The 2012 season made a fast approach this year! Summer is over and school in already in session. It went so fast but that means it is SOL power time! If you are interested in crazy talent and funtensity at Eau Claire UWEC Women’s Ultimate team is the place for you! Get after it and join us on Towers Field on Tuesday, September 11th for our first practice! We will also be present at BOB fest, which is on Wednesday, September 12th from 11 to 2! If you would like information on the season and what we are all about there will be an informational fry out with hot dogs and tons of cool people and information behind Governor’s Hall after practice on Thursday, September 13th (practice is on Tower’s Field 4:30 to 7 again!)
As the end of October neared, Eau Claire prepared itself for the many Ultimate teams that would arrive to T some D (toss some disc). This year the Women's Division was set to have 10 teams- continuing to grow! Thankfully we were able to avoid any last minute dropouts which seemed to be the theme for our side of things last year (yikes!!) And with the addition of a few teams who would be attending the Chillout for the first time ever (Sol Alumni and friends, Wisconsin and Mankato) it looked to be a fun and competitive weekend!
It was an awesome day for Ultimate!!! Easily the best weather the Chillout has seen in my time here so far! No rain, excessive wind OR snow. Our pool consisted of Bella, Milwaukee, Duluth and Mankato. We saw Milwaukee at Hucktoberfest and had lost to them so we really wanted to redeem ourselves with a bigger squad at the Chillout. We were able to go 3-1 in our pool, only losing to Madison(and pretty solidly losing at that...). The Fall season is awesome because each player is stepping out of their comfort zone doing new things whether they are a new player trying many different positions in a zone, a new returner learning how to be a primary cutter or a returner challenging themselves to learn to handle.
It's funny because some practices where we are missing a few girls and only have 14 or so it feels so small. I am so used to having 20 teammates around me, but as peoples schedules are busy it is hard to get everyone at every practice. Saturday of the Chillout it finally felt like a full team! Our sidelines had a lot of energy and I was getting concerned that people weren't getting enough playing time as opposed to having to play so many points like our other Fall tournaments. Finding and promoting "funtensity" was a big part of this weekend. Really demonstrating who we are as a team to all of the new girls was great (since we were a little short on numbers and/or returners the past two tournaments)!
Saturday night was a chance to hangout with the girls on a few of the other teams, or for others share a movie night! All I can really say is the Bella women are craaaaazy! What a fun group! And getting the chance to hangout with one of the newest teams of the Central Region, Mankato, was pretty sweet!
Sunday arrived and teams were anxious for a chance to be crowned Chillout Champions and inherit the prize of a free bid to next year's tournament (previously won by Carleton). While the winners of pool play were still sleeping, enjoying their reward for winning their pool with no games till noon, two rounds of play had already finished! Sol was able to win both games and was set to face the Sol Alumni + Friends team in the semi-finals but sadly, the alumni team was short numbers as the awesome ladies that came to EC from the cities for the day on Saturday could not stay for Sunday. So that game was forfeited and we waited to see how the Carleton/Madison game would play out to see who we would face in the finals.
It was hard to chose a team to cheer for since the Carleton ladies had stayed at my house all weekend and I only came to love Elise even more but I was wearing my Bella jersey and had the chance to hangout with a few of those ladies the previous night. So I just stayed neutral, heckled and got ready for Finals! Bella ended up winning so we got ourselves ready for a rematch!
The previous day I think we only scored 3 on Bella, so improving on Sunday was our intention! And improve we did! Down a few girls from the previous day(due to the need to skydive and who knows what else...), but with about 3 of our alumni popping in to play a few points here and there we ended up losing to Bella 7-11. A much better game than the day before, but alas those Madison folk ended up with the victory and a free bid to the Chillout in 2012!
After a complete Fall season, iamsoexcited to be apart of this team and help it grow and get better all Winter long! Oh, and hangout with everyone!
Best Pasta Cooker: Kim Holub
Handler to Watch Out For: Alex Lindstrom
Most Improved Field Setter-Upper: Sarah Ramirez
Likely to Get More Reps Cutting: Meredith Bray
Welp, with the end of the Eau Claire Chillout also came the end of our Fall season. It seems too soon for that! Three tournaments in the record books and now we start looking forward to the indoor season to prepare for Spring! But for now a recap!
Hucktoberfest- October 1st- 2nd (Neenah, Wisconsin)
Club Regionals and other life commitments assisted in taking away some Sol women for this tournament, sending the ladies of Eau Claire with less players than we are usually used to. I am probably not the best person to write this recap since I wasn't there... BUT from what I have heard it was an opportunity to finally put together all the skills we had been learning up to that point in the season. We even had new players (like Oliva Lee) handling without ever having practiced at all! Ultimate is great and all but I think the thing I personally was most sad about missing was being apart of all the shenanigans that went down this weekend!!! As of last year our team has heavily gotten into pranking, and apparently all the new girls are ALLABOUTIT! Foreshadow: this year is going to be nutzo. Bad news: Schneids MC got pretty beat up and will be out till next Fall and one of our new players, Kim, severly fractured her ankle.... But I am most confident they will both continue being huge assets to Sol while they focus on healing themselves!
No Wisconsequences- October 15th- 16th (Delafield, Wisconsin)
For the past few years this has been the premiere Fall tournament in the Midwest, so once again we looked forward to seeing many different teams and really putting our newly learned zone defense to use! And that we did! It was awesome to see how quickly all girls, new and old, picked up on learning different positions in zone D. It is really awesome to see all the new girls finally get tournament experience under their belts and see returners step up from being a n00b to an experienced player.
During pool play, we were able to go 2-2. With losses coming to half of the Saucy Nancies from U of Iowa and Northwestern Gungho. We were able to beat one of the Madison Bella Donna teams as well as Michigan State! Our pool was crazy- the 1 seed lost to the 3 seed, the 3 seed lost to the 4 seed, the 4 seed lost to the 5 seed, but the 1 seed beat the 2 seed. Main point: Fall seedings are rarely accurate. It's a lot of guesswork trying to determine which teams will be better than which so early on! Michigan State was most impressive with few ladies and lots of athletic moves! They seem to be a really fun and hard working group of women. After a long day of Ultimate with many small victoies under our belt, we headed back to the Haller residence!
A HUGE shoutout to the Haller family will be necessary. Now in my 4th year at Eau Claire I have been lucky enough to stay with this family at least once a year and they are way too nice to us EVERY TIME! They are generous people and we owe them a million thank you's. Their hospitality is outstanding! All the Sol family and friends that we have been so lucky to stay with have been too nice! Only a handful of Sol folk (including our new Coach Dan Kaler) went to the always fun tournament party. Most of us were wayyyyy too tired to make it out the door!
Sunday Wisconsin- Eau Claire Sol vs. University of Iowa X Saucy Nancy
Feeling well rested after mostly staying in Saturday night we hopped in our cars and zipped over to the fields. First up we were to play the other half of the Saucy Nancy team. We lost by a few points the previous day to the other Saucy team, so going into this game playing better right from the start was a priority. We were able to fight for a decent lead and were able to keep them from scoring for a bit! It ended up being a close game- we won on UNIVERSE POINT! That always makes for an exciting ending and gives you a lot of momentum going into your next game!
Wisconsin- Eau Claire Sol vs. University of Illinois Menace
Up next we had Illinois Menace, a team I don't think Sol has played for some time. I must say I was for real surprised by how good this team was! They were very athletic and their throws were solid. I don't remember the final score of this game, but I think we lost by something like 3? Menace seems to be a very fun team. It looks like more of their players are starting to play Club- which is always great to see! Illinois went on to lose to one of the Wisconsin teams in the semi's, well done!
Wisconsin Eau Claire Sol vs. Winona Bad Monaz
This was another team that caught me off guard with how good they were! It was a really back and forth game as the wind was mostly upwind/downwind. Their throws were very solid against our zone. We did a really good job of adjusting on the fly with many things-especially our new players! They showed so much versatility in what they can do and were open to trying new positions they weren't as comfortable with. But hey, you learn more when you are outside your comfort zone (and learning how to play Ultimate provides plenty of opportunities for that). We ended up losing this game and finishing 7th- not too shabby with 26 women's teams in attendance!
After an eventful stop at McDonalds to celebrate our weekend of no more severe injuries (lets keep that trend going) we were on our way back to Wisconsin's most beautiful campus (Eau Claire of course). Although injuries are the least ideal thing, life always goes on. In the event of injuries I think people are given another reason to push themselves even harder. Everyone loves Schneids and since her first Sol practice she has been extremely dedicated (not an over-exaggeration). Now that she can't play for a little while each Solmate should always remember that if you feel like giving up tell Schneids that you can't push it anymore. If you could look at Schneids and tell her that (as she would probably do anything to be able to play over the next few months) you cannot do another sprint, or another push up or another rep of a drill then it is believable that you have pushed yourself as hard as you possibly could have. If you aren't to the point that you would be able to tell Schneids that you can't try harder then try harder and do it for Schneids. And remember, sometimes injuries are blessings in disguise.
As we are getting close to the end of Summer, the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year is about to begin! This is the best of news as the beginning of the school year also marks the beginning of the 2011-2012 Ultimate Season! If you are interested in being apart of a team full of talented, amazing and FUN women, SOL is a great competitive outlet for you! In a short time you will feel like family! We will practice 4:30-6:30 Tuesdays and Thursdays on Towers Field with an optional practice on either Monday or Wednesday (TBD). Stop by and check out what we have to offer! (Practices starting Tuesday, September 6th! Or look out for us during CUBEfest!)
Contact Bethany Mitch (firstname.lastname@example.org), Meredith Bray (email@example.com) or Brit Gartner (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information!