I was on the other field, and our game ended before this one, so I’ll give you Seth’s recap and then I’ll supplement with what I saw in the last few points:
Honestly, I was pretty sure we’d stroll through the regular season. Sure, we’d be tested- but in the 15-11 kinda way. Well, so much for that plan. Last night was tough. Missing a few folks, AJ and three of our women with nagging injuries…. Someone is going to have to step up. Turns out everyone on both teams stepped up quite a bit. For Scooby, we had real trouble with continue cuts. Which is a captaining error on my part. Got some work to do for us there. But we went to plan B – just keep fighting. The first point was a 5 turnover affair. And the rest of the game was a slugfest. My preseason scouting told me that I should look at that Dylan Greenleaf/Kyle Mathison baggage. And I knew a bunch of the other players on that team. Even a few well enough to heckle. (though that heckle turned into making the player run harder…Does that count as a good for the league/bad for Scooby heckle? Or just Seth being dickish… I’ll look to the comments for that answer). The game was super tight till 5’s, but I was pretty sure we’d pull away soon. And we made a little run to take half 8-6 (I think?) But we did not pull away. The intensity of the game just ramped up. (Quick note- despite it being a really hard played game, it was still really friendly, which is great to see in summer league)
A lot of the game was no surprise. Erick getting D’s. AJ throwing hammers. Skech getting open on the open side. But this was a game that would take everyone working hard. And throwing to whomever could get open. Which both teams did.
Stuff I loved. Aurora (after telling me she feels she gets more D’s playing person to person D) chasing down those under cuts really hard. AJ saving a LOT of less than ideal swings by diving to the turf. Olivia getting open on the open side. Derek learning to cut for AJ’s hammer. Bacon (listed at 5’5) in her first game back, explaining how she really felt she should have skied Jordan (6’4) to get that D (Baller spirit!) Matt Worden receiving a nice deep backhand from AJ, sandwiched between a defender and the sideline coming down with a super impressive catch. And while we are on the subject of Worden’s… Holy fucking god. John Worden had a game last night. On a night where we really really needed something extra, he brought it. Diving for an AJ hammer that was a little short, scoring, getting D’s, and giving me smart help from the sidelines (it was not my best game).
Princess Unikitty had its share of amazing plays as well. Lu Wang diving in front for a lay out D when needed late in the game. The elephant’s ass hammers (High and shitty but still somehow works) that xenon kept coming down with. And so much more. Kyle is fast. I ended up guarding him a couple of times. That was less than Ideal. Zurer and I did bracket him once or twice. And it was super satisfying to watch him run deep, under, deep, under between us. But he still managed to run himself open. So….
14-12. We’ve got the disc. Time to end the game. Seth throws a bad pass into the end zone, game goes on. 14-13. Scooby with the disc. Nope. 14-14. It’s ON! Unikitty has momentum. Scooby has confidence of the gods. 15-14 Scooby. Somewhere around here, Matt Worden goes down hard, end of his night. 15-15. 10:24 – will lights be an issue? Andy Bandit assures me that they know it’s going to universe, and the lights will stay on. I’ve known Andy long enough to know when he’s making shit up, and he’s making shit up. Scooby Doo’s Brandon (who received the infamous “It’s your time” speech) runs to the open side for a nice continue cut score- finally a continue cut! 16-15 Scooby. Skech with a HUGE hand block. MER, on the sideline, puts up a 30-40 yard forehand to skech, right near the back corner. Big fast dudes everywhere. Except where MER put it. Bookends for Skech. And a GREAT game all around.
I love seeing summer league teams throw to everyone. And both teams did. This wasn’t a game decided by each team’s best players. This was a true team game on both sides. Using whatever advantage they could find. Something for everyone to be proud of. Also a HUGE shoutout to Leah and Cam who both came out to support even though they couldn’t play. Cam smartly left his cleats at home- way to know thyself! Leah suited up with the caveat of, “if the team really needs ladies, I can run and try to look intimidating. 🙂 But no hand blocks and catches.” That’s just awesome!
As the oldest team in the league (and almost certainly in the history of summer league) there’s been a lot of texts flying amongst the older members of Scooby Doo talking about how we hurt. Performance comes at a price at this age (it does make the beer seem cheap by comparison.) Should you make it to the Sunday rose bowl pickup, you’ll see some of us playing super soft. Saving it for Monday’s game. Watch out Kitty… we’ll do our best to be rested and ready for you.
I said it last night multiple times and I’ll say it again here. This was certainly the best Week 4 game of Summer League I’ve ever seen.
It’s not the best ending I’ve ever seen in a Summer League game. That was 2009 or 2010, I can’t remember which. If I had access to the old website, I could look it up, but sadly I can’t because it’s currently inaccessible. (Spike and Tyler, if you’re reading this, I’m shedding a tear right now that I can’t find the write up I did on that game.)
We came over at 14-12 Scooby. Let me tell you what’s on the line here. Scooby is the last remaining undefeated team in the league. And NO team has ever had the immaculate season in Summer League. (I always have to make the Summer League disclaimer because 1998 Spring League team Lint Gray did go undefeated and win the tourney. Spring became Summer starting in 1999.) The closest teams to do it since were Haynes Brooke’s 2003 Ice Gray who lost in finals to Black, Frankie Rho’s 2010 Dexy’s Midnight Runners who lost in finals to Pretty in Pink, Frankie again in 2012 with Ice Age who lost in finals to Joey Chestnut, Dot and Fei’s 2014 Gold Room who lost in finals to The Mint, and last year Dylan and Debi Patton’s Hestia lost in Semis to eventual champion Hera.
So Scooby has the only chance of doing it this year. And that puts a lot on the line. Shortly after we walked over, it looked like it was about to end when AJ threw a perfect hammer to Derek Lay, and somehow it went through his hands. That was shocking. Derek is super solid, and you NEVER see him drop a disc. The hammer came in hot so that probably added to it. But it was as though the fates were saying, “No, it’s too early. Just wait what I have in store for you.”
Dylan suddenly decided that it was his job to tie this thing up single handedly no matter what it took. So he threw this crazy wild hammer up. But it was glorious. It floated down ever so gently giving Xenon a chance to chase it down and make a great catch. I don’t know Xenon personally, I only know she plays in a Bachelor on-line tournament game of some kind with my wife, and she’s really good at it. Well, she’s really good at catching hammers too. That made it 14-13.
But wait! Deja Vu! Kyle was not going to be outdone by his baggage partner Dylan. Going the other direction, Kyle, at a high stall count, throws an even HIGHER hammer to Xenon. There were various estimations on the height of the throw from the sideline. I heard 30 feet. I heard 50 feet. At the bar after, someone said 100 feet. (Well, they actually said 30 yards, so I’m converting.) Regardless, as John Sterling, New York Yankees radio announcer would say, “It is high, it is far.” And Xenon needed some serious concentration for this. That is not an easy catch. Blady coming vertically down at you. But she sucked it in like a Hoover. Tie game.
I wish I’d recorded this.
Scooby comes down and they’re within 10 yards of making it 15-14 when Lu Wang pulls the incredible lay out D. And now Unikitty can go ahead possibly for the first time in the whole game for all I know. And that’s when Skech had the point block of point blocks. At the bar, people thought she foot blocked it cause it was so low and good. That play saves the game, and the undefeated season. Skech was a very late add to Summer League. She was one of the last three women to sign up right before the draft. And then makes the potential record saving hand block. Then AJ makes an incredible diving save on a short pass. Classic. And Scooby scores to truly make it 15-14. That point was breathtaking.
Seriously, I wish I’d recorded this.
Scooby gets a D and has a chance to win it again, but a huck gets D’d and falls between three different players on Scooby. There were honestly multiple players who could’ve caught that deflected pass and won the game, but it was just barely uncatchable for all of them. Going the other wayJordan Balagot has a beautiful one hand catch that she had to seriously extend for, and found a receiver through traffic to tie at 15’s. That’s when I told Seth the line that the people running Rancho Cienega knew the importance of this game and would leave the lights on through universe. Yes, he was right, I was bullshitting. But it sounded so good.
At 15’s, I think it was AJ who threw the hammer (it was a cross-field hammer from right to left, so it was very likely AJ, that’s his bread and butter) to Derek who is covered by Lu. Great D by Lu as the top of the disc hits Derek’s fingers, but falls, but it also looked from my angle like it could be a foul, because obviously I have best perspective from the far sideline, and you know it. Derek did call the foul. Lu contested and it goes back. At the bar, Dylan said that was absolutely the right call and there was much nodding of agreement. Scooby ends up getting the score with their second chance and goes up 16-15.
I swear, I wish I’d recorded this.
(In truth, Sonja was standing next to me, and said “here’s my phone, you CAN record this”. But I was just bluffing. I couldn’t possibly watch this game through a cell phone screen. It needed to be experienced with my optic nerves.)
Trying to tie it again, Jordan put up a forehand that floated a little on her, and I think it was to Xenon maybe with Skech on her (not 100% on that), and Dylan trailed the throw and also had a chance to get it, but he’d have to go through both women to catch it, and fortunately he wisely chose to be safe, at the expense of the disc getting D’d, and Scooby had it with the opportunity to put it away. And yeah, Seth mentioned it perfectly MER’s forehand that found Skech in the back corner and it was over.
Man, that was an awesome game. I’m sweating just writing the recap of it. The level of athleticism was so fun to watch and all the great plays on both sides, it was heart pounding. But Scooby’s win keeps the undefeated season alive. With 6 more regular season games to go.