With four games underway, choosing who to watch was a tough decision for any spectator.
In Oregon v. Michigan, Ego’s three-throw offense ran up against MagnUM’s willingness to forever dump and swing; in Pittsburgh v. Colorado, there was the rematch of the Stanford Invite quarterfinal that happened two weeks ago wherein Pitt mounted a huge comeback; in Carleton v. Harvard, a chance to be reminded why Harvard was 2-0 against CUT in 2010 as well as a potential George Stubbs v. Grant Linsdley battle; and in Florida v. Wisconsin, a rare opportunity to see a match up with teams that nobody knows anything about because it’s not like college ultimate revolved around them playing each other for a good three years or anything.
These teams did not disappoint, as all games were filled with huge throws and skys and each was within two scores just before the cap horn sounded.
Oregon v. Michigan
Michigan turned in a Saturday performance that not many saw coming, laying a beat down on Colorado, beating Georgia, and falling just short to Wisconsin, all results that put MagnUM atop Pool C and into the quarterfinals. In Pool D, Oregon looked good against Iowa and Ohio, alright for a half against Florida, and great in their pre-quarterfinal crossover win over UNC-Wilmington.
While the game started with back and forth scores, Oregon seemed in control because they were score much more quickly than Michigan. With wind as a factor, minimizing the number of throws the offense had to make was huge, and while Oregon had little trouble making space and completing hucks, Michigan had a few long points that required strong defense by the offensive line after turnovers forced by Ego’s strong pressure and switching man defense.
Up 5-4, Oregon added offensive handler Dylan Freechild to its defensive line, and after a Michigan turnover and injury call, brought in captain Cody Bjorklund. After a quick swing, Freechild ripped a full-field backhand to Bjorklund, giving Ego the first break of the game. After scoring downwind for another, Oregon went on to take half, 8-5.
The second half was a different story. Rotating fresh defenders onto Freechild and Bjorklund, Michigan neutralized some of Oregon’s deep attack and went on a run. MagnUM also cleaned up its own games, eliminating some of the cheap turnovers that plagued them in the first half. At 12-12, Michigan broke to pull ahead 13-12 and did not look back, eventually winning, 15-12. It is certainly worth noting that a key strength for MagnUM is that on top of a commitment to smart possession offense and tough defense, they remain extremely even keel; throughout the weekend, it was difficult to tell whether or not Michigan was up or down by simply looking at their sideline. This kind of poise can only help.