September 20, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in Preview with 2 comments
One year is a small sample size, but Austin’s Cosa Nostra has been one of the biggest benefactors of the Regional redraw. After finishing sixth in the South Region in 2011, Cosa Nostra took the lone bid to the Club Championships last year and turned it on in Sarasota, landing themselves in the Pro Flight this year.
They played into the quarterfinals at last year’s Club Championships before falling to Minneapolis Drag’N Thrust 15-11. Their regular season performance this year hasn’t been particularly impressive. They managed just one win at the Pro Flight Finale, but it did come against Ultiworld #1 ranked San Francisco Polar Bears. They lost their next two games of pool play — against Boston Slow White by just one point each
Despite a losing record, they still come into the tournament ranked #13 in the country by the USA Ultimate algorithm. That puts them squarely as the one seed coming into Regionals. They return a number of big contributors from 2012, including Dave Reinhardt and Emily Scholten.
They will have to fend off just as many challenges as they did last year, when their semifinals and finals matchups went down to double game point.
Their toughest competition is likely to come from Boulder’s Love Tractor. Sitting at #25 in the USA Ultimate rankings, they’ve handily beaten all of the weaker competition they’ve faced this season, but struggled against the top teams they’ve played. At the Emerald City Classic, they went 3-4 with wins over BW Ultimate, Death by Jubilee, and Termite’s Entourage. They played close in most of their losses, although they were blown out 15-4 by AMP.
They dominated their Sectionals competition, but did the same last year before falling in the semifinals at Regionals to Sectionals competitor Mesteño.
They should have little trouble getting out of Pool A as the victor, but they might have to watch out for a serious semis challenge once again if seeds hold.
Identity Crisis out of Dallas, Texas, the two seed, has just one loss (one they avenged in a 15-7 finals victory) heading into Regionals. They also haven’t played any seriously competitive teams.
It’s hard to know what to make of the first year team, but their game against Cosa Nostra will be an important early test. Both teams will certainly make the bracket, so the game won’t be do-or-die, but the road to the bid is likely to eventually run through Cosa Nostra anyway. A statement win during pool play could be the ticket to more than just a higher seed on Sunday.
The South Central Region was volatile last year, and with more teams at a similar skill level this year, it should be one of the more wild rides to the bid.