Pres Day Invite
The UC San Diego Air Squids showed up for their second home tournament of the year this Presidents Day weekend. 16 teams from around the country flew in to compete in this annual tournament. The Squids were seeded 15th out of the 16 teams and were in a pool with Utah, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly SLO. Cal Poly was the #2 seed in the tournament (with Oregon being #1) and was the Squids first opponent of the weekend. The Squids started off strong against SLO, putting up a heck of a fight. It was tied 8-8 for universe point when SLO pulled away, winning 9-8. It was a good sign for things to come, considering Cal Poly is arguably the best team in our region and definitely a nationals caliber team.
The next opponent for the Squids was Utah, who was ranked 7th in the tournament. The game was close for the entire hour and fifteen minute time cap, with each team scoring with each opportunity. Unfortunately, we saw our captain, Bryce (Ledger), fall to a shoulder injury and was unable to return for the weekend. The Squids were up 7-6 at halftime with a limited amount of time to go. Utah scored to start the second half leaving the score at 7-7. Hard cap then went off, meaning the next team to score would win. That’s when Stefan Samu (Dent) found David Knapp (NE TIME) in the end zone for the score and the Squids won 8-7.
Going into the second day of action, the Squids first opponent was UC Santa Barbara, a big rival for the Squids. UCSB started off quick, going up 4-1 with the help of some iffy foul calls by their players. After that, the Squids were out for blood, going on a 7-1 tear and winning the game 8-5 in what was a very good win for the Squids. The next opponent was Oregon, which has won 2 of the last 3 Pres Day tournaments. Oregon started off like the national caliber team that they are. They put their foot on the gas and didn’t let up, winning the game 12-4. This was a tough loss for the Squids following their monster effort against UCSB. However, it served as a good lesson for the days to come. The Squids would wind up in the quarter finals thanks to their efforts, an achievement they have failed to attain in the past year or two.
The last day of the tournament led the Squids to battle Colorado for 5th place in the tournament. Once again, the opponent came of hot. Colorado went on a tear and took an early lead 2-0. The Squids would be unable to come back against the skilled and athletic Colorado team, eventually losing 11-4. This meant the Squids would play University of British Columbia, who had just lost to UCLA, for 7th place. The Squids came out extremely hot, taking the first half 7-4 thanks to 3 goals by Gene H (Snuff). Colorado then went on a hot streak in the second half, eventually tying the game at 10-10 at hard cap. This is where the late heroics of Stefan Samu (Dent) showed up, with a monster layout D followed by an assist to Tyler Koo (Etchy) for the goal and the win 11-10. The Squids performed excellently in the home tournament, breaking seed from 15th to 7th. This is great progress for the team who shows great potential for the rest of this year. The Squids look to gain more momentum and surprise the teams who have been sleeping on us in the past.