MIT went to Brown today for a tourney. We were missing some key players because of fraternity obligations, and we were missing a very good, promising young handler because "sleep caught up to him". But all in all, I thought Saturday was a pretty good.
Aside: I could write an entire post on MIT and Lehigh's fraternities and how the are the bane of my coaching existence, but that is another time, another post. I could also write a whole post on how, in the age of cell phones, can people not wake teammates up to come to tourneys. If you know you are going to have trouble waking up, sleep on a friends couch, use the buddy system, etc.
Okay, enough of that, onto the tourney.
We went down to the tourney with 4 seniors, 1 new grad student, 2 3 year members, 4 2nd year members, and 5 rookies. We had a pretty good mix of new vs. experienced, but we were definitely missing some offensive power, especially on the D side of things, and it showed.
Game 1: Wesleyan.
This was probably our worst game of the day. We were playing fine defensively the first half, and Wesleyan was helping us out too with some pressured drops. Our O was scoring, but not playing very well. Our handler motion was poor all day. This is something we will have to work on at practice.
We got up 2 breaks, everyone was playing well and feeling well, and then we lost energy and focus during halftime. We didn't get another break after that, and we forced very little turns. It was capped at 10-9 us, and then we get to 11-10 us I think before we get broken twice on nervous play and then poaching off to help other players out on D. That was it. Lost on double game point receiving. We have to learn how to want to win.
The good part of this game was that the rookies played good defense, and they got to play a lot.
Game 2: Brown Y or X.
We go up early, and stay up. The newer players got a lot of experience, and the rookies were cutting very well after a turn. They were aggressive and hungry when cutting. The only downside of this game is that the points take a long time because of the bad handler motion and people do not want to swing the disc. Just painfully grind it up the openside.
We use half to talk about dump swinging some, and we come out and it's better. Game ends 11-3.
Game 3: WPI.
I got to play with two WPI players during Boston tryouts this summer and they were athletic, had good throws, and had a good mind for the game. MIT played them in a night scrimmage in the fall and lost to them pretty handedly and they were looking for some revenge.
We start out on D and get a turn and keep rolling. Everyone is playing well, WPI isn't hitting their hucks, and they obviously are missing some players. I would like to think that we got a little better as well. I thought our D was good, and our O started to click. I think we win 13-4 or something.
Game 4: Bye.
It had been rainy and slightly windy all day, and during our bye everything let loose. I was watching UMass and WPI slug it out with hellish zone points. It was a really strong crosswind with a steady rain. After sitting in cars for a little and getting warm, the MIT kids came out and we used this bye time to work on throws in the wind, and then we discussed zone.
It is uncertain if the bye won or not.
Game 5: UMass.
UMass looked like a combination of their A and B squad, or maybe it was some veterans with some rookies mixed in like we had. Regardless, they weren't the veteran heavy squad that UMass is known to have year after year after year.
We somehow decide to start on defense going upwind. I thought I taught the kids to choose downwind when it is windy. Crap.
We start out, UMass hucks it, they score. They come down in zone. We turn it two feet from our endzone doing nothing we talked about in the bye about zone.
I think we turn it again giving up the upwind and downwind. We then score on their zone by going over the top downwind.
I am now left in a situation that a coach has to be in. If we win this game, we are in the winner's bracket tomorrow, and if we lose, we are in the loser's bracket. It would be nice to play against the toughest competition we could tomorrow, but, at the same time, it would also be nice to be able to continue to play the rookies and sophomores as much as I have been throughout the day.
I decide to stick thrower heavy lines in (i.e. the veteran lines). This doesn't pay out until we get a break right before half to make it 7-5. We start out on O and score.
We then go out and get 3 breaks in a row because we have worked on becoming more active on the mark and helping some on D. It seems to be paying off, and some rookies are being put on the veteran lines. I think it is 9-8, and then they score to make it 9s at softcap.
MIT then starts dancing instead of cutting on the dump cuts, and we are making too deep out cuts and stranding the thrower. We turn it, they score. We then have to score an upwinder. We work it up halffield and then turn it over throwing to a covered man incutting on a high stall. They score on a huck that we thankfully covered very well (we have been working on protecting the deep after a turn).
Henry from UMass really took this game over the last couple of points; he played great D and you could see him impose his will onto the game. I hope more of our players learn how to do that this year. We already have a handful that can do it, but it is awesome when a whole team wants to.
We have a lot to work on, but there is a lot of promise. The D was better now than it was at regionals last year and we were missing some good defenders today. Our offense had some hiccups. The biggest ones came once the softcaps went on. I think once we work out our handler movement a little better the hiccups should happen less and less.
I wish I could be there tomorrow,