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Down with the Clown 3

Down with the Clown 3
June 23rd and 24th
South Bend, IN
Steamboat hit the road for the first tournament of the season with a lot of excitement. After a couple hard months of tryouts, practices, and conditioning, the team was ready to test themselves against some of the best teams for the Great Lakes region. They were seeded #2 overall and first in the B Pool which set the expectations pretty high.
The team would prove early on that they were deserving of their initial seed. The first game was at 9:00 against Ninjury, a team from Detroit (and also one of the teams attending Cin City Classic). Right away, Steamboat took control with an O-line conversion and a D-line break in the first two points. Led by solid play from Matt Zenz (2 assists and 2 D's), they eventually took half at 8-4. The team would not look back, playing every point of the second half as a D-line. They wrapped up their first victory of the season in convincing fashion, 15-4.
Game #2 was against the Cephalomanics from Goshen, IN. After an early score of 2-2, Steamboat charged ahead and scored 6 straight points to take half at 8-2. A strong second half would end the game with another win for Steamboat, 15-6. Aaron Bacon led the way with 5 assists and Liz Gates was able to score 4 times.
The final game of pool play was against Mad Udderburn from Madison who had also started the day 2-0. Steamboat started the game again with 2 straight scores and would never look back. Joe Mozloom threw 4 assists in the first half alone on the way to an 8-2 lead. The second half would be a little more back and forth, but Mad Udderburn was never able to draw any closer. Steamboat wins 15-8 and takes first place in Pool B.
The 3-0 start guaranteed that the team would be playing in the quarterfinals on Sunday, but they still had a 4th game on Saturday in a crossover against the host team, The Abusement Park. For the first time all day, Steamboat was challenged in the first half. The Abusement Park was able to capitalize early and created a 5-1 lead. Eventually, TAP would take half 8-4. Down 9-4, Steamboat would not quit. With great plays from Josh Kleymeyer, the team went on a 10-5 run to tie the game at 14s. In the end, Steamboat would come up just short. TAP took the last two points and would win 16-14. Despite the loss, Steamboat was excited about their play and still in a perfect position to make a run on Sunday.
After team dinner and a fun night at the tournament party celebrating Will Huffer's 21st birthday, the team returned to the fields on Sunday to face Prion at 9:00. Another slow start would cause problems for the team. A few early mistakes that Prion was ready to capitalize on brought the score to 5-1. The team would try to fight back behind solid play from Brittany Winner, but could not recover from the early deficit. Eventually, Prion would win 15-10 and go on to a 2nd place finish, losing to Overhaul in the finals.
This put Steamboat in the 5th place bracket with two more games to prove something at the tournament. First there was a rematch with Mad Udderburn. Udderburn was coming off a hard-fought, universe point game and Steamboat was able to take advantage in the first half. Driven by intense play from Ted Landis (2 assists and 1 score), Steamboat took half 8-4. The team would maintain this lead and eventually win 15-11 to move to the 5th place game.
The 5th place game was against another team that will be coming to Cin City Classic, Cookie Monsters from Indianapolis. A combination of great team conditioning and stellar play from Steamboat's women would prove to be the difference in this game. Steph Mack provided some key individual plays (3 D's and 1 score) to fuel the team past some early struggles. Steamboat would take half 8-6 after being down 3-1. This difference proved to be enough and Steamboat would finish the game with a 15-11 victory.
Overall, this was a very successful weekend and a tremendous start to the 2012 season for Steamboat. Areas for improvement included defending deep cutters, converting around the endzone, and swinging the disc across the entire field. Conversely, some very obvious strengths that the team demonstrated included conditioning and solid line rotations, moving the disc quickly on offense, and general positive attitude and sideline involvement. If the team can continue to improve and develop in all of these areas, they will definitely be poised to make a statement at the host tournament, Cin City Classic, in three weeks.