Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Stadium - It Works

Today's featured game played in a decent-sized stadium featured the local Czech/Prague-based team Hot Beaches against Storm, and up-and-coming team from Montreal.

Pretty awesome game to watch. I got to watch from the play-by play booth as well as in the stands and the entire match was electric. The stands were half Czechs and half ultimate players and both halves ended up rooting for the home team. It reminded me a bit of the year the local Rimini team Cota Rica made (and won) the finals of Paganello in front of a crowd 0f 5000+, many of them from Rimini.

In this case the home team Hot Beaches, it turns out, play a fast and loose game: they absolutely loved to rip it deep and seemed both fearless and overly determined to do so. Storm had some pretty smooth receivers themselves and a good zone.

Long story short: Storm took a 15-11 lead about 10 minutes after what some thought to be a hard cap. After scoring the 15th point, they ran on to the field and celebrated while the Czechs walked back to their line. The mixup ended up in Hot Beaches' favor: it was a game to 17, not 15, hard at 17

Hot Beaches scored the next possession but then Storm worked it down again to make it 16-12, game point.

So the Beaches were definitely in trouble. But somehow they just keep lasering 50 yarders to the endzone and this time, came down with the catches (whereas in the first half they dropped several long bombs). Soon it was score, D-block, score, Storm turnover, Beaches 35 yard crossfield hammer rip on stall 2 for a goal, d-block huge forehand huck down the line, Storm turnover, Beaches backhand huck.

After every big play the crowd kept roaring in approval and it was clear that Storm was rattled. At 16-16, game to 17 it was possible that the quite miraculous Czech comeback aided by a stadium of supporters could actually be willed to happen. Storm called timeout and were receiving the disc now for the fifth straight point.

Hot Beaches came down in zone. Several near-D's were caught by Storm, who looked patient and willing to work it. After 40 passes or so, the teams at a standoff but field possession favoring Storm (they had gained yardage to within 20 yards of the game-winning goal) Storm finally tried to break the knot. A forehand to the short corner on an in-cut would have gained them 15 but the throw sailed up and over the target. A Storm player alertly kept her feet in the goal and lunged out to catch the overthrow. Game set match, 17-16 Storm.

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