Game 1 Reflections - Captain Tulsa Douglas
Most ultimate tournaments consist of multiple games in one day, so Saturday’s 7:30pm one-game event initially felt odd to me. What do I do all day but think about playing in such an exciting game later that night?? Being a part of the inaugural year of professional womxn’s ultimate in the Premier Ultimate League feels so special. Add on top of that getting to play with new teammates, being supported by the first women’s club team in New York, Survival, and a huge New York fan base to support us, what more could you want! (I ended up watching the new Beyoncé documentary, foam rolling, and hanging out with some Gridlockers before the game).
The game itself flew by. A combination of the atmosphere, the short time in between points, and being in the moment meant I wanted to keep playing all night! Over the course of the game I felt our team learning and growing together. On defense, we worked hard pressuring Indy Red’s handlers and any discs that went up. Offensively, we worked to create space for each other and keep the disc moving. There were some sick highlights from both teams along with beautiful, textbook disc movement. Despite it being a slightly chilly and breezy night, our fans filled up the bleachers! I felt their energy, but didn’t notice just how many people came out to watch and support us until we turned to thank them post-game.
This first game we celebrated players on the team “Survival” who pioneered women’s ultimate in New York. A number of Survival players joined us throughout the tryout process to watch and be a part of what we were building, so getting to recognize their contribution to current day New York womxn’s ultimate felt really important. Kathy Carney, one of NYGL’s owners shared our pre-game statement including Gridlock’s mission and the importance of spirit of the game. Our game flip was done by Survival players Amy “The General” Wilbur and Christine “Teens” Dunlap. During halftime, 8 players took the microphone to share their experience with the audience. The women in attendance were, Annie Chanler, Corinne Corrigon, Christine Dunlap, Barbara Hart, Kim Holton, Liz Queler, Bronwyn Ryan, Amy Wilbur, and Tricia Zengerle. Through each player’s story, I heard and felt how important ultimate had been and how valuable it still is in their lives. It reminded me recognize grateful I am for this sport and the impression it has already had on my life. These player’s dedication, drive, and love for this sport paved the way for my teammates and I to be out there Saturday night, playing our first game as professionals.
Thank you to all the Survival players that joined us, the game day team that made everything flow seamlessly, the ownership, the coaches, the management, my teammates, my co-captain Cassie, and my mom who drove down to watch me play! I can’t wait to play again this weekend!