Ironically, the only thing that could slow down the Tide this weekend was the weather.
The Black Tide, the men’s ultimate frisbee team, went undefeated in four closely contested games this weekend, including a thrilling 14-12 overtime win in Saturday night’s feature game against Ohio State. Unfortunately, Sunday’s torrential rains wiped out the second day of competition and any possible elimination round that could have taken place in Santa Barbara’s first tournament of the year.
“We were pretty bummed that we couldn’t finish the tournament, but they have to save the fields,” senior Tim Ricard said. “It would have been nice to decide things and have a tournament winner, but we had a good tournament anyway.”
The Black Tide opened play on Saturday morning against the University of Washington with a surprisingly close 11-10 victory.
“We had some first tournament jitters, and we came out kind of flat,” senior co-captain Eric Boyd said. “We had some unforced turnovers, but we were able to pull out a win.”
The Black Tide’s second game was an emotional contest against North Carolina State, the team that had defeated UCSB in the National Finals in 1999. The Black Tide was able to exact a measure of revenge with an 11-9 win.
“That game was really big for us, especially for the guys who were on the team in ’99,” said senior co-captain Kevin Buchanan. “There was definitely some redemption for us in getting that win.”
The third game of the day also resulted in a Black Tide triumph, 13-8 over Chico State.
Following the victory over Chico, UCSB faced its biggest test, the highly anticipated feature game. A raucous crowd was on hand to see the Black Tide prevail in a competitive game that featured many swings of momentum. The Black Tide led 7-5 at halftime, thanks in large part to a diving catch for a goal by Buchanan and an unbelievable juggling scoring reception by Ricard.
“On Kevin’s goal, he laid out and went horizontal over an Ohio State guy to make a sick catch,” Ricard said. “On mine, I was bobbling it for so long, and I was embarrassed because I was sure I was going to drop
it in front of that big crowd. Luckily, I hold on and came down in the end zone. It was a great pass by Kevin.”
Ohio State came back in the second half, and a seesaw battle ensued which saw ties at both 10 and 12 in a game that had to be won by two. Despite the pressure of a close game in front of a big crowd, the team
“We were all pretty confident we would win the game,” Boyd said. And they did, as the Black Tide would eventually pull away, with Mike Brown making the game-winning catch in overtime.
“Our third-year veterans all played well, including Mike Brown, who had the last goal against Ohio State,” Buchanan said. “Overall, we played ok. The tournament had really good competition, and playing in so many close games in such a short time is unfamiliar territory for us, but we were able to win them all, so we’re happy. We’d really like to thank everyone who came out on Saturday to heckle Ohio State. They were a minority, but they did a really good job.”