The Night Train just finished its 2016 Spring Season in Axton, VA. Take a look at our 2016 Spring Highlight Video!
The Night Train just finished its 2016 Spring Season in Axton, VA. Take a look at our 2016 Spring Highlight Video!
Saturday morning began with the smell of the always beautiful, breezy, and slightly drizzly Northern Virginia in our nostrils, seemingly the entirety of Phil’s extended family on the sidelines to eager to sice with support and food, and the Night Train anxious to play the beautiful game within a quick 25 to 38 minute jaunt of America’s heralded District.
After Georgetown’s late-week entry into the tourney reshuffled the schedule, Kenyon College and Johns Hopkins stood as UVA’s pool opponents. Night Train took on Kenyon first, and even without full presence from our brothers of Delta Sigma Phi, a windy and rainy game resulted in a 12-6 UVA win.
Johnny Hopkins was up next, and this game truly tested the Train. The first 8 points were break-free, as Danger Zone’s O kept getting scores and our O found ways to punch through, even after a turn or two. At 4-4, a long point ended with Fall(?!) finding himself open deep for our first break of the game. The breaks continued to pile up, and the O line stayed mostly patient against their varied looks (Evan 40 yard no-look blades to Jared Louis notwithstanding). Following hard cap coming on and the game’s outcome already secured in our favor, one more point was to be played. Night Train sent out a rookie d line to earn one last point for dear old Virginia – and a quick turn they obtained! But as that D line taketh away, they giveth right back two throws later and two more Hopkins throws resulted in a score. As always, rookies leave a bit to be desired. Final score: 12-9, Night Train.
Following the conclusion of our pool play, UVA’s next opponent in the 1-seed crossover was an old foe: NC State, who had bested us earlier in the season at Queen City. The tournament’s #1 seed proved to be a worthy opponent, and an even game ended on universe with a Wolfpack hold. But this Night Train had not stopped rolling yet.
A thrift shop outing Saturday evening helped the team find both tremendous value and friendship as the tournament’s final day loomed.
Sunday morning brought the quarterfinals, a rematch with Kenyon, and incredibly unfavorable wind conditions. Ugly points ensued as the discs threw their caution into to the wind, following their hearts while straying away from our hands. We achieved a few early breaks, but our luck really turned when the team went back to our system’s roots and sought out invert throws. Nazz and Ethan led the team with terrific decisions on hammer throws, and a 14-4 win ended with a Kev Niu coming down with a believe huck and finding James with space in the end zone, giving the rookie line some redemption.
In the semifinals, the Night Train found themselves matched with the number 2 seed, Georgetown. Winds settled and a great game of ultimate ensued. After Georgetown broke early, the O line maintained composure and the D line found a rhythm, breaking back multiple times with strong pressure, great downfield defense, and decisive throws and cuts when they possessed the disc. Soft cap came on during halftime, and our 8-6 halftime advantage was converted with a strong hold from O followed by D generating a turn and Walter (newly 31, still grown as ever) coming down with a jump ball in a crowd, leading to an easy score for the break and the win.
The finals arrived next, and NC State was again on the docket for the Night Train. This matchup again proved to be even, with an early trade of breaks as both teams struggled to maintain possession against each other’s defenses. Marco and Ethan took over on our handler sets, and Ty and Henry established themselves as the game’s dominant cutters and defenders. A series of breaks, even as the wind stayed calm, pushed the Train out to an 8-6 halftime advantage. NC State broke for the first point out of half, putting pressure on a Night Train team that had shown strong resolve up to that point. The Night Train answered the bell in the second half, including Henry dominating a professional and elite club player downfield for a huck score and a break, overcoming initially disadvantaged positioning with great running pace and strong body placement. To think, how much noise would Henry make on the club scene if he wasn’t so gosh darn good at getting gainful employment during the summers? A game to 11 was closed by the O, with Marco finding Phil just over the goal line with a break-side hammer. Night Train victorious, 11-8!
The University of Virginia Men’s Ultimate Frisbee would like to take a moment to thank the UVA Parents Fund Committee for their generous contribution to the Night Train Men’s Ultimate team. We appreciate your generosity and would like to thank you for all of the work you do for the University community!
On Friday the 13th of November, the Night Train Men’s Ultimate team headed to Georgia. Eight hours of hard, seemingly endless driving turned to ten as traffic, bathroom stops, and airport pick-ups plagued the team on their trek south.
There were three main highlights from the long trek to Georgia:
Saturday morning saw the Night Train fueling up in the small breakfast area. A brisk, quite nippy 35 oF day welcomed Night Train as they prepared for day 1 of the tournament. At 9:00 EST, game 1 against Georgia Tech was underway. Early troubles with offensive flow and defensive intensity left Night Train down early to Georgia Tech. This fact, accompanied by the shortened games to 11, produced a deficit we were unable to overcome as we eventually fell defeated 11-8.
Next up came the uptight and uppity Harvard Crimson. Night Train and Redline traded points early, but Redline struck first blood, breaking the Train at 2. The Crimson added another break or two and eventually took the game 11-7.
A bye followed the second game. Train-ees grabbed lunch, a bathroom break or a quick nap during the much-accepted respite. The swamp-wrangling LSU Tigers were up next on the ledger.
A tight battle proceeded. It seemed like the end was in sight when the Train was up 9-7 early in the second half. The Tigers fought back, breaking twice, forcing Universe, and eventually taking the game 12-11.
There was no time to be upset, as the Train was already late for their next game against DUF of Florida State. The late start time produced an even shorter amount of time that further disabled us from overcoming an early break. The Seminoles took the game 9-7.
The last game of the day took place under dying light against the rowdy Dozen of Texas A&M. Refusing to accept the 0-4 start to the day and feelings of fatigue, we jumped out to an early break and 3-1 lead. The Aggies fought back relentlessly, taking half and an early 7-5 lead in the second half. The Night Train then responded with three straight points, including a couple goals scored by rookies. Throughout the match, hammer after hammer after hammer were gracefully caught in the end-zone by star cutter Phillip Addington, forcing eyes to open wide and mouths to yell obscenities. The two teams traded points from there on out, with the Aggies getting broken to force Universe at 11-11. The UVA D-Line lined up on Universe and forced a turn on an overthrown huck, proceeding to move the disc up the field with relative ease. After a reckless stall count and a regrettable timeout call during hard cap, Night Train turned the disc over on a technicality. After a full field huck by A&M, they took the game 12-11.
Day 2 saw another early match-up, this time against a depleted Ohio team. The frost-covered field witnessed the Train’s first win of the weekend, a 15-9 decision. Offensive flow looked great, as Night Train had finally hit their stride on both sides of the disc. Energy was high, as we seemed to find our groove, but was later stifled by the Bloodthirsty hooligans from Stanford. They brought out an offensive scheme that heavily utilized a sidestack, something not seen this season by the Night Train. They took the game 15-9.
The decision to play against Alabama was made, with heavy rookie lines apparent. To decide the pull, an epic battle of Pokey was had. Schauss (brimming with confidence after a recent victory over military-man Walter) took the battlefield against an Alabama boy full of energy. Shirts were lost as the two boys began to throw down. It appeared the Alabama boy had the edge early, practicing some weird fall-to-the-ground-and-go-for-the-feet strategy that Schauss had never experienced. He responded quickly though, using quick feet movement and brute strength to battle back. Eventually, Schauss began to enforce his will upon the Alabama boy, flipping him this way and that. The epic battle, which seemingly lasted a lifetime, ended when Schauss got behind his victim, forcing him into a tight, lovers’ embrace before delivering the death poke to the center of the Alabama boy’s chest. Victorious, he turned around to be greeted by raucous cheers from his teammates. Rejuvenated by the spectacular showing by its rookie, the Night Train easily took the following game against Alabama, 7-4. Of note were the stellar handling skills exhibited by the Beta Bros (which will be kept in mind for next year), a cute scoober executed to perfection by Thomas Owen, a dropped end-zone catch by the star Schauss himself, and the Alabama team playing in only spandex for the last couple of points.
The entire tournament was an awesome experience for all. The offense gained steam, looking much better with its flow by the end of the weekend. The D-Line made adjustments as the weekend went along, and will continue to hold true to its emphasis on hard man D into the spring.
See the Night Train again in a few weeks, as we take on our alumni, looking to defend our title from last year!
On a crisp Saturday morning in the cleverly named Maryland City, Maryland, the majority of Night Train stumbled out of its ever-so-accommodating Motel 6. Thanks to the logistical genius of Mr. Strick, the team got to wake up extra early and enjoy an invaluable half hour of pump-up music on the way to College Park. Once every Egg McMuffin wrapper was thrown away and every Nike soccer cleat was laced up, the Train began warming up for its first tournament as an A team: Brodown 2015.
The first of four scheduled games for the #1 seeded Hoos came against Johns Hopkins Y, which started off slow but materialized into a decisive victory. Wind was a factor early, sending throws into the turf for both teams. George Mason Y and Maryland Z followed, both of who were competing with separated squads, which helped the Night Train settle in nicely. The wind settled down, hucks started to connect with receivers, and the Night Train utilized their textbook offense to work the disc up the field with relative ease. George Washington X, the fourth opponent in an excruciatingly endless but ecstatically exciting day, gave the Night Train a tough fight, but we prevailed. Facing its first deficit of the tournament, Night Train turned on whatever the hell trains do go to faster and choo-choo-ed the rest of the way to a 13-8 victory. Doing so secured a first round bye for Sunday’s bracket, and more importantly, an extra ninety minutes of shut-eye in those heavenly Motel 6 beds.
After the Sunday morning commute, the team got to work early and took care of Georgetown Y in the quarterfinals. Success came with much calmer winds on Sunday, as hucks from Richard, Randy, and Evan were utilized to a greater capacity. After beating Georgetown Y, the only teams that then stood in the way of Night Train’s first ‘ship of the year were Maryland X and Maryland Y: the combination of which derailed the Train’s hopes of a bid to Nationals this past spring. Maryland’s Y team put up a fight in the semifinals, but it was to no avail, as Night Train looked much fresher and had fewer mistakes overall. They did put up a fight though, so the Hoos knew they were in for a battle in the championship. And they got one. The two teams immediately began trading offensive points, and one Maryland break made it 4-3 early. The Space Bastards’ offense seemed infallible until a spark of three straight goals by rookies ignited Night Train’s morale. A 12-11 lead ensued, with the game winner coming off a set play in the endzone. Thence the orange and blue became the ultimate bros of the Brodown and were rewarded with taking a celebratory team picture. A 7-0 start to the fall season isn’t half bad.
Notable moments of the tournament include the improvement of the rookies and the success of the Night Train, despite missing a handful of top players. See us in action again on October 24th -25th for the 3rd Annual Cavalier Cup in Charlottesville.
Saturday, September 12 was a massive day in the world of Ultimate. It was a day where the sport’s best athletes converged on pristine fields to face off and display the highest level of skill and athleticism. That’s right, this weekend was the much-anticipated William and Mary XY tournament, attended by squads from Christopher Newport, Virginia Tech, William and Mary, VCU, and, of course, by the Third Leggers and the Friendly Ghosts – the two noble teams of Night Train players. There was also some obscure thing called “club regionals” this weekend, where “elite players” fought for the chance to compete for the “national championship,” but I’m sure that that pales in comparison to the William and Mary XY tournament.
The day started early, with the Night Train caravan departing Charlottesville at 5:30 AM, and the drive proved to be an excellent chance to bond with a few teammates, though I think we could have become even closer had in-car DJ Thomas played a few more T Swift jams. I’d also like to give a big shout out to the early morning breakfast staff at the Williamsburg McDonald’s, you guys are doing the Lord’s work.
After breakfast the two Night Train teams met and, after a dramatic last minute trade, went our separate ways. The Friendly Ghosts, of which I am now a proud alumnus, were set to take on one of Christopher Newport’s two teams. Despite a brief thunderstorm during warm-ups, we took the field in beautiful September sunshine, and CNU immediately came out throwing a wack poachy zoney thing. Some may call it brave, others may call it foolish, but we can all agree that throwing zone in a September XY tourney is an unorthodox way to kick off the season.
The unexpected defense proved to be no obstacle, however, and the Friendly Ghosts had no trouble putting points on the board. The offense was smooth and the defense was intense. There were several compelling defensive highlights, most notably Max’s attempt at a no-look, jumping, backwards D in the end-zone, and Brandon’s furious, soaring, Mutombo-esque swat the deny CNU a goal. We were beaten in the man-bun department, however, but that was only because Night Train’s most promising hair-talent, Brooks Anderson, was off playing with the Third Leggers. There was one moment of controversy during which Phil was accused of planting a microchip in the disc (not a joke), but this was quickly sorted out and the Train rolled to an easy opening win.
Second, we faced one of William and Mary’s two squads. They had some weird cheer about touchdowns that they said whenever they scored, so we tried to keep them from scoring so we wouldn’t have to hear it. We were pretty successful in that effort, and we notched win number two.
And so we moved on to face Virginia Tech. Much has been said about great rivalries in sports. We all remember great contests between hated enemies such as the Boston Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees, North Carolina vs. Duke, and the Jacksonville Sharks vs. the Orlando Predators (the Arena Football League’s website assures me that this is, in fact, a real rivalry, and that these are real teams, and that Arena Football is a real thing, and not just some fever dream of a methed-out Roger Goodell). But these rivalries are nothing compared to the intensity of the rivalry between Night Train and Burn (Tech’s ultimate squad). As I type I’m sure that at least three ESPN 30 for 30’s are in the works about Saturday’s game alone.
Once the College Gameday set was wheeled off the field, the game got under way. Again, the Friendly Ghosts played admirably and bore the Night Train torch with honor, tasting the sweet nectar of victory. Though what is truly great about this win is that now every UVA student is secure in the knowledge that, even if UVA loses to Tech in football, we will still have this Frisbee triumph to hold over our foes from Blacksburg.
We were supposed to play a fourth game but, due to some logistical and organizational issues, the brackets got mangled and the fourth game got dropped. What happened exactly? I don’t know. I’m not a math major. These types of organizational algorithms are above my pay-grade.
Our tournament was now over, but the Third Leggers were still doing battle at another field-site. Unfortunately for us Friendly Ghosts, pretty much all of the drivers played for the Third Leggers, which meant that we had to wait for them to dispatch VCU before we could go home. For what seemed like years we waited anxiously for our three legged brethren to finish and come pick us up, and during this purgatory we were sustained only by the awe inspiring spectacle of Emilio and Tyler’s relentless Spikeball undefeated streak.
Eventually our Night Train bros came back to pick us up and take us back home. It was a great tournament and an excellent introduction into the Night Train way, and I can honestly say that I’m extremely proud to be a first year in the UVA Ultimate program. Everyone played with maximum effort and intensity throughout all three games, with everyone from captains to first-years laying out, running hard, and playing with passion throughout the entire day. We left Williamsburg with our heads and spirits high, a feeling which we held onto right up until the UVA football team lost a heartbreaker to Notre Dame later that afternoon. Such is life.
Welcoming all new ultimate players to UVA. If you are interested in trying out for the club ultimate frisbee team check out our tryout information page! You can find tryout times and field locations there! Email our captains if you have any questions. See you out on the fields.