Dena wins gold with UCSD Psychos and now deservedly takes home Ultiworld's Player of the year. We asked her a few questions about the finals game and how she is now that she has had a little time to reflect.
Q: How did you feel heading into the finals game? What was the message from leadership?
A: We did not feel pressure. Especially coming off of such an intense and amazing quarterfinals, we felt like we had already won- our spirits were so high and we were just glad to be competing in the finals. The message from coaches was to relax and just play the game because we had made it this far.
Q: What was your team strategy entering the game knowing that it was going to be upwind downwind?
A: We used a similar strategy as with our other windy games. If we were going downwind, we would often huck for positioning, and then play hard defense. For upwind points, especially in the final, we used quick handler movement and short passes to work our way up to the end zone.
Q: You vs Jack. What were your thoughts and feelings going into that?
A: I was just excited to play on the field against them. Jack is one of the matchups I look forward to most. They are such an incredible threat on offense and such a force on defense.
Q: What do you think the story of that game was?
A: This is a game I will remember for the rest of my life. It showed the resilience and mental strength we had been building all season. To be down 3-6 and win 12-11 showed the deep strength of this team’s mentality and spirit.
Q: How did you feel heading into universe point? Was the crazy catch still in your mind deep into the point?
A: Just before the point, Carlo (one of our coaches) said: “just score this point, then we can go home!” In a lighthearted manner, which had us laughing and pushing some of the nerves aside. We just had to play our game and enjoy it, and see where we ended up. As for the catch, I forgot about it as soon as play continued. I was too focused on the game and the next pass, especially in that wind!
Q: How do you feel now? What have you and the psychos been up to since taking home gold?
A: We have been spending time with each other, trying to hang on to the last few weeks we have with each other. I think most of us are still in some kind of shock, but mostly we are just proud of each other and how this season ended.