I was at the elimination fields all day on Sunday, so I won’t be able to shed light on the consolation rounds. As such, my recap of the play itself has run long and I have to push back my analysis of strategy and national consequence until tomorrow. That said, on the the Sunday action!
Most folk in attendance thought the pre-quarters games to watch were going to be SDSU vs. UCSC and Harvard vs. Stanford. This was because Tufts and Whitman were both coming off of long first days with small squads. In the two games to watch Stanford looked like they were pressing early and seemed uncomfortable in the light rain. They went down to Harvard 6-0 and had no chance of recovering. UCSC again switched their Ds well and built a solid half time lead against SDSU. SDSU got one break back in the second half but it wasn’t enough as they lost 15-10 to the Slugs.
In the quarterfinals, match ups were exciting across the board. We had two match ups of west coast vs. east coast (Oregon v. Harvard, UBC v. Pitt), one match up of regional rivals (Carleton v. Wisconsin), and one game with a frontrunner against an unknown (Colorado v. UCSC). The only game that was a dud was the Carleton vs. Wisconsin game. In both of the east vs. west match-ups the west coast teams looked dominant early building large leads, but in both cases the east coast team mounted large comebacks. In the Harvard vs. Oregon game, Harvard gained momentum by capitalizing on unforced errors by the Ego O-line. As the game became closer, Ego was slow to make changes to their O personnel, and their main cutters became noticeably tired. Oregon began throwing away hucks, as individuals tried to do too much. All along, Harvard continued to convert on their chances by patiently moving the disc and breaking the mark as needed. Ego had unforced turnovers on each of their final three O points, and Harvard was able to capitalize, completing a 9-2 run to win the game. I did not get a chance to watch Pitt vs. UBC, but Pitt was down big and was able to come back and break on double-game-point to win 16-15.
The Colorado vs. UCSC quarterfinal was a story of two halves. In the first half neither team was ready to take the game. Colorado got an early break, but they weren’t able to make a run and ended the half 1-3 on break point chances. On the other side, UCSC started out 0-3 on break chances until they finally converted on a set play to bring the game back on serve at seven all. On the ensuing D point the Slugs got a block, but threw away an open deep shot that would have sent them into half up a break. Colorado worked the disc the full 70 yards and took half 8-7. In the second half Colorado was finally able to assert itself. Mamabird changed their D looks and blew the game wide open with a four break run to start the half, part of a larger 7-1 run that had Colorado taking the game 15-8.
The semifinal round brought two games pitting rested teams, Colorado and Carleton, against emotionally drained teams, Harvard and Pitt. In both games, the rested teams took early leads, but the eventual outcomes were different. While Harvard folded partly due to a lack of numbers and how many points their top players put in against Oregon, Pitt was able to use their deep roster to stay in the game and give their top guys enough rest to make a second half push. Colorado wasn’t able to seal the game as things got close, instead making unforced errors that led to Pitt breaks. Pitt eventually dug out of a three-break hole to win 14-13.
Going into the final there was almost no hope for Pitt. Carleton was fresh and Pitt was visibly drained. En Sabah Nur showed signs of life on the first point with a break, but Carleton quickly righted the ship and built a large lead. The game was never really in question, as Carleton went on to win 15-8.
Whew. Tomorrow’s post will be more strategy intensive, thanks for bearing with me through the recap of the games.