Minnesota Grey Duck won the USA Ultimate Division I Men’s College Championship 15-12 over Harvard Red Line Monday afternoon in Raleigh, N.C. The win is Minnesota’s first college ultimate championship in school history.
Less than 24 hours after a grueling pair of semifinals late Sunday night, Minnesota Grey Duck and Harvard Red Line met in sunny, breezy conditions quite unlike Sunday’s downpour. The fans, packing both sides of the stadium, certainly enjoyed the welcome change, greeting both teams with youthful cheers and enthralling chants. Shortly after 2:30 p.m., Harvard was set to receive the opening pull. The game was afoot.
A critical Minnesota break at 3-2 gave Grey Duck an edge, and though defensive pressure stood at an all-time high, that was the only break in the first half. Receiving on offense after halftime allowed Grey Duck to extend the lead to 9-7. The squads continued to trade points until 13-10, when a Ryan Osgar block set up a huge break conversion. The ducks would race for the finish line, tacking on another break to reach 14-10, but a late break from Red Line made Harvard’s deficit only two points. Grey Duck remained focused, however, and scored smoothly to defeat Red Line 15-12. Great game!
John Stubbs and Mark Vandenberg were massive for Red Line on the weekend. Stubbs scored a staggering 26 goals and tallied 26 assists over four days. Not to be outdone, Vandenberg tacked on a whopping 30 assists, 10 goals and 10 blocks in the same timeframe. David Reshef’s performance cannot be overlooked either, racking up a solid 19 goals on the weekend, and Alex Hem had double-digit goals as well. Harvard has a bright future going forward.
For Grey Duck, Ryan Osgar and Ben Jagt stood out as key ingredients in a healthy Grey Duck offense. Connor Anderson put on a defensive clinic with huge bids, and Tony Poletto tacked on a handful of assists and 14 goals. Last but not least, Soham Shah played strongly as a key component for the Grey Duck handler line.
Both Minnesota Grey Duck and Harvard Red Line put together an incredible and spirited game, perfectly polishing off a thrilling weekend. Congratulations to Minnesota and to all the teams who attended the Division I Men’s College Championship!
All-Tournament First Team
Osgar, Jagt, Stubbs and Vandenberg were outstanding for their respective teams in the final. Aaron Warshauer and Pat Earles impressed offensively, and Trent Dillon played lights out as he usually does.
All-Tournament Second Team
Poletto and Hem played critical roles in supporting their teams to the very end. Max Thorne and Matt Gouchoe-Hanas anchored offensive lines, and sometimes defensive lines, to keep games close and interesting. Pawel Janas, Ryan Landry and Sam Little drove huge upset wins to set the tone of the weekend: electrifying.
Not including all the Callahan nominees was a difficult choice – Jeff Babbitt, Khalif El-Salaam and Dalton Smith played fantastic ultimate and were key members of their respective teams. Additionally, shout outs to players like Connor Anderson and JD Hastings who may not have put up relatively high statistics, but still contributed immensely to their teams. Let us know in the comments who you would include on your all-tournament teams!