the beautiful autumn sun as we headed off to the fields we knew it was going to be an intense but great day of ultimate frisbee for us. We started into our pool games against this years German state champion Bad Skid. Although our D-Line came in strong in the beginning making some big D’s, we other than Bad Skid just couldn’t convert them into breaks and henceforth the germans took the half time 8:5. Coming out strong in the second half by equalizing at 9:9 we lost the next point to the germans after a fight of 7 turnovers! After some breaks as well as smooth offenses on both sides the scoreboard revealed to us that we were now starting our offense in universe point. A big sidearm huck by Matthias Neubauer (a.k.a Delay) touched the ground - turnover. After the same happened on the germans offense we again could not convert the disc we had fought back so hard in the last minutes. Still there have been 4 more turnovers in this 12 minute long universe point which Bad Skid finally ended by Kevin Schanz scoring for the win. A hard fought game which we could have definitely won as well. Frustrated about this unhappy loss in such an important game we were motivated for the next ones.
Game 2: In our 2nd Pool play we were facing off Iznogood from France whom we already played at Windmill, Worlds and Last years EUCF. In our last encounters both teams got quite hot headed, so we prepared our selves to stay calm and make some extra effort spirit wise. Iznogood started with a tremendous Defense and took the lead 4:1. We took a timeout, knew we had to start again from zero and forget the last few points of this game. At 6:4 for Iznogood they had a turnover and we converted for the break to 6:5. Iznogood made their offense, afterwards did convert a defense as well and henceforth took the half time lead 8:5. Although we shut down Iznogoods first offense there was no more comeback from our side to come and we lost 10:15. Now it was clear that we could not get the 1st or 2nd place in our pool and had to play against one of the Challenger Pool winners on Saturday to stay in the top 8.
Game 3: Nevertheless we came together and decided to play as hard as we can in our next game against the british team Chevron Action Flash (a.k.a. Chevy) whom we already played at this years Windmill. At Windmill we definitely could not show Chevy what we are made of so this was our goal. As in all of our games we wanted to win every single point - not just for winning but also to prove ourselves that we are meant to be under the top teams of europe. In the first half we started with offense - points were traded and breaks equalized by re-breaks, in the last point chevy managed to take the half 8:7. We played late in the evening and many other teams gathered to watch this hard fought game while already enjoying their dinner. In the midst of the audience our girls form Mantis who kept cheering for us until the end- thanks for the support! The second half was dictated by strong defenses- at first we converted to breaks in a row but then chevy managed to do the same and even got one more! At 10:13 no more turnovers were to come and we lost 12:15. Despite this loss we were more or less happy cause we knew the game could have been ours as well and that we had shown great ultimate and effort in this game.
Game 7: Today - sunny as always this weekend - we had our last game against our hometown rivals thebigEz whom we had lost in universe at nationals 3 weeks ago - what was definitely something we wanted to avoid this time. this weekend we had enough of those universe-point-losses 😉 . Although thebigEz had some 5 Players more in their rows - we had another drop out and were reduced to 13 players - we knew we could win this if we play our best ultimate. And so we did! Our D-line came in strong converting 3 breaks in the first half which brought as a half time lead of 8:5. Pushed by the score and thus the reward for our effort we kept on playing highly skilled and finished with a 6 point lead - winning 15:9. Gladly we could take revenge on thebigEZ but far more important was that we have been finally rewarded for our hard fighting. After having some nice chats with our rivals and national team colleagues we watched the final in which CUSB la Fotta met Clapham Ultimate. Clapham won 15:8 over CUSB and so we started our trip home quite early.
We are happy ending our season with a victory and are now pumped for off-season 😉
Congrats to our girls from mantis who played so well throughout the tournament and really deserved the 4th place in their division. Especially their win against Box after many great games where they came up short, made us very proud. You can read their review right here.
Thanks to the organization for the great pitches and their effort, also to Get Horizontal for providing once again great action shots. We expect some more pictures from our game against Bad Skid on their Homepage, be sure to check them out. And for the stat-nerds check out the live scoring page. Congrats to Matthias 'Delay' for beeing team MVP with overall 32 points (18 assists/14 scores), followed by Marian 'Gucci' 28(6/22) and Jakob 'bigJ' 24(20/4).
Have Fun Work Hard Get Focused Move Forward>>
Game 4: The most important game of this tournament was the Crossover in which we had to play against germanys Frank N who got 1st in their challenger pool. The tall germans played a very good deep game and forced our defense to stay as tight as they could. Furthermore they used their size to shut down our long hucks and to put pressure on our offense. Frank N made 4 Breaks in the first half and at 4:8 we knew we had pull ourselves together as hard as we can to win this game. And so we did - in the second half we played a strong zone defense and equalized at 11:11! Another break to 14:13 brought us the lead in the last few points and we started with offense in universe point. A failed huck on both sides let to two turnovers- we had offense again. Our offense overlooked a poach and Frank N immediately scored- we had lost again in universe point. This time it was way harder to deal with the loss. Again we had put all of our heart into the game, fought well but we have not been rewarded for it on the scoreboard. Frank N showed really good spirit and motivated us to keep on going because we had shown such great ultimate and strength to them. 2 more of the Crossover games ended this way which is definitely a sign for the strength of all teams competing at EUCF.
Game 5: Our next game against Heidees - from germany as well - decided whether we would play in the bracket 9-12 or 13-16. Of course we wanted to stay in upper bracket so we warmed up as hard as always and again had the goal to fight for and win every single point. Heidees with 5 more players in their team had fought themselves in this upper places where they definitely belong. We managed to give them a hard fight in the first half - but unluckily they took half after 5 turnovers 8:7 and then pulled off strong in the second one to 12:7 converting all their defenses almost immediately by receiving great hucks. Heidees thus won confident 15:10 against our team who maybe still had to overcome the universe point loss against Frank N as well as another drop out which lead to only 14 remaining players.
Game 6: We were now looking forward to play Otso- the finish state champion- and finally get our first victory. After trading points in the first half (8:7 for Otso- but they started with offense) we got 2 breaks in the second one by playing a clever poachy D. At 12:13 Otso converted their offense in a hard fought 8 minutes point with big layouts and defenses and made a break to get the lead at 14:13. Although we equalized at 14:14 we lost again - for the third time in this tournament - in universe point, not being able to shut down Otso’s O-Line. Otso had won 15:14. Frustrated again about the fact that our effort was not rewarded by victories we managed to keep our heads up and enjoyed a nice dinner in the city center.