World Club Beach Championships 2011: The tournament part II
4th straight hot day with no wind. Even though I don't play until noon, up early to eat breakfast and then watch the Canadian women play Japan and stay undefeated, beating them 13-7. They are crushing their seed at this point (initially seeded 6th), setting up a huge match against the US during the afternoon for first in the pool. Oh yeah, and we played. Our warm-ups continue to get shorter, especially in the mid-day sun. We are playing Switzerland, who is 3-4 at this point. We dispatch them easily, winning 13-4 and I stay largely off the stat board, only throwing a goal to Trey to make it 7-1. I only call an O line 4 times so pretty mishmash and don't play a lot of points, which is fine with me for the midday heat. Get out of the sun and eat lunch, then hang out until our 4PM game against Spain. At this point, Spain is 7-1 with only a loss to Austria in the first round. After our loss to Austria yesterday, we take this seriously and give them the business, crushing them 13-6. Yet another game where I am statless (unlike Statler and Waldorf) but at least turnover free. To this point, I still have only the two turnovers on the week against Austria although granted that was in the one game we lost. The quick victory allows me to go catch the showdown between US and Canada women. While well fought, the US pulls away little by little, only getting broken once at 9-5 before winning 10-6. If everything holds after this 3-way tie, Canada will be playing Great Britain in the semifinals (who Canada beat 9-7 on day 1). Oh, and the Grandmasters team suffers their first loss in the late game against Austria, also losing on double game point. So only mixed is undefeated at this point.
Tonight was trading night, and unlike 2008, I had brought nothing from my stock, but walked around looking at all the loot, didn't buy anything, partied some more, then early night. Cuz I know I'm partying late the following night (um…).
So Friday is our first and only day with a 9AM game. Early wake up (sort of). It is against the Czech Republic who has not done much to this point with a 3-6 record. We obviously take that to heart, as we play the entire roster and do not feel any sort of sense of urgency, winning 11-8. We don't even reach 13 points. Although we do go down 3-1, tied at 4-4, even 9-8 before scoring the last two. I only have one goal thrown to make it 9-7. And still no turnovers. Losing the game would not have affected semifinal matchups, but still, not a good lead-in to the semifinals. Spain is now 8-2 with only their losses to us and the Austrians. We play them at 6PM (nice and cool). But prior to this I watch the Canadian women play Great Britain in the semis in a thrilling game! No one gets more than a 2 point lead, although GB, up 3-2, promptly gives up 3 in a row to go down 3-5. Then the teams trade out until the endgame, where GB breaks back to tie the game at 8, double-game point. Canada turns it over on a high backhand that drops too fast, then GB sails a long pass out of bounds before my girl throws the game winner, a long forehand to Kate Jardine for the victory. Very exciting, and they are going to playing the US, who smokes Germany in the other semi 12-5.
But now it is our turn to play. 6PM game on the 'showcase' field against Spain. Now it is time for true colors to shine through. Of what do I speak? Stats clearly! No turnovers, 3 goals thrown. I start off the scoring with a goal to Trey, then after the D gets 3, throw a goal to Ricky after Spain finally scores, then throw a final goal in garbage time to Tony to make it 12-6. One final break and we punch our ticket to the finals 13-6. More importantly, Austria takes care of business in the other semifinal beating France 11-7 to set up the rematch.
Now it's finals time, even if it isn't ours. Unfortunately we don't have time to shower and eat and watch the GM finals that they win handily, avenging their loss to Austria, but we get there right around the time the start of the mixed masters final, pitting the US against Great Britain. They look out of sorts from the beginning. It doesn't get any better as Great Britain wins the game 11-7. And it doesn't even seem that close. Disappointing loss, especially considering that in pool play, the US had beaten GB twice, 11-9 and 13-9. Whether it was adjustments by one, or a fold by the other, a disappointing loss overall. The final round of the evening is the women's division, US v. Canada. So of course I'm experiencing some emotional conflict. I finally settle on cheering great individual performances from the Canadian women, one in particular, with an overall victory from the US team. So this game was definitely the game of the tournament. Incredibly exciting at all levels. The lead was never more than 2 points, and the teams were tied at 1, 2, 6, 7, and 9. However, Canada never actually had the lead. This culminated in a double game point with the US receiving going downwind (whatever wind there was). A few passes in and they turn it over no more than 20 yards out of their endzone. Canada immediately turns it right back over on a missed dump pass, US moves it down field, then turnover in the Canada endzone. Canada is stuck in the corner, high backhand that can't be corralled, then Rohre Titcomb calls foul on a long inside out crossfield forehand that we still can't tell whether it is real (waiting for the video), then they finally punch it in. 10-9 US. INCREDIBLY exciting game! Time to go support the Canadian women who are actually not that devastated considering the expectations coming into the tournament. 6th seed overall, a team from all over Canada that for the most part had never practiced together as a full time except for a brief afternoon on Lido at the beginning of the week, and even that was missing a few players. I provided a shoulder to cry on nonetheless, cuz that is the kind of guy that I am. And now...
Party time! Head back to the rooms, shower up, and then grab the shuttle to the party which is at the Kursaal dance club quite a distance in the other direction from the Getur complex. Complete with pool, large hot tub, and ridiculously expensive drinks. After partying with the Canadians for some time, after we found out what it was going to cost to actually get a drink, we found out from some people that the thing to do was cross the street to this one bar. We leave the club, head across the street and the bar is packed with ultimate players. I buy a pitcher and we end up closing the bar. Back to the dance club, and then I realized that I am exhausted, it is probably 4 in the morning and I take one of the shuttles back to the dorm. Although I'm about to get back out of the shuttle since there is only one spot going back and she forces me back into the shuttle to go home. Thank god!