Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring Break Terminus Highlights

It is the week before Spring Break and the anticipation is unbearable. Classes are being canceled, workouts are getting more intense, the snowstorms are more prevalent, and the Hodags are preparing to get crazy at Terminus. There is only one goal: start spring break off right with another tournament title.

Saturday morning the weather was beautiful, the ground wet and soft. The first game of the weekend is against Luther College and it is actually their first game of the year. Central Iowa Luther started tough and stormed out of the gate, taking the first 3 points. It took a huck from Rebholz to Tripoli just to get Madison on the board. A Mahowald sky D keeps the game close as the Hodag D manages to get one break back before half. The 5-7 halftime deficit has the captains uneasy and team moral stunned. We trade points in the second half until a timely goal line layout D by Matt Rebholz brings some energy to our sideline. However, it was Nathan Hurst who single handedly saved the game. With Luther ahead 11-10 and poised to score their O again and push the count to game point, Hurst gets a crucial foot block to bring the game to a deadlock, 11-11. Wisconsin finds its first lead of the day at 12-11, but at 12-12, it was universe point to 13. However, our O was chilly and calmly works it in with Heijman finding Tripoli. We get the victory and survive the most stressful moment of the weekend.

You know all that intensity that was supposed to be flowing through our veins in the first game? Well, I guess we saved it for the second game. We take half 7-1 with some solid offense and a plethora of hot defense including a sick Matt Scallet layout D. We lose some steam in the second half, willing to trade points the rest of the way out 13-7. This becomes a familiar trend for the tournament, win the first half and trade out.

Round 3 is against Colorado State University. We take our bye round and prepare for the last pool play game. Muffin makes an appearance and gets a D and assist on the first point. The D line is rolling and facilitates several breaks to a 5-2 lead. We take half at 7-3, but lose that 2nd half intensity. Again, we trade points after the solid lead and finish 13-9.

A 3-0 pool play finish leads to a crossover versus Georgia Tech. The wind begins to pick up a little, but the Wisconsin machine begins to roll. Madison builds a 7-4 lead and holds a firm command of the tempo at halftime. GT is pesky, sticking around in the game with their solid offense. For one stretch, the offenses take turns just immediately hucking goals. The Hodag defense is fiending for breaks and they finally find the disc turned in their end zone. A Hohenstein in-cut and floaty bomb forehand pits one Will Lokke versus the infamous Hensley Sejour. According to Hensley speed kills, but Mr. Lokke knows how to jump (and box out), ruthlessly getting the best of Sejour in the air. But the trading continues, again, 6-6 in the second half for a 13-10 final. Wisconsin completes the day 4-0, seals the deal for the #1 seed for Sunday, and for the first time gets to relax on Spring Break.

Sunday is just as beautiful as Saturday with a little more sun. The Hodags are slated to play prequarters against Winona State. This is pretty funny actually. Transfer students Dan Miller and Shane Hohenstein hail from the Winona State Jimi Hendrix’s. So the pregame cheer “Traitors” sounded about right. It sounded better with an early break coming from a Shaner flick bomb to Miller. We came out a little stronger overall this morning and put down State 13-8.

I think someone actually rigged the tournament. They called it Terminus, but in reality it was really CCC2. Another quarterfinal match-up with NCST?!? I wonder what happened, would it be as bad as the first time? I think it might have been worse. It was like 15-6 instead of 13-5. It really just came down to fundamentals, they would turn the disc and we would score it. It was a vicious cycle and they were clearly not having any fun playing Wisconsin.

We rolled into Semifinals and smelled the blood. We said to ourselves, they don’t deserve it and we meant it. We remembered CCC finals and told ourselves that we would not let MSU even think they had a chance to win, not even a taste of hope. Michigan State’s short rotation was clearly their demise and they looked tired both on and off the field. Dan Miller makes his patented ridiculous play of the day. The deep huck goes up and Miller has to make up the ground, trailing his man. At the last possible moment Dan layouts about 5 feet off the ground and bids past the offender to get another super sick D. We came out pretty strong overall and the game was not as close as the score suggests 15-8.

That landed us in finals paired with the hometown favorite Jojah. The game was scheduled to go to 17. This was a rematch of semifinals of CCC where Georgia was dominated 13-4. This game would be no different. “I mean, who are da five greatest rappers of all time? [Counting on his fingers] Dylan… Dylan… Dylan, Dylan and Dylan. Because I spit hot fire!” Well, regardless if Dylan can breathe fire and shoot lasers out of his eyeballs, he is not immune to the Wisconsin technique of rolling teams. Because for all the hype, Callahan talk, shameless worshipping, Dylan does not like to play Wisconsin anymore. He asks questions like “Who is this guy?” and “Why didn’t I catch that disc?” The answer: Drew Mahowald. I would describe the final as a feeding frenzy. Georgia’s offense pretty much goes through Tunnell every time. They depend on him to make plays and will literally force the disc to him even if he is covered by a blanket. Thus, when you continually force the disc to Tunnell and that guy is being guarded at the hip by someone just as tall and athletic, there will be plenty of opportunities to make plays. Drew guarded Dylan every point he was in and made his life miserable. I think Drew D’d or got a turn on Tunnell at least 7 times and scored around 5 goals in the final from various Hodag precision hucks. It was a pretty incredible performance, and even more surprising because this is the 2nd time that has happened. Anyway, Wisconsin goes up 11-6 before Georgia makes their move, breaking the O several times and tightening the game to 10-11 before the Hodag D line can show the O how to score, punching it in and riding the wave to a 17-11 victory. With 9 breaks to Wisconsin’s credit, the defense really carried the Hodags in the final.

A 17-11 finals victory meant free championship tournament t-shirts and discs. We made sure to get those sweet Frisbees that say “Terminus Champions” into the fray of the team picture. And that is how we started Spring Break off right.

See repeated pictures of Drew getting Tunnell

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