We hit the fields pumped for our first game against UCLA, a team we constantly face throughout the season and compete with for a bid to Nationals. Walking towards the field blasting music from Reboot, Santa Cruz knew the Psychos were there. Playing our first game under windy conditions, UCLA threw a strategic zone defense and caught us off guard. We hadn't practiced zone during practice so it was the first time the rookies saw this type of defense and the first time many of us played against zone since the end of the last season. Eventually we were able to create some flow on the offense, but scored too late as UCLA took the game 14-4. We also called a rookie line for the last point and even though we didn't score, our rookies dominated and made us all proud.
Our second game was against the host team, UC Santa Cruz. Carrying the momentum from the first game, we kept an open rotation and threw in an Inspiration Line once soft cap was called. Down 5-7, we hoped to score 2 quick points in order to force Sol into universe point. Unfortunately, Sol also played a strong line and after trading turnovers and d's, hard cap went off before we were able to score and the game ended 6-7.
The next morning, we fought in the Consolation bracket for 9th (out of 16) place. Our first opponent was California-BY and after we scored the first four points, they were able to score 4 against us tying the game at 4-4. But after an inspirational talk during timeout, we took half after scoring 4 more points and didn't look back, reaching cap at 15-5. On defense we were able to cause turnovers and worked together to get team d's, while creating flow on offense and capitalizing on Cal's turnovers through patiently working our way down the field and into the endzone.
Psyched after winning our game, San Diego State was next. After falling behind 8-3, we were able to rally after half, but fell short to a 13-8 loss. Nevertheless, after an exhausting tournament, we continued to fight throughout our last game, which was once again against SLO. Conditions were extremely windy, and after SLO scored the first two, we scored the next two and kept trading points until soft cap went off. The Psychos rallied and scored on an upwind break and took the lead 8-7, and scored on a downwind point ending the tournament in a 9-7 victory.
Coached by our two captains, the Psychos broke seed ending the tournament in 11th place. With only four A-team returners, many B-team returners and eight rookies, Sean Ryan was both rewarding and successful. As the tournament went on, there was a huge improvement and it was yet again another great learning experience for the preseason. The next tournament will be our self-hosted SoCal Warm-Up in less then a week.
(More photos can be found here)