Let’s get two things out of the way first… I am doomed to forever lose the shirt color battle. I’ve tried rock, paper and scissors. And NONE of them seem to work. Also, there wouldn’t be a Marshall team (at least not in A) without Skipper. So if I’m going to lose the shirt color battle, I’m honored to lose it to her.
Valentines day game. That’s a rough one. Everyone has their own strategies on how to make that work. Marshall threw a couple different looks for this pre game play. We worked the be single, the bring your significant other to the game and the leave V day gifts on the table with chocolate in the fridge. by 8pm, a shocking number of Marshall players managed to get open. But could we keep getting open after 8?
Ninja Squirtles must have worked some magic as well, because I heard Sunday they were playing with a skeleton crew. But somehow they managed to grab a few more, and the game was on. It was a game of runs. Marshall started on D, broke twice and went up by 2. But the Squirtles kept grinding out points, forsaking a big deep game and going to work mostly on unders. We kept expecting more hucks (and making choices to deny them, but Squirtles didn’t take the bait. One of my favorite things about the Squirtles is that historically they take what they are given. If you deny the deep, they are just as happy to work the under. If you front, they will go deep. They just play a smart game of ultimate. Usually, there’s some significant adjustment to make against a team. With Ninja, it’s almost always a player specific adjustment, if even that. You’ve just got to outplay them. And at 2-0 Marshall, we thought we just might.
The first half was a story of defensive breaks. It felt like on O, both teams were getting broken more than you’d expect. 3-2 Marshall quickly became 5-3 Squirtles. And we battled back and forth till half at 8-6.
For Marshall, our women took advantage of their lower numbers, running hard and getting open. And it was fabulous to see Erica and Taylor getting a lot more touches (and scores). It was clear it was a matchup game. The team that took the easier shots to matchups in their favor was going to take the game. Which added a little extra intensity. I knew when I was on the field, if there was a turn they were going to come at me HARD (cause I’m one of the exploitable matchups). And that’s a fun feeling. Fires you up a bit. You know they are going to work you. The sideline is screaming your name again and again. Deep… Under… Flat… Fuck!!! Greg Preston aka Captain Unbelievable aka Cubby does not care about your matchup game. Cubby’s game is primal. Is it coming hammer? Is he actually going to swing it? Shoot it? You really never know. But he got a big forehand pass off to Gary who had to go up high for the snag.
Marshall stayed within 2 breaks all game. But in the end, the Squirtles had too much mojo for us and took the game 14-12 as the lights went off. And perhaps it’s taking a year off from covid, or maybe just something in the air, but it’s worth noting how lovely Winter league has been. The spirit has been exceptionally high, the calls all reasonable, and the discussions good. It’s really nice to see. Tonight was no exception
Marshall finished the game with strong bar attendance. And joy even in a loss. Brownies were shared, the bartender brought us out some chocolate, and there were smiles all around. We even had the pleasure of hanging with Joe and Q post game. Just like old times. Stay frosty, my friends.