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Tournament Reports

University Womens Outdoor Regionals 2017

11.Mar.2017 - 12.Mar.2017 - Leicester


CAMBRIDGE WOMENS’ PROGRESSION TO DIVISION 1 NATIONALS: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY  

11th-12th March 2017

Leicester

[From Left to Right, Top to Bottom]: Becca Harwin, Humaira Bhadelia, Jo Starkie, Laura Rogers, May Yean, Catherine Tran, Beth Boucher, Katie Tidd (C), Tasha Smith (C), Lizzie Pearmain, Fi Chang  

DAY 1

SBW vs BRUNEL [4 - 6]  

Cambridge had a slow start to the weekend, struggling to form a flowing offence against Brunel’s sharp defence. Despite surprisingly good playing conditions (almost no wind! Thanks Leicester), it took the team the whole match to properly warm up and adjust to playing on a full-length pitch. The Captains decided to shift offence tactics from a vertical stack to a horizontal after Brunel succeeded to repeatedly shut down our sloppy first and second cuts. This was a successful move for Cambridge, and proved to be one of our most redeeming offensive features throughout the rest of the tournament. Brunel took the game to 6-4 and emerged victorious (rightly so- they are a great team with swift defence and clinical offence).  

SBW vs READING [8 - 5]  

Coming into the game after a loss, SB Women were ready to prove that they weren’t going down without a fight. The team focused on attacking every disc, staying chilly on offence, and capitalising on the ho stack by making the most of the handler swings. Reading threw up an FSU zone, which Cambridge effectively worked around using the aforementioned handler swings. Some brilliant work from the team’s handlers here- Becca, Laura, Tasha and Beth- who demonstrated some flawless disc skills, catching the vast majority of the swings that worked the width of the pitch. On defence, SB had a hard time keeping up with some of Reading’s more experienced players, with 2 or 3 of their handlers consistently breaking the force with some mid-range throws that gained the team a lot of yards. However, after working hard on defence, Cambridge managed to shut down these movements and pull ahead to result in a final score of 8-5 to SB.  

SBW vs OXFORD [2 - 11]  

As witnessed in Varsity, Oxford are an incredibly strong Women’s team. Each and every player has both the disc skills and the athleticism to run a clinical, well-practiced offence that is incredibly difficult for the defence to shut down (they ended up winning the tournament- beating Sussex 11-3 in the final). Although Cambridge put up an admirable fight- and showed a vast improvement from their Varsity performance 3 weeks earlier- they were unable to keep up with the dark blues this year. The important thing to take away from this match is the fact that we did not get bageled #StillNoBagel!  

DAY 2

SBW vs UCL [4 - 7]  

YUUUUU WEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII. Cambridge came into the Sunday, like the Saturday, with a bit of a slow start (perhaps due to the early morning- 7.15AM wake up time!?!?!? What kind of #studentlife is this?). It was great to see the one and only Yu Bae again. With some sick grabs and fast offence, she proved to be one of the biggest threats on the UCL team! SB Women set up their Ho stack again- which was improving with each game. Humaira did some really beautiful catches in Cambridge’s endzone, as well as actually throwing a hammer assist to May for another SB score (She can catch AND throw now apparently). Unfortunately, UCL had some pretty impressive handlers who were not afraid of the deep space of the pitch, and consistently won some quick scores throwing the length of the pitch (their hucks were #goals. Literally). Cambridge emerged on the wrong side of victory once again- and were left even more determined to prove that our Ho Stack tactics DID work and we WERE a force to be reckoned with.  

SBW vs KENT [7 - 4]  

Kent threw up a *questionable* junk zone against Cambridge (we had to re-assert the rules of double team a few times). SB, now well-practiced in their ho-stack, threaded the disc through their zone with relative ease, thanks to some great cut positioning from the likes of Jo Starkie, Katie and May. This game also saw the emergence of more hucks, from Tasha to Lizzie, which (thanks to the lack of wind) had a surprisingly high completion rate (huck yeh). SB also capitalised on quick turnovers to get some 1-pass possessions straight into the goal, whilst Kent were still in the midst of setting up their zone. This was definitely a strong offensive tactic pursued by Cambridge, and worked well for us in virtually every single game, thanks to the girls keeping their heads up and great communication between the team (mostly consisting of Tasha picking up the disc shouting “LIZZIE RUN I’M NOT WAITING” before sending it deep). Laura showed some great handler movement in this game, working on her dump cuts to be a safe pair of hands always ready to receive the disc. Despite some lengthy calls and discussions- it seemed neither team had a really solid grip on the rules- this was a great game and a fine display of Women’s Ultimate. Cambridge confidently took the lead, winning the game 7-4.  

SBW vs BRUNEL [8 - 5]  

The Re-match to end all Re-matches. This was a really well-spirited game, and amazing fun to play. Brunel, as always, came out with ferociously hard defence, showing Cambridge what it means to want every disc that is thrown out. However, SB was ready this time. The vast improvement of SBW over the weekend was demonstrated in this game. Fi Chang and Catherine Tran had some great plays together, their connection showing much promise for the future. An outstanding performance from May in this match also secured Cambridge’s eventual victory. She caught every disc that went up, even if half the time that meant ending up diving into the mud. The team’s defence went from strength to strength in this game, as SB shut down every option in Brunel’s vert stack leading to throwaways on stall 9 in several instances. Beth ‘Wowcher- Get a Wow a Day @ Wowcher.com’ Boucher had some pretty sick run-through D’s in this game- she is a force to be reckoned with on Defence. However, Brunel matched our defence with a number of amazing offensive plays- kudos to Katie for some stunning layouts (not Katie Tidd unfortunately, Katie from Brunel). A front-runner for dick of the day- Tasha, for shouting “EVERYONE GET ON YOUR WOMAN. WHY IS THERE A PLAYER POACHED? WHO IS MEANT TO BE ON THAT PLAYER?…..Oh wait yup that’s my player”. A successful game for Cambridge women.  

SBW vs IMPERIAL [5 - 4]

A game that shall go down in Strange Blue history. To set the scene: It was a misty afternoon in Leicester. A cross-wind was beginning to pick up. It was all to play for in the 4 vs 5 crossover, as both Imperial and Cambridge fought for the final position in Division 1 Nationals. Exhausted but determined, the 10 Women representing Strange Blue summoned up the last of their energy to bring their A-game against Imperial’s experienced and well-drilled line. Imperial bagged the first few points, as Cambridge realised the defence was going to have to step up if we had any chance of winning a turnover from the Duck Doctors. Imperial threw a zone on our Ho stack, but luckily, Reading and Kent had allowed us to perfect our handler swings, so this was not a significant setback for SB. Despite being 3 points down (including a Callahan by an Imperial player who attacked a floaty disc from a handler swing in the end-zone grrrr), Cambridge managed to pull back a few points. There were some stunning catches from Fi, Lizzie, and Humaira in the end-zone. Also shoutout to Jo for stepping in as a handler in the H-Stack after Becca left for Germany mid-tournament. Without Jo, our ho-stack would have collapsed in this game, as the handler swings around their zone were critical to maintaining possession and tiring Imperial’s cup (#swingitlikejapan). The teams found themselves at Universe point, fighting for a goal to take them Division 1. Power line time. In the final play of the tournament, Cambridge demonstrated incredible awareness of the disc and flowing offensive movement to keep possession from the pull. After some peachy catches from Lizzie and Beth that worked the disc quickly up the pitch, SB found themselves on the sideline about 8 metres from their end-zone. Jo Starkie saw the opportunity and seized it, making a cut into the open side of the end-zone and catching an OI forward put from Tasha to win the game. SMASHED IT. Cambridge walked away victorious from a game they went into fully expecting to lose, and they should be incredibly proud of the huge improvement the team saw over the course of these 2 days. Next stop- Div 1 Nats!

MIP: Fi Chang

MSP: Jo Starkie

Best Offence: Lizzie Pearmain

Best Defence: Beth Boucher

MVP: Tasha Smith

 

SBW came 4th in spirit.

 
Cambridge Ultimate
UPCOMING PRACTICES

Sunday - JG
11:00 - 13:00
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Tuesday - astro      20:30 - 21:30     Sign up to Camdisc for more details

Friday - astro  18:00 - 20:00     Sign up to Camdisc for more details

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