We rolled into Saturday 14 deep. 3 rookies, 4 sophomores, 2 juniors, and 2 seniors, and 3 grad students (only one in his last year of eligibility (and first on the team)). I think that is the breakdown at least.
We made two even lines, dubbed ingeniously, "line 1" and "line 2", and played each line for 2 points at a time for the first 2 games. The first game was against wentworth. They had a couple dangerous players, but were mostly a young team. We made sure to bookend their good cutter and force their main handler with big lefty throws out, and beat them 15-6.
We then played Bentley-B, and beat them 15-3. The last couple of the points, we played what would be our "o line" against them to get them used to playing together.
We have had several key injuries ankle injuries that have left us with only 3 handlers and missing a couple good O cutters, so this entire weekend we worked on having an efficient O. We focused on moving the disc quickly, communication amongst the handlers, and good hard cuts and clears from the cutters.
We then had our big showdown of the day which was Northeastern. The kids were pretty pumped up to play them since they played them and won in a very close game under the lights a couple of weeks ago at MIT, but the victory was far too close to leave them confident about it. We start on O, score, and then score the next 3 points to make it 4-0.
We go zone, they score with their main handler, piccard?, picking it apart. At some point, their tall fast kid casey rolls his ankle. We trade until 5-2, and then we score the next 5 in a row.
We then go back to line 1 and line 2 trying to play everyone and finish 15-5. Pretty good day for MIT. We played aggressive D. Got a lot of Ds on in cuts either by forcing a bad throw, or by smothering the dump, and we won a lot of the air battles.
We go to olive garden, everyone is happy. It should also be noted that we played on quite possibly the worst fields ever and came out injury free (i made everyone with ankle issues in the past wear their braces), but, we wouldn't have been able to play sectionals if not for those fields.
We come out on Sunday 15 strong with an additional rookie.
We begin by playing Harvard. MIT had a good warm-up, everything was clicking, and they were fired up to start. We come out on fire, getting numerous Ds and bookending their cuts which worked very well for stagnating their flow. We made sure not to let stubbs throw his backhand upwind because we felt we had a better chance at d'ing his long flick hucks. We had numerous players step up and made big plays on O and D for use, and we took half 8-5. Our handlers were moving the disc well, and we responded to the clam and junk well by moving it around and picking apart the holes.
We then start the second half well, but Harvard makes a late run getting to within a break in the cap, and we manage to punch in the final upwinder on a long huck to andrew ji.
We then have a two hour bye. We do our best to eat, get in cars to get warm, and drink, but once we get back out to warm up, the spring is a little lost. We start the game against tufts, and have a couple hiccups and then tufts proceeds to walk all over us. We proceed to look tired, frazzeled, and have numerous unforced turn-overs. At around the beginning of the game, ji bruises his heal and cannot play for the rest of the weekend.
It should be noted that tufts good D accounts for a lot of these throwaways. To date, they definitely have our number, but with that game over, we know we have regionals... and potentially another chance to play them.
Aside: Whatever tufts does as a program is pretty awesome. Their C team is larger than our team.
The 2/3 game is next, and Harvard was looking just as tired as us. We agree to play sooner than the 50 minutes that we were supposed to wait to play that round because both teams don't want to cool down only to have to warm back up. We come out and struggle a little to fill andrew's cutting role. Cody and Phys have done a lot of deep cutting and it is starting to show, our handlers stopped talking and cutting to create space for one another, and we started to have more and more miscues on offense. However, we never gave up fighting, and we still had numerous layout Ds, scrappy play, but on offense our tired legs just aren't getting it done to reward the effort.
We wind up losing fairly handedly. Overall, although I would have liked to have ended the weekend on a higher note, I think the team did very well. We held seed, proved to ourselves that we can play with anyone, and the loses will give us motivation for the next couple of weeks. We have lots to work on, and the team is getting better and better by the day. I am pretty excited for regionals, and since this will be my last season coaching MIT, I want to see the kids I have coached since freshman year be rewarded for all their hard work they have put into building this team in the past couple seasons.