Thanks to the Stanford Invite, we’ve finally got some answers to questions about how college ultimate teams stack up against national competition. Because every game now matters, teams played out every round, and as a result the national picture is quickly becoming more clear. I’ll go over my thoughts from each day followed by some scouting and a look at regional strength.
Pool A – Most of the games went as expected, but not to seed. The three significant games in the pool were Texas vs. Tufts, Texas vs. UCSC, and Carleton vs. Texas. Nobody quite knew what to think of Tufts, so their first round win over Texas put other teams on notice. Tufts’s D-line’s O gave Texas fits with it’s deep game, and Texas had a lot of turns on high stall situations. In the Texas vs. UCSC game, Cruz had a very strong first half because they mixed their D looks and forced Texas into a lot of pressed decisions. In the second half, the Texas O found their rhythm and #5, Will Driscol, found the endzone. Texas was able to bring the game to a one break margin, but were never able to close the gap as Santa Cruz converted their last four offensive points to close the game 13-11. Texas was able to carry their offensive efficiency into the next round against Carleton, but they weren’t able to stop Carleton’s own disciplined offense as CUT went on to win 14-12.
Pool B – Colorado went mostly unchallenged on the day, their closest game coming against a fresh Washington team (a game I didn’t get to see). I did see the Colorado vs. Harvard and Washington vs. Whitman games. Harvard is a team that relies heavily on it’s top players and on Saturday one of their main handlers, Adam Fagin, was having an off day with uncharacteristic unforced errors. As such, they were never in the game against Colorado. Colorado had some unforced errors of their own, most of which came on hammers. In the Whitman vs. Washington game, Washington didn’t have an answer for Sweets cutter Jacob Janin, who was at least +5 in the first half. Whitman had a few turns on long throws by Jeremy Norden in the second half, but they were never challenged despite only bringing 14 guys to the tournament.
Pools C and D – I didn’t get to see any of the games in either of these pools, so I’ll leave the details to people more qualified. Neeley and I will work on getting reports from other people up over the next couple of days.
It’s getting late so day 2, scouting and a bit of regional comparison stuff will have to wait until tomorrow. Thanks for the patience.