The Western Division will be remarkable to watch all season. Every game is compelling, and the regular season race will likely be decided by a combination of who is healthy and who has their top players available. With all due respect to San Francisco’s overtime triumph, Seattle’s SoCal sweep had to be the story of the week in the Pacific time zone.
It was an undermanned Cascades squad that knocked off Los Angeles 29-20 and upended San Diego 26-22, spoiling the home openers for both opponents.
“We only had 16 players for most of Saturday, and we had 15 tired bodies on Sunday,“ said Seattle captain Reid Koss via e-mail. “While we weren’t calling lines all weekend, by the time Sunday came around we had gotten rid of any semblance of O and D players.
“We just put the freshest seven bodies on the line for each point. This meant asking our newer young players like Mike Cavanaugh and Sam Hart to step up, but they both played excellently in big time spots.“
“n Sunday’s showdown with San Diego, the game was tied at 11 at the half. Up by one at 16-15, the Cascades took over late in the third quarter, using a 4-1 run to lead 20-16 heading into the fourth. After wrapping up the win, Koss recognized that Seattle’s balance and togetherness were the difference.
“While we did have some individual stars statistically like Ray [Illian] and Donnie Clark, our success came from the fact that our chemistry is so great, and every player on the roster stepped up to fill the role they were asked, and then some,“ Koss explained. “While we acknowledged that this weekend would be physically challenging, we also made it very clear that constantly giving your teammates energy would push us through mentally. I think this was especially key against San Diego.“
Up next, Seattle’s home opener vs. Vancouver receives the ESPN3 treatment on Saturday night (7:30 PST/10:30 EST), with Bryan Jones and Megan Tormey on the call. Interestingly, Seattle’s schedule does not have the Cascades facing the defending champion San Jose Spiders until June, when the two powerful squads will square off back-to-back weeks, first in Washington on June 14 and then in the Bay Area on June 20 (on ESPN3).
After Seattle endured its longest road trip and barely made it back home (the Cascades twitter account indicated that they arrived to the airport with about 27.3 minutes to spare), it is understandable that the team, collectively, was exhausted after the hectic, albeit victorious, weekend.
On Monday, Seattle’s assist leader and second leading scorer, Ray Illian, posted the following on Facebook:
“32 hours in SoCal
8 hours of driving
6 hours of sleep
1 awesome weekend with the Seattle Cascades“
I think that anyone who has played ultimate for a long time can appreciate that special Monday feeling of exhausted satisfaction. I long for that feeling still.
Originally posted on http://theaudl.com/articles/ata/TuesdayToss1