Revolver wins the Men's Division at the 2013 U.S. Open
Posted: July 9, 2013 10:43 AM
ESPN’s Evan Lepler commented on Friday that we’d all be lucky to get a men’s final as good as Boston Ironside’s 15-14 pool play win over San Francisco Revolver. Sometimes we get what we wish for.
In the final game of the 2013 U.S. Open Championship, Revolver avenged their Friday loss with a 16-15 win over Boston wherein both teams demonstrated the offensive prowess that places them atop men’s ultimate. Each team broke the other only three times: Revolver to go up 4-3, 5-3 and 11-8 and Ironside to make the score 10-8, 13-12 and 13-13. Even more impressive is that the layout block Ironside’s Rusty Ingold-Smith made to set up his team’s last break was also the final turnover of the game.
"When that D happened, we had a broken play," said Revolver captain Cassidy Rasmussen. "It came from a bit of hesitance from our initiating cutters. We talked about attacking with our legs immediately afterward on the sideline."
Playing, evaluating and playing better was the exact process that Revolver set out to enact all weekend long. From pool play on, San Francisco coach Mike Payne stressed that he was using the U.S. Open to push players into new roles and take stock of his team’s capabilities. Rasmussen was pleased with how that process went.
"We did great," he said. "Coming in, there were a lot of rookies unsure of what their role would be on the team and if they were even supposed to be here. Everybody on this team after this weekend knows exactly why they were taken onto this team. Now it’s just a matter of doing it better."
Revolver’s new roster additions were impressive throughout the tournament. Ironside coach Josh McCarthy noted that handler Nathan White, who is 6’4", posed an immediate matchup problem, Lucas Dallman’s explosive quickness had many spectators asking "who is that?," and Andrew Hagan and Tim Gilligan showed the defensive skill that made them college standouts and will make them defensive stalwarts for Revolver.
Both coaches spoke before the final about a learning process that extended to the other team’s personnel and strategy. Payne noted Ironside’s vertical and horizontal options on offense and said his team would focus on recognizing which Boston was using and falling into the appropriate defensive set as quickly as possible. McCarthy talked about matching up his players against Revolver’s offensive threats. "Against Revolver, match ups are very important," said McCarthy. "This team has a lot of guys who handle and go downfield. I think I have a sense for who I want to try, and if it works it works, and if not, I can learn from it."
After the game, McCarthy was pleased with how his team defended but noted his team’s conversion rate after the turnover as a focal point for upcoming practices. "The D line had seven opportunities but only converted three of those chances. Getting seven turns on an O line like Revolver’s is adequate, but an under 50 percent conversion rate will not win games at this level."
For Revolver’s part, it’s hard to say whether the defensive adjustments Payne noted were the difference; two of the three Ironside turnovers that led to breaks were unforced errors, and the third was a block on a poorly-thrown huck. But when the margins are as thin as they are between Revolver and Ironside, minor tweaks are often the difference.
Early experience in such a tight contest is sure to benefit both teams, as is the early evaluation of their own capabilities relative to one another. "We’ve had two practices coming into this, and the whole tournament was a learning experience," said Rasmussen. "This kind of close game at such a high-quality tournament is going to help us in the future."
We’ll all be lucky if the Triple Crown Tour features more games like this one.
Photos by UltiPhotos.com (extended highlights gallery)
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