Colorado Mamabird Wins the 2014 College Men's Championship

Posted: May 27, 2014 12:17 AM


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On Backs of their Defense, Mamabird Wins Second National Title

Colorado capitalized on unforced North Carolina errors from the very first point to take commanding 4-1 and 8-4 first-half leads en route to winning the second national title in Mamabird history.

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Christian Johnson earned a goal-line block after dropping UNC’s first in-cut but then overthrew a sure goal in the same point. Callahan winner Jimmy Mickle made Darkside pay with a huck to Jesse Fisher and ensuing strike cut for the game’s first break and goal. Mamabird never looked back.

To Johnson’s credit, he was one of UNC’s few bright spots. Despite his three first-half turnovers, he was involved in every first half Darkside score, motoring downfield for three goals and throwing one.

Mamabird consistently earned resets and small gainers from the front of the stack, reminiscent of Boston Ironside’s vertical stack offense. Dennison Bechis, Mark Rauls and Jimmy Mickle dominated the small-yardage game to keep the Mamabird offense moving.

Darkside continued to use roller pulls to trap Mamabird in sideline starting positions. Mamabird navigated the challenges until a defensive adjustment forced Colorado to huck, which led to a UNC break that shrunk the gap to 9-12. Despite four Jon Nethercutt assists in the second half, Darkside couldn’t close the gap any further, and Colorado won going away (15-10) on the final Jimmy Mickle-Tim Morrissy connection in Mamabird history.

Mickle’s Callahan Award and Mamabird’s title mark the first time a men’s national champion has produced a Callahan winner in the same season since Dan Heijmen and the Wisconsin Hodags won in 2007. Mamabird alum Josh "Richter" Ackley also won the Callahan in 2004, when Colorado won their first title.

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All-Tournament Starting Seven

A look at the tournament’s top performers:

  • Stanley Peterson – Colorado – The tournament’s best defender did it all.  He earned highlight-reel blocks against the likes of Jordan O’Neill and Dylan Freechild while maintaining composure after the turn.
  • Jimmy Mickle – Colorado – The 2014 Callahan winner worked extremely well behind the disc for Colorado, creating space for receivers with his throws and pinning opponents deep in their end zones with his blading pulls.
  • Dennison Bechis and Mark Rauls – Colorado – Colorado relied heavily on front-of-the-stack, small-space movement – Bechis and Rauls were nearly unguardable in this realm. Both threw or assisted on 19 Colorado scores – tied for second on Mamabird only to Mickle.
  • Christian Johnson – North Carolina – Scoring the second-most goals at the tournament (19), Johnson was a match-up nightmare for any lane-cutting defender.  Few others commanded comparable amounts of defensive backing and respect.
  • Jonathan Nethercutt – North Carolina – Darkside’s top handler led the tournament with 33 assists. His throws stretched North Carolina’s his team’s offensive capabilities better than almost every other thrower at the tournament.
  • Jack Williams – North Carolina-Wilmington – The Seamen standout was directly involved in every one of UNC-W’s three consecutive double-game (break) winning points leading up to the semifinals. From his goal-line layout D against Harvard to his hockey assist on the Seamen winning goal against Pitt, Williams rose to the occasion when Wilmington needed it. Oh, and this sophomore led the tournament in goals (20).

Day 4 Highlights - Images by CBMT creative

(Extended Gallery)

D1 - Day 4 Highlights - Images by CBMT creative


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