Southwest Division Tournament 2: SDSU
Game one was against Cal State Northridge, an easy game from the beginning. It was a good opportunity for our starters to begin working together. We were able to run our plays in a real-game setting without much worry about counter goals. We got a lead early and were able to get other players in the game after the first quarter. From there, different groups played with each other, with everyone getting some nice game warm-up in for this important tournament.
Our second game was against University of Arizona. We had played an exhibition match against them two weeks earlier, and knew what we had to do to beat them. We came out fast and strong as a team, and quickly pulled ahead. Defensive stops turned into counter attack goals for us, and our half-court offense worked well against their press defense. We were up by 6 at half, so we were able to play our second and third strings a lot. This was a good opportunity to keep working on our game in a non-risky matchup. We ended up winning without a problem, and our starters got a lot of rest.
We would need that rest for our third game, which was against our division rivals: San Diego State University. In the last four years, we have beaten SDSU once. Last year they represented our division at Nationals, a position we have always wanted to achieve. Needless to say, we came out fired up. They began in a press-defense, which allowed us to feed our two-meter center player, Joshua Wang, who scored the first goal of the game. They came back to draw a kickout and a five meter penalty shot, both of which they scored on. Josh Wang scored another goal for us in the first quarter, but there ended our scoring until the fourth quarter. The rest of the game proceeded as so: SDSU began a drop defense that stopped Josh’s scoring possibilities, and the perimeter shots that they wanted us to take were continually swallowed by their goalie. This defense opened up post-up possibilities for us, but even when we drew kick-outs from such movements, we could not capitalize. Over the course of the game, we had 6 or 7 man-up opportunities, and we only scored on one. A couple of times, SDSU was able to counter out of these missed opportunities, leading to two-goal swings in their favor. We also struggled to stop their counter attack offense because three of our starters and our primary back-up 2-meter guard were all ejected twice in the first half. (Players are kicked out of the game if they receive three ejections). Thus, some of our defensive stars had to sit on the bench for most of the second quarter. The game continued without us being able to score, and them scoring at least a pair of goals a quarter. It was a difficult defeat at 11-3, but now we know what to expect from SDSU and what to work on in practice. We now have two weeks to get our act together, and we still have high hopes for beating this team and reaching Nationals.
Our fourth game was against University of San Diego, who forfeited because they did not have enough players.