Varsity 2012 Match reports
The women's team WOW had an enjoyable competition against friendly rivals Cambridge at this years' Varsity Indoor and Outdoor matches, held this year in Oxford. With a mix of experienced players and newcomers to the sport, the team taught and learned a lot of Ultimate strategy while competing for only the second time this year, after a stunning 4th place finish at Women's Indoor Regionals in early February. The Cambridge women with their team cohesion, experience and incredibly well-executed zone defense won out, however, posting up decisive victories in both the indoor and outdoor matches. Yet, with a fun and enthusiastic attitude, WOW worked on improving their horizontal strategy offense and perfecting their defensive positioning, both lessons that will serve the team well as it looks to grow and expand in Oxford in the coming years.
Indoors: OW 2 came to Varsity with a huge squad of 18 players and we split into O and D lines, which we kept throughout the day. For the indoors game, with so little time on the pitch for each player, it was important that everyone played as hard as they could for the time they were on. Cambridge took the first point, but not before a few turnovers from both sides. We came back and scored on O and traded a few points. Everyone was still getting used to playing together at this point, so the offences weren’t quite as slick as they could be, but our intensity made up for it as we were able to get the disc back. A couple of great grabs from Cambridge allowed them to take a two point lead with only just over 5 minutes left at 6-4. We upped the pressure on D, and our offence finally started to click, allowing us to convert the turnovers we’d been forcing all match into scores. We went on a three point run to win the game 7-6..
Outdoors: We started the game on offence going upwind, but after a long point and some confusion at the unorthodox Cambridge zone, we struggled to move the disc and ended up giving away an unlucky callahan to start the game. For the downwind point, Cambridge came down in man D and we struggled to get our offence moving, with cuts starting a little too late and their tight marks caused us some problems. They seemed to adjust better to the outdoors game, using the deep game more effectively than they had indoors, and punishing us on our turnovers, taking a 3-0 lead. We adjusted to using a horizontal stack that found space more easily with cuts coming early and handlers making better decisions, allowing us to claw back a few points. We roughly traded points up to half, Cambridge taking it 7-3. The intensity we’d seen in the indoors game had been lacking, allowing Cambridge to get away with a few uncontested points. We emphasised the importance of keeping the disc moving and of being prepared to play D as soon as the disc turned over and got back to the game. Starting on D, we decided to come down with a zone of our own, which caused the Cambridge offence a number of problems. Our O tightened up as well, and we were able to get a couple of breaks and make the game a little closer. After a few points though, Cambridge started to find the holes in our zone and cut out the errors from their offensive game, despite losing a few key players to injury. Despite our best efforts, they were able to win 13-7. Nonetheless, it was a great effort from OW2 and one that can certainly be improved on by regionals, as the team gets more chances to play together.
The first team played the last indoor game, starting on defense we traded points and the time ran out at 6-6 with Cambridge getting the disc. The game finished in sudden death with Cambridge winning 7-6.
The outdoor game also went to time but had a clearer winner. Starting on defense again we came out a little sluggish letting Cambridge keep the lead for the first few points. Having gained a couple of breaks we went up 7-5 at half time. Getting the disc back after half we manage to keep our lead finally winning 12-8, for our third victory in 3 years.