Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wisconsin Sectionals

Here is a quick summary of the Lake Superior Sectional. Saturday morning was surprisingly cold, with a high of only about 51 and lows in the 30’s. Pool play match-ups yielded Michigan “Disco” Tech, Steven’s Point Homegrown, Eau Claire EauZone and the Marquette Warriors, I mean Golden Eagles, err just Gold, ahh wait DirtyBird’s! Anyway, the games enjoyed tight defense along with some questionable offensive decisions with almost all games ending at 13-7 Hodags. In general, I was pleasantly surprised by the athletic talent that many of these teams had acquired. While fundamentals were the keys to victory and the signal for which teams moved onto Regional’s, the desire and tenacity of play was always present.

Since Wisconsin went 4-0 in pool play and won our pool, we advanced directly to finals. We were slated to play host UW-Whitewater who had handled their games with relative ease on Saturday, even getting a crazy jump on the Pimpdags for a 13-1 win. Sunday morning was much nicer, still somewhat chilly and with a slight breeze. The Hodags arrived to find a slight scheduling conflict that had the field moved and final pushed back 30 minutes, which only gave us a longer warm up. To be honest, we looked pretty unmotivated to be there, throwing sloppy turns in our first drills. Whitewater took advantage and jumped out to a 3-2 lead, with quick offensive strikes and athletic ma defense. However, Whitewater is known for being a zone specialist team and with the Madison O going upwind for the first time, Sub*Par breaks out the Z. With a nice pull, it takes Wisco about 25 throws just to get out of the end zone and another 20 something to methodically work it for the point. Whitewater kept their heads and played close until Madison finally took a 5-4 lead. At this point, Madison threw their own zone and all of Sub*Par’s momentum and energy was finally quelled with an 8-5 Hodag half. The second half stayed intense and finished spirited with the Hodags taking home the title at 15-9. UW-W was more athletic than any other year I’ve seen them, with speed to match, but they lacked the depth at handler to outlast a stingy cup and smothering pressure. The game was spirited and friendly, probably because many players on both teams went to high school together and even play on the same summer league teams. With only one game on Sunday, the Hodags drilled for 45 minutes after the final before calling it a weekend.

Here is the link to the official results:

Other cool stuff: Madison is set to play the annual Blue/Black Hodag scrimmage as the showcase game for Memorial’s High School MadisonMudBath tournament. (http://www.memorialultimate.com/) It will be held Saturday April 22nd at noon during the lunch bye rounds. This will be the last opportunity to see the Hodags play before Central Regionals, so if you are interested in our program as a junior, I encourage you to attend. Wisconsin will also be selling merchandise (hats, headbands, jerseys) later on Saturday and on Sunday at MadisonMudBath. The Hodag alumni game is at 3pm also on April 22nd at University Bay Fields. Hopefully, these games will prepare us for Regional finals versus CUT the very next weekend, April 29-30th in Iowa City, for that one and only bid to Nationals.