SpW5: BYOB vs. Quiet

Week Five – Tuesday – Riverside

Coming off Upset Sunday when Quiet knocked off Good Guys and BYOB took down The Funeral, we here at The Latest came out to this Tuesday night matchup to see which of these teams is actually more upsetting.

Marquee Matchups: Jenny Norris (Quiet) vs. Sarah Heffernan (BYOB) looked to be the night's main matchup though sparks were sure to fly between Brendan Snodgrass (Quiet) vs. John Sakon (BYOB). By the end, Norris and Heff mostly shut each other down, Sakon was involved in the most scores, but Christian Gaffney (Quiet) and his former teammate/old workhorse Mark DQ (BYOB) probably entertained the crowd the most.

First half: Captain Bob Suvanich to the bespectacled Dan Anthony, 1-0 BYOB. Paul McDonnell (Quiet) has his break throw D’d by Sarah Heffernan, but Quiet gets it back and Travis Rothbloom finds Evan Schulman for the score, 1-1. Quiet captain Gaffney gets a poach D on Dan Gerber and then hits Snodgrass, 1-2 Quiet. The next point takes about 15 minutes and is a classic turnover saga. It starts when Snodgrass Ds Bob’s blade to Sakon, but Sakon calls a foul and it goes back. Bob tries another blade and Gaffney Ds it. Then Heff gets to Gaffney’s break throw before Norris can. Snodgrass Ds Bob again. Gaffney throws away a huck to Snodgrass, but then Gaffney hand-blocks Sakon. Finally Rothbloom finds his captain to put Quiet up a break, 1-3. Though Norris Ds Sakon’s hammer to Josie Pratt, Bob gets it back D’ing a short huck by Gaffney. DQ soon finds Josie for the score, 2-3. And out comes the BYOB zone. Quiet busts that cup and Alex Berzofsky eventually finds Alex Kuo, 2-4. The two Alex’s shook hands and exchanged names after the point. Sometimes it takes 12 games to meet all your teammates. On the field, Snodgrass throws a rare hammer that DQ smacks or macks to the intended target, Schulman, 2-5 Quiet. Next point Snodgrass Ds Sakon’s huck. Gerber beats McDonnell to the Snodgrass throw, but then Gerber tries an IO to no one. Norris eventually finds Gaffney’s button hook cut with a sweet little break, 2-6. Gerber strikes back for BYOB with a pretty, teardrop push pass to a wide open Josie, 3-6. Quiet blows their possession and Sakon finds Heff on the break side, 4-6. BYOB tries Z again and gets the D on the line. Then they get super cloggy. Sakon makes a great bid on a Heff throw but he is OB. Zone is back on. Quiet is patient and successful for about 7 minutes, then Berzofsky puts a dumb floater right to Gerber’s deep D. Then DQ hucks it to Heff, 5-6. More zone. McDonnell drops a swing. Sakon hammer to DQ, 6-6. Quiet’s Nielsen can’t resist his wife, open by 30 yards, but he throws it about 15. DQ hammers to Sakon who makes a nice over the top, looking-back catch, 7-6 (that’s five in a row). Sakon short deep Ds a little throw from Rothbloom, and Bob honey hucks it to Heff, 8-6.

Halftime: In the huddle Gaffney explains that Ultimate is a games of the runs. Sakon tells Bob that they can call more travels, especially on Berzofsky.

Second Half: Sakon break to DQ, 9-6 BYOB. BKap shows up for Quiet. Gaffney finally subs out and tells his co-captain, “Brittany, they’re coming zone. Tell our team what to do.” Quiet doesn’t get the message. Turnover. Sakon to Heff, 10-6. Zone gets another D, Josie skies BKap, and then gets a nasty break off to Heff, 11-6 (that’s nine in a row). BKap finally finds Brad Russell and ends the drought, 11-7. BKap Ds Gerber’s huck to Jordan RoseFigura. Brendan Cambra throws it away. Sakon gives it back with a turf, but Nielsen throws it just out of Gaffney’s reach. Jeff Rohr turfs it. Gaffney overthrows BKap. Gerber puts it up to Sakon in double coverage. Huge sky, 12-7. Gaffney blade to Schulman, 12-8. Sakon finds RoseFigura, 13-8. Gaffney finds Snodgrass, 13-9. Quiet, playing much more intensely now gets the D and BKap breaks it to Nielsen, 13-10. Sakon hucks it to Josie, 14-10. Game point. Gaffney turfs it but then gets a poach D. Sakon D’s Norris’s overthrow. Gaffney Ds a huck to DQ, lots of contact, foul is debated and not called. Norris, high in the stall count, throws up a jump disc to a Sakon D. Kuo gets a fabulous dump D, but then slips and drops a beautifully thrown, easy score. DQ miraculously comes away with an in-cut catch after a full D bid by Gaffney. Schulman hand-blocks Sakon. Rothbloom throws it away. Heff turfs it. Gaffney throws it away. BYOB works it. Dan Anthony gets a newsclips bookends and hits Gerber for the win, 15-10. Turns out it is Bob’s 100th.

An exciting game sure, and it looked like Quiet was crawling back in it in the second half, but...

HERE’S WHAT I DONT GET: BYOB entered Week 5 with a disappointing record of 3-7, and a schedule that included Sunday games against The Funeral and Chicken & Waffles. Onlookers saw this schedule and safely assumed they would finish Sunday 1-1. BYOB thought otherwise. Premiering a zone defense that took advantage of their height, team chemistry, and a blustery day at Inwood BYOB was able to grab seven unanswered points, enough to outlast The Funeral 14-12 for the W in what is the biggest upset of the season, they would go on to have a similar performance against Chicken & Waffles. In this game, a similar story. While the BYOB zone was off to a slow start on this night, they found their footing and used their D’s to catch Quiet out of position, and score quick points. Quiet was caught off guard gave up a 3 point lead to find themselves down 2 at half, and quickly down by more as the second half and BYOB got rolling. Gaffney often laughs off a zone, directing his team to simply throw around the opposition but it wasn't there tonight. In MUD, it can be difficult to react to sudden strategy changes, especially when short handed.

BYOB enters Week 6 with a record of 6-7. With a game against #3 Nader’s Raiders, BYOB could find themselves in a tie by record for 3rd place. While Nader’s Raiders themselves have won 3 in a row, they have also struggled against zone defense. Will BYOB’s upsetting streak continue?

Special thanks to Mateo Mead for reporting from the field.

SpW4: Good Guys vs. Pillow Talk

Week Four – Friday – Riverside

Pillow Talk had a balanced line. In attendance were captains Jake Hall and Jon Read, most of Vassar College, Hunt and John Kim, and also present was Danielle Berardi in her first game back since Summer 2012. The Good Guys had one woman to begin the game, Larissa Wohl (“LoLo,” affectionately), so they started the game down a player. MUD legend Venu Manne strolled in to join forces with Good Guys for a few points of league founder vs. league founder action (John Kim vs. Venu), the likes of which MUD hasn't seen since Fall 2008.

First Half. Talor Gruenwald IO break to Ryan Hamil. 1-0 Good Guys. Rusty Venu drops two in the next point and Hunt Clark, with what Hamil described as a “classic, perfect Hunt throw,” hits Zach Wasser for the score. 1-1. GG’s Paul Robustelli to Amadeo Lasansky, 2-1 Good Guys. Pillow throw-away and then Amadeo to Dan Seto, 3-1 Good Guys. Wasser from Vassar gets an around break to Josh Schaffner, 3-2. Next, despite the fact that every time Hunt got the disc GG captain Jeff screamed “NO HUCK,” Hunt puts up another one to Jay Lucey. Was he straddling? Apparently not. 3-3. Venu Ds a John Kim shot to Jerald Isseks; Pillow captain Jon Read gets in Gruenwald’s and Rostustilli’s way for a deep D; GG gets it back though and captain Jeff finds Robustelli with a cute catch on the line, 4-3 Good Guys. Hamil goes lefty big to Gruenwald, 5-3. Robustelli pulls in a nasty, literally dirty layout catch and then hucks to Dan Seto, who skies Dan Nelson for another GG score, 6-3. Hunt, trying to stanch the bleeding, finds Pillow captain Jake Hall, 6-4. Captain Jeff responds with one to Venu, 7-4. And for half, Gruenwald sinks one to Piotr SVC, 8-4 Good Guys.

Second Half. Good Guys waste no time getting the D, and Seto finds Eleni Healey, who arrived a few points in to assist LoLo in the savagery, 9-4 Good Guys. Lucey to Wasser, 9-5. Venu, acting like it is 2009 and he’s at some exclusive, invite-only pickup, finds Seto for the score, 10-5. John Kim sees that and hits Wasser to make it 10-6. Venu again finds Seto after an amazing cross-field break by LoLo, 11-6. Next as Amadeo gets it to Seto for the 12-6 score, some punk on the sideline, probably Eric Shoemaker, says “old guys getting it done.” In disgust or solidarity, the ancient Piotr finds his captain Jeff, 13-6. Pillow Talk tried to take back momentum with an Isseks hammer to captain Jon’s spirit-foul teapot, 13-7. It briefly worked as captain Jon then found Schaffner, 13-8. But the masters took it back as Amadeo hit Piotr to make it game point, 14-8. Shaq Fu gets mentioned in the newsclips with an extraneous score to Vassar’s Wasser, 14-9. Pillow somehow gets one more point, 14-10. And then, even though they’d been silent all half, Gruenwald sends a huge huck to Robustelli for the GG win, 15-10.

Now, here’s what I don’t get: After starting 3-0 and tied for 1st, Pillow Talk dropped 2 in a row to The Funeral and Good Guys, respectively. Next they found a W3 win against BYOB, but since they have lost five in a row and have fallen to 6th place overall. Pillow Talk is all over the bed. Two early season wins barely came on universe point: they shushed Quiet during Opening Sunday Festivities, and found a come from behind victory over a gassed Nader’s Raiders. Pillow Talk’s early boasts may have been disingenuous; however, recent losses could be attributed to low attendance. One thing playing to Pillow Talk's favor: this evening won’t be over for 5 more weeks.

Good Guys, meanwhile, remain stuck behind The Funeral, having beaten every other team in the league (though they lost once to BYOB, oddly). It seems for the Good Guys that the season is getting a bit boring. captain Frazer has boasted that the Good Guys can beat The Funeral, and they will have that chance this coming Wednesday.

Thanks to 5-season MUD veteran Brad Paris for additional reporting.

SpW3: Quiet vs. Nader's Raiders

Week Three - Tuesday - Riverside

Quiet, coming off a gut-check win over Chicken & Waffles, was trying to rise out of the MUD standings gutter. Nader's Raiders, reeling from a loss to The Funeral, have been holding their own in the middle of the pack. A win for Quiet would show how good of a team they can be. A win would mean their underperformance thus far is about undeveloped chemistry. A win would mean that come finals, Quiet, can make some noise. For Nader’s Raiders a win would show they can hold strong against the lower-tier teams. A win would say to the likes of Pillow Talk and the Good Guys, “We belong here with you, right behind The Funeral.”

Notorious amongst themselves and the rest of the league for their stellar attendance, Nader’s Raiders began their evening with drills led by first-mate Albert Wu. Quiet would show up on time, which, as we all know, is late. With captain Christian and his team enduring several last-minute no shows, Quiet was still lacking enough women to field a full line by game time.

First Half: So Quiet put out a gender ratio of 5-1 to the Raiders’ 5-2. On defense, Quiet was pretty much forced to bring the zone, but it got turnovers. On offense they were forced to throw around a lane poacher, but they succeeded. The ratio imbalance was quickly irrelevant as Quiet ran up a 3-1 lead over the Raiders, who had a tough time getting anything to happen. The cuts, catches and defense just weren't there. Quiet’s other captain Brittany “BKap” Kaplan and Jennifer Norris soon arrived (by some accounts, 30 minutes into the game), and provided energy and skills to supplement Christian “C$” Gaffney’s needle-threading, break-force, IO forehands and to keep Quiet ahead of Nader’s Raiders. The half time score was 8-5 in favor of Quiet, but the game wasn’t as close as it seemed.

Second Half: Frankly, it doesn’t matter who pulled to whom. Quiet’s lead continued to grow after halftime and the specifics are boring. Quiet’s Alex Berzofsky threw a hammer for a score to Evan Shulman. The Raiders’ Winston Suntaree was caught flat-footed waiting for a catch while Shulman swooped in for the D. Then Shulman finally got his comeuppance when Ryan Drost intercepted what should have been Shulman’s catch in the end-zone. So the game went, if you weren’t going to the disc you were being beat to it, but as Cary Hammond likes to say, “position doesn’t matter as long as you have possession.” The game finished with a Rene Shen score, Quiet getting the W, 15 to 7. Raiders’ Erin Mcmurtrey said the game was “frustrating. I was soooooo angry and frustrated.” Albert Wu later claimed, “They mainly won by breaking our mark.”

Here’s what I don’t get: This was supposed to be a coming out party for freshman MUD Captain Andy Eklund, who for his last three MUD seasons played for the Gaffney-Kaplan duo. Despite Andy being in his 6th season and Christian in his 10th, the two had never played each other. Betting lines for the game prophesied a trouncing of Quiet at the hands of Nader’s Raiders, yet Eklund was nowhere to be found. Like the cool guy that just did a bunch of drugs in his basement even though his old friends were begging him to come to prom, Andy missed the party. First-mate Albert Wu was left to lead the Raiders to their glorious defeat.

Apparently Andy was upstate pondering his role in this season. His thoughts: How can I get Martha to show up on time? Am I ready to do this on my own? Was I asked to captain just as a ploy by Mateo to pit one of Gaffney/BKap’s most-trusted lieutenants against them? Can I tell the Drost twins apart? When do we play Quiet next? Wednesday? OK, this won’t happen again.

SpW2: BYOB vs. The Funeral

Week Two - Friday - Riverside

The Funeral remains undefeated. The historical significance of this is unimportant. Bob won the flip, and decided to pull. As noted in the Week-One write up, attendance is key to BYOB’s victories, and all the BYOB stars were there.

First half. Alan Knox gets the delayed sky over Mike Dirda and Dan Gerber. 1-0 Funeral. Dirda gets the one-handed grab over Mateo, but can’t finish. Turnover. Alex Becker gets beat deep. Devin Horne gets an easy catch. 2-0. Bob overthrows Josie Pratt, and Knox gets a no-effort D. Sean Petterson scores on an ill-advised hammer. 3-0. Josie throws an easy, break I-O backhand to Bob. 3-1. Much confusion for BYOB leads to an OB pull. Mateo (from center) rips a forehand to Petterson. Ruben Land makes the open-side cut for the score. 4-1. #J9hammer for the next point. 5-1.

The Funeral calls a timeout. They like what they have and want to keep it going, a ho stack utilizing dishy handler throws and isolation cuts. Mateo is stalling to allow time for Maggie Mead to show up to give Jeannine #J9 Opie and Sandy Schaffa a sub. BYOB considers Zone and clam options to stifle The Funeral’s ho stack/German offense.

Time in. BYOB’s modified defense works, forcing a patient Funeral O to a drop turnover. Quick drop and Funeral regains. Now it’s a turnover party. Knox brings the #J9forehand down through three BYOB defenders for the score. 6-1 Funeral. Sarah Heffernan to Josie for the BYOB score. 6-2. Out comes the BYOB zone, but Dirda gets beat deep. 7-2. Big throw to BYOB’s John Sakon, who has no one to throw to. Time out on stall nine. After a plan, Sakon puts out the backhand bender to Kelsey Brooks for the BYOB score. 7-3. Land gets a HUGE catch over Sakon. Give and go, Land to Felipe Rivera and back. Funeral scores. 8-3. Halftime.

Mark DQ at halftime: “Our strategy is to stop The Funeral from delaying this game. We need to score quickly, and they’re just taking too long at the line.” Bob simply and tiredly wanted to “score more points.” Gabe Finkelstein of The Funeral said “our strategy is a stifling defense.”

Second half. Jonas Cartano gets a catch from Sandy Schaffa for a score. 9-3 Funeral. Jordan Rose-Figura catches a disgusting forehand from Zach Weintraub for a fruitless score. 9-4. Weintraub Ds a hammer by Mateo. Bob drops a hammer. Then The Funeral scores a few more times. In the end the score was 15-4.

Here’s what I don’t get: Early scouting reports indicated Alex Becker and Mike Dirda to be the most sought after baggage duo in the draft. Becker’s big throws dominated Fall 2012 Finals, but in Friday’s match, his throws were errant, directionless. And where was Dirda? Alan Knox says: “Too much Magic the Gathering.”

Is this over-hyped pair at fault for this loss? Maybe. However, The Funeral has 3 big guys: Knox, Horne, and Land, whom they are comfortable matching up against anyone in the league. The rest of the team takes away the inside or under cuts while this trio owns the sky on the deep cuts.

To beat The Funeral takes more than good attendance. You need a plan. For all of you wringing your hats over this undefeated team, consider this advice from my former captain Brittany Kaplan: MUD doesn’t count until the finals.

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