Over Spring Break, the UCSD Psychos flew to Austin, Texas to attend the largest college women's tournament, Centex. With games on Saturday and Sunday at the University of Texas, Austin, this was the last regular season tournament before the start of the College Series playoffs. Huge thanks to Michelle Ng, Texas Ultimate, and Without Limits for hosting another successful Centex Tournament. Saturday started off with pool play games in the Division II bracket against Colorado Kali, Virginia Hydras, and Texas A&M Stacked.
Ranked 3rd in our pool, our first game was against Kali, ranked 1st in our pool. With record heat and gusty winds on Saturday, we struggled on offense making key mistakes that eventually added up to cost us the game. The Psychos were slow to start Saturday's games and while defense was successful in forcing key turnovers by Kali, offense was unable to capitalize. Kali took half, reached cap, and took the win 4-10.
The next game was against the Virginia Hydras. Showing great spirit of the game and enthusiasm, the Hydras played a strong offensive game. We continued to struggle on offense with simple throwing and catching. This ultimately hurt us as we failed to move the disc up the field for a score. While weather did play a role in gameplay, in the end, key drops and throwaways cost us the game 1-15. Virginia had an effective cup that dominated both downwind and upwind. The Psychos also played a strong zone defense, but couldn't close out on the red-zone.
Up next was a game against Texas A&M, ranked 4th in our pool. After coming off a huge win against Kali, Stacked came motivated and fired up. By the third game our offense started to flow and our defense continued to keep us in the game. Effective handler movement shutdown Stacked's zone defense, forcing them to play man defense against our stack. After trading points throughout the game, Stacked took half by two points. A neck and neck game, the Psychos continued to pressure Stacked and kept scoring points. Unfazed, however, Stacked responded with points and the key difference in this game was while we were unable to convert on the end-zone, Texas A&M was able to capitalize. Stacked took the game 8-12.
The last game of the day was a cross-over game with Rice University. In humid and heat in the 90's, it started to drizzle the first few points of the game. Rice continued to hold a lead, but offense started responding with several points. One possession scores, great flow on offense, and key plays kept us in the game. Down only two points against Mis Red, our offense tapered off and we were unable to respond, losing the game 9-15.
After an unsuccessful day on Saturday, we were now playing in the Division III Bracket. The heat took a toll on the team, but our main problem lay with simple catching and throwing. Sunday's games were played at a field 40 minutes from the University of Texas and here, the weather was drastically different. With stronger winds, it was significantly colder - a weather the Psychos are familiar with this season.
We started off the first game with intensity, beating the University of South Florida. There were significantly fewer drops on offense and USF was unable to break our effective zone defense and cup. With strong winds, the Psychos opted for a huck offense, which was extremely successful, giving us our first win of the weekend 14-3. With a win, the Psychos moved onto Division III semifinals, facing Stanford-B. While Stanford-B was able to rally after half, scoring more points, a strong lead early in the game gave us our second win. The wind started to pick up and a zone defense and huck offense were key in this 10-5 victory.
After two wins, our last game was for the Division III Championships against USC. The Hellions are a strong team, qualifying for Nationals last year, and beat us at Pres Day Invite a month earlier. The wind played a major role as we traded points downwind. USC did score a point upwind, but we were able to respond with another point upwind and took a two-point lead before half. Hoping to reach cap, strong winds forced both teams to play zone defense resulting in marathon points that lasted for 20 minutes. Playing through soft cap, hard cap went off during universe point. Tied at 8-8, the Hellions and Psychos turned the disc over several times before either team could score to take the Championship. In the end, a more experienced USC team eventually scored on offense and the Psychos lost a hard-fought game, 8-9.
We took 2nd place in Division III and with huge upsets throughout the entire tournament, the results of Centex were not what was expected for the Psychos as we failed to hold seed. With Conference Championships around the corner, we have a few weeks to regroup before playoffs - which will determine if we will qualify for Nationals this year.