Northwest Challenge has always brought a new set of challenges to the Psychos, as we change from playing in sunny San Diego to not-so-sunny Skagit, lying on the outskirts of Seattle. However, last year prepared us well as we experienced dredging through mud, getting soaked through our water-resistant gear, and the feeling pain in our hands from throwing and catching with frozen fingers. Now armed with hand warmers, water-proof gear (with a major emphasis on the water-proof), and grippy gloves, we were readier than ever to tackle the weekend.
We started off Saturday with a 15-7 win against the Victoria. As the rain picked up, so did the drops but we were able to stay calm and and focus up to stay ahead. For the next game, we faced fellow Southwest team, Cal Poly SLO and the sun decided to come out, perhaps as a sign. This was Captain Stacy “Aero” Tran’s first day back from her injury and boy was she hungry to catch some discs. Our O-line was able to work the disc quickly into the end zone so that our D-lines could continue to break. The Psychos won 12-5 over SLO and then the team had a bye so they had a break. Riding on the good vibes from the previous two games, Psychos take the win 13-4 against Colorado College. Rookie Kristine “RITZ” Mendoza hits the ground hard from multiple layout D attempts, showing crazy awesome intensity in her defense. In our final game against UC Santa Barbara, we quickly scurry back to the original fields to start the game on time. We take half with 8-5 and continue to break in the second half to pull ahead. A few rookie lines are thrown but alas, they result in quick scores for Santa Barbara. At the end, the Psychos take the W, winning 14-11 against Santa Barbara.
On Sunday, there was no sign of rain but it continued to be quite chilly throughout the day. After playing Oregon to universe point at Prez Day, we knew that they would be back with a vengeance. However, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going and the Psychos earn another win in the semis, going 15-11 against Oregon. This win advances the Psychos to the finals where we face Dartmouth, the former national champions. Continuing to stay focused after playing a tiring game against Oregon was a difficult task for the Psychos. However, we kept grinding through and the match was a tight one, every point was up for grabs. Dena “Chrome” Elimelech made some big plays as she lay-out d’d and got the Psychos possession of the disc multiple times. In the end, multiple small offensive and defensive errors, perhaps due to fatigue or nerves, led to our loss against Dartmouth, 15-11.
Psychos end up taking second place at Northwest Challenge. Our loss in the finals was unfortunate but will create great motivation for us to improve and take back the win next time. Shoutout to Khaso’s mom for providing a tent with tarps to protect us from mother nature’s fury and for bringing her happy dog to raise Psycho spirits in the cold.
Written by Sara “Frost” Zhang