Up at 5:30 am and off to the field before 6 am for our first match of the day; a rematch with Aftershock. Weather reports are constantly changing--and not for the better. Rain is expected sometime during the day, the duration uncertain but in the early morning everything looks good. We arrive before Shock, the refs and PSP staff. The match ends up being similar to the one the day before even though Shock made some adjustments and tried to shake things up. I like Shock because they are young, passionate and never quit.
Before our next match there is (another) rain delay with about a half hour downpour. The schedule is set back but not badly and the field becomes muddier and spotty with puddles.
Next up is the semi-final versus the Russians. The condition of the field is affecting some of what teams can and cannot do OTB. Saturday the Legion spanked us and we expect them to employ a similar strategy. One we're better prepared for this time. As before the early points are combat with the first point resulting in everybody eliminated and no point scored. After that things got ugly as the penalties piled up. By the end each team received three majors. We came off our first two down only 2-4 and then it was the Russians turn. We began to turn the tide and pressed to score as quickly as possible and despite another late penalty we reeled off 5 straight points for the win and a trip to the finals.
We watch to see who we'll play; Impact or Infamous. It turns out to be Infamous. We talk about unfinished business from Phoenix. We review what Infamous has been doing throughout the tourney and talked about how to counter them. We talked about the penalties--how we were confident the only thing that would beat us was penalties, so let's knock it off, play smart, play aggressive & make it happen. It's our third finals in the last 3 events. We want this one, badly. (Heck, I want all of them but I'm a greedy bastard.)
Once again it was not to be but it is not as tough a blow as Phoenix was. (My son insists I didn't answer my phone for 72 hours after Phoenix--but then I didn't have anything to say. Am I taking this too seriously? Probably.) The difference is this time despite everything the team refused to give up, refused to lose whatever the score, refused to give in to circumstances no matter how impossible. So while there is always room for improvement I am hopeful we have learned that even if we lose we will not be beaten.