Top Eight Remain: Open Division Day 2 Recap

Posted: May 26, 2012 11:38 PM

Minor upsets figured in pre-quarter jockeying, but when the dust settled, the tournament’s top eight seeds earned quarterfinal berths.

Pool Play

Oregon continued its dominance in Pool A, with convincing victories against Atlantic Coast champion North Carolina and Ohio Valley runner up Ohio.  Georgia Tech went for broke attempting to take down higher-seeded Grey Duck and ended up in an odd predicament.  First, in Tribe’s hotly contested matchup against Minnesota, Grey Duck racked up four TMFs before winning on universe point and securing a pre-quarters berth.  Then Ohio, playing without center handler Mike Bruce (who hyperextended his knee yesterday), surprised a tired Georgia Tech squad by taking half 8-4.  Georgia Tech found itself in a situation where the Tribe could lose but advance only if it maintained the proper point differential (could lose by no more than 3).  At 13-10, Georgia Tech received and held (before losing 14-11) to secure the final Pool A pre-quarters berth.

Texas came out firing against Pittsburgh in Pool B’s first game, but En Sabah Nur’s defensive muscle and efficiency helped them pull away in the second half.  After Davis shocked everyone by taking down Luther, LUFDA found itself in a must-win situation in the final round of pool play against TUFF.  The toughness and fitness of regulars Eric/Josh Johnson, Peter Graffy, Ben Kofoed, and freshman Brandon Lafferty propelled LUFDA to victory.  Michigan’s universe victory against Pittsburgh was unfortunately a meaningless afterthought, as they had dropped earlier games to both Luther and Texas and therefore could only have advanced with a LUFDA loss.

We saw more of the same from Pool C today, with every game playing to seed.  In the second round, all eyes watched the showcase field as Colorado squared up against Carleton--two of the most storied programs in college ultimate.  Carleton managed a break early and an airtight o-line kept CUT above water despite Mamabird’s tenacious defense. 13-11 was the final in favor of Carleton--their first real challenge of the weekend.  Despite being locked into quarters/pre-quarters berths, the last round of the pool proved to be the most exciting to watch.  To this point, the Tufts E-men had been looking shaky in their close victories.  Players were frustrated at each other and it often showed on the field--but not against Colorado.  Jack Hatchett blanketed opposing cutters while Eric Shaw hucked and skied his way to a dominating 15-9 win over Mamabird.  Unknown at the time, this game would tell the tale of pre-quarters for both sides.  While this was happening, the Washington Sundodgers were busy going all-out against a Carleton side that already had the pool locked up.  Unbelievably, Washington would lose this game on universe, making this their second universe loss and third total loss by a combined four points.

Though Pool D finished to seed, Cal did its best to recover from yesterday’s stumbles and provide some excitement.  Down 10-7, Cal rallied to tie the game at 12s and force universe point.  Andrew Hagen baited a deep throw from Dave Wiseman, and he made a spectacular flying block in front of NexGen alum Colin Camp to give UGMO a chance to break to win.  Alex Simmons had other plans, however, as he executed an impressive layout poach block and crossfield hammer throw to secure victory for the Hodags.  Cal went on to take down higher-seeded Central Florida and take back the third spot in the pool from Michigan State on point differential.


Georgia Tech’s run came to an end against Central Florida.  The Dogs’ depth and energy, in contrast with Tribe’s tighter line-calling and fatigue, prevailed despite the presence of strong winds for roughly half the game.  Central Florida’s pre-quarters victory helped the Dogs sweep the season series against the Tribe, 3-0.

Tufts continued to elevate its game against Texas in the pre-quarterfinals.  Eric Wilburn manufactured the first important Tufts block, and as Tufts continued to stack its defensive lines, the E-men kept rolling to an 8-6 halftime lead.  During halftime, the wind picked up, and Tufts’ zones and wind throws helped the E-men pull away to a 15-9 victory.

The Luther-Colorado game was dominated by the huge throws of point men Eric Johnson and Jimmy Mickle, increasingly so as things got breezy.  Momentum eventually fell LUFDA’s way with 50-50 grabs and outrageous upside down throws (forty yard scoober across the endzone anyone?).  14-9 final, Luther advances to quarters.

Minnesota saw UGMO in the fourth pre-quarter where the first half ended 8-7 Grey Duck after zone and poachy looks from each side.  The second started with stellar endzone defense on huck attempts for both teams and soon wind would dominate as it did in the other games.  After going up 10-8 on a tough swill grab by Carson Schultz, Cal endured a series of marathon points and eventually fell to Minnesota 13-11.

Looking Ahead

The Luther-Oregon quarterfinal should be a wide-open game with aggressive deep games.  Oregon maintains a depth advantage, but LUFDA’s top studs have answered the call against stiff competition all weekend long.

CUT will be out for revenge against a Central Florida team that surprised Carleton early in the season at Warm Up.  If Carleton maintains its offensive efficiency, we should see the CUT moving on to the semifinals.

Pittsburgh was the only top seed to drop a game today, but that shouldn’t matter against a Minnesota team that had to fight through tough games against Georgia Tech, UNC, and Cal.  Though they may be hot right now, we don’t see them being able to take down En Sabah Nur.

Tufts/Wisconsin may be the best match of tomorrow morning.  Today saw the E-men finally play with coordinated fire and it showed in the results.  However, the Hodags have been playing at that level all weekend long.  Look for an electric finish in tomorrow’s showcase quarterfinal.


CBS Sports Day 2 Recap:



Day 2 photos by