This is hodgepodge of stuff that didn't fit anywhere else in the write-up.
I discussed this elsewhere in the write-ups, but the tents were essential to our success. I won't be able to think back on this Nationals without thinking about the tent: the closeness, the stepping over piles of stuff but oh, the relief from the sun!
Quite strange to abandon the sidelines, but definitely the right choice.
This group of women: Emelie McKain, Georgia Boscher, Shannon McDowell, Anna Snyder, Claire and Molly Suver, Emily Damon, Leila Tunnell, Shannon 'Malley....what a team. And who'd they beat? Anne Mercier's Canada.
As I look back on ultimate the last few years, I am amazed at the impact this team has had on our sport. Again and again they have provided the leadership and excellent play that has propelled women's ultimate to new heights. Hats off!
There are all sorts of problems with any kind of award system, but the biggest is that they too often are votes based on reputation and not performance. This is true from the biggest stages (NBA All-Star game or NFL Pro Bowl) down to our little stage in ultimate. With that caveat, I am going to try to name a starting seven from Nationals. Here were my guidelines:
1. Nationals performance. How'd they play at the show counts here, not how good they are.
2. By position. I took a page from the NBA and will name three 1s and 2s, two 3s and two 4s.
3. I had to see them play (this is connected to #1 - how could I rate them without watching?)
Without further ado...
The 1s and 2s: Kaela Jorgenson (UCSB) Molly Suver (Oregon) Julia Sherwood (Oregon)
The 3s: Georgia Bosscher (Wisconsin), Carolyn Finney (UCSB)
The 4s: Tina Snodgrass (Oregon) Sandy Jorgensen (Wisconsin)
Do you want to try to score on that line up?
Honorable Mention 1s/2s: Emelie McKain (Wisconsin), Emily Damon (Stanford), Shannon McDowell (Oregon)
Honorable Mention 3s: Bailey Zahniser (Oregon), Cree Howard (Cal) Hawkins (UCLA)
Honorable Mention 4s: Kelly Tidwell (UNCW), Marie Madaras (UCSB)
Fury Getting Richer and Richer
I was looking at Cal State photos and who do I see in Fury jerseys? Emily Damon, Cree Howard, Georgia Bosscher and Kaela Jorgenson. The rich get richer.
NW v SW
Frankie discusses this here, but I thought I'd chime in with my two cents. The NW has played the SW in the finals five straight years, with the NW winning four of those games. (Stanford x 2, UBC and Oregon.) Amazingly, UCSB has played in four of those games, topping Washington in 2009. If you look at semi-finals, the both the SW and the NW have filled 9 of the 20 teams over those five years, the last two spots going to Wisconsin in 2006 and 2010. All in all, an amazingly even record.
Not enough. The last two years have been awesome for women's ultimate and there has been total silence (well, almost) since the demise of IC Ultimate. I had a conversation with Gwen and Michelle about this at the beginning of the season and we all got excited about the possibilities, but no one wanted to be in charge of making it happen. Certainly, that's part of my motivation with this blog. Anyway, here's the challenge for someone, somewhere, with some time to step up and make it happen - I think the writers are out there, you just have to find them.
While we're on media, boy did I watch a lot of video this year. I had never really done that before, but we made a point to film pretty much everything and it was so, so helpful. So time consuming, though. I like to watch once for narrative and then go back through and chart each point, which takes about 5 minutes a point. It was really good for helping me see patterns that I'd missed live or that I'd misassigned importance to.
Fugue came out to my house a couple weekends ago for an end of the year get-together. Porch, potluck, bonfire, camping, breakfast - it was awesome. Then they all left and I realized (as I should have known) that that was it. That team would never be together again. Seasons come and go and teams endure and teammates endure, but a particular team only lives for one season and will never exist again. So cherish the moments you have with your team - they'll only happen once. I was sad. It was a special team.
A couple of months ago, Julia asked me if I was planning to coach again next year, which is always a bit of a question considering that I have a family and a job and live a long way from Eugene and I said, "Yeah." We got to talking about what it was going to be like and how hard it was going to be with everyone leaving (it's a scary list.)
What I tried to impress on her was that the challenges will be different and the expectations will be different at the beginning and the team will be different, but that it was going to be great. A great, fun challenge.