Tuesday night Ultimate. LA traffic. Rancho Cienega. 4 teams side by side, arriving to a field full of people exercising, running on the track, and throwing footballs.
And then right around 8 PM, the field cleared to allow discs to fly freely. The wind was mostly calm, pushing to the south just enough to change lite throws.
2 of those teams met for the first time ever. The existing team KAPOW! from Santa Clarita. And the brand new Pasadena Sea Pandas, who all turned out to be from Cal Tech. They’re really smart. Billy asked them what sea animal the Sea Panda stood for. They said “none, it’s an anagram for Pasadena.”
Sea Pandas showed up with plenty of men, but had some cancellations of their women, only playing savage mode with 3. We were fully rostered, 7 men and 6 women. But don’t let these facts deceive to you by pre-reading what the final score was, PSP played an amazing game, and a great first half!
KAPOW! Started on O and brought down the first point after a few turnovers. Pandas fired back, winning the next several points. There were plenty of turnovers, dropped discs, and at least a couple of fast stall counts.
The Pandas called a time out to have the women talk over the situation on the field, possibly going to a 4:2 ratio or lending them a woman since they only had 3 and didn’t request a sub. The women made the decision to stay 3:3, and Meg gave them the option to adjust point by point if they needed to. With the game back on, Pandas worked with the official ratio and took the half 8-3.
That first half was tough. Half time gave us a chance to recoup and regroup. Thanks to Brock from Scoober for his support and advice at the game. We needed 12 to win.
The beginning of the second half was a blur in terms of plays, however, the wind had calmed down enough to not affect the disc as much, and we got on a roll. In terms of points, it went a little something like this:
K 3 – P 9
K 4 – P 9
K 5 – P 10
K 6 – P 10 <- this is when KAPOW! mentally returned to the game.
K 7 – P 10 <- The Postman delivered bookends!
If you don’t know who that is, let’s grab coffee sometime.
K 7 – P 11
Pandas fought hard, resting between points, turnovers, and wisely used their second timeout.
KAPOW! fought hard. Meg, Brigitte, and Matt Lawrence played some great defense and causing some turnovers, leading to 4 scores in a row to tie the game at 11’s, and then 12’s. Matt Cox made an amazing layout into the wind at one point to keep the disc alive before we scored. KAPOW! took the lead at 13-12.
The wind had picked up during that tied 12’s point. It was no longer light or gusting, but could do some serious damage with a loose disc. We took a time out to try to wait it out, and figure out how to work against the crazy high speed winds that came out of nowhere.
Bobby pulled the perfect low roller into the strong wind to start the 26th point of the game. Bobby also threw the disc hard into the crazy wind, caught by Andrew to take our team to 14. A few minutes later, Bri caught the game winning goal.
Overall, this was a tough game on both sides. Despite going savage, Pandas were able to take the lead early, making use of the players best attributes, and limiting their drops. Their women did amazing! We made some terrible throws and they were able take advantage of that early on. I’d love to see a rematch between our teams when Pandas are at full strength.