The UC San Diego Air Squids traveled this past weekend, 11/12-11/13, to Santa Cruz to play their hearts out. Upon arrival at the fields, the team was greeted by an awe-inspiring view of the morning sun rising over the Pacific Coast. With the grass dewy and the ground soft, they prepared for their first game against the University of Nevada – Reno Elevation, a team which retained all of their players from the year before. Despite going down in the first half, the Squids fought back to double game point due to a strong early second half surge. However, the experience of Elevation proved too much for several of the younger players on the Squids line who had touched a disc for the first time only several weeks before, and they punched in a score to take the game.
After the tough loss, the Squids were matched up against our long-time rivals, Santa Barbara Black Tide. The UC San Diego returners played competitively with them the first few points, but they began to be more liberal with the lines and once again the experience of the opponent proved too much for the 14 new Squids. The Squids dug themselves a hole that they couldn’t get out of.
With the two losses, the Squids had been eliminated from the championship bracket. That made them even more hungry for a win. The next opponent, Sonoma State Grapes of Wrath hung with the Squids for most of the game, but the field smelled like calamari in the second half as the Squids began to heat up. After pulling ahead to a comfortable lead, the returners let the rookie Squids finish the game. They ended with 2 complete “rookie points” to score twice in a row and close out the game.
In the 9th place bracket, the Squids were matched up against Claremont College Brain Eaters. They had a couple solid handlers, and the Squids weren’t playing to the level that was expected. However, despite rolling over when they were down by 2 while Claremont was 1 point away from winning, the Squid returners came on and churned out defensive plays and consistent offense to take 3 straight points and win the game.
The next game came after a 3 hour bye, and the Squids were gassed during the warmup. Santa Clara Altered Beasts, the next opponent, came out with more intensity than the Squids and the Squids once again found themselves in a second half hole. After a valiant 4 point comeback effort by the returners, the Altered Beasts worked the disc and threw a beautiful put to the back corner of the end zone, which was caught thus ending the game.
The final game of the weekend was scheduled for an hour and a half later and with an 8 hour drive ahead of them, the Squids decided to pack up and go. The weekend brought a lot of great moments, and allowed the new guys to gain a bunch of realistic game experience, which is invaluable. As the season ramps up, we’re excited to be see what some of the young talent we have can bring to the table.