What a great showing we had at NEPSULs! From one perspective, it was a long, hot, and sticky day with virtually no shade to be found on the huge, open tournament field. The humidity + 85-degree heat meant that our athletes were already sweating by the time we finished our first pre-game “Aga Chi” cheer. Readers of this note can only imagine how hard our players needed to work over the course of four games to stand up not only against challenging teams but also against Mother Nature.
From another perspective, though, this New England championship tournament was fun, satisfying, and validating. As has been the case for most of this season, our all-gender team played mostly against boy-identifying athletes who were physically bigger than the folks on our team. Did we let that reality crush us? Absolutely not. Through thick and thin, we maintained our excellent handling skills (multiple coaches from other teams complimented our players on our handling), good field communication, strong cup, and sharp cuts.
One of the most memorable parts of the 8-hour day was the Ultimate prom ask! One of our players coordinated not only with their own teammates but also with the opposing team to set up a staged first goal in which the “asker” passed deep to the “askee” to score a quick goal. It was only when the person in the goal turned over the disk and saw “PROM” written there that they realized 35 people had coordinated in this prom-ask effort. It was awesome!
Other memorable moments: Anna’s first-game spectacular catch (meant for Harry) that two Xavier players also contested. Anna’s catch-and-roll move saved the day. Also in the first game, Jerry Huang threw an awesome deep-deep to Harry who caught in on the sideline with just one toe on the field. In the second game, Xavier Armas stood out for his great cuts, and the goal in which William Abu-Rjaili assisted Alice Ai was especially sweet because it resulted from the team consciously choosing to improve the attack angle. Our third-game highlights included Jeff Wang’s take-it-for-the-team layouts, and our fourth game victory was a huge team effort anchored by Sammy and Toler’s end-zone catches and Allyson’s terrific #8 goal. We are so proud of our fabulous athletes!!