North Carolina took down Ohio, 15-12, to win last Sunday’s Fall Easterns Final. It was Darkside’s second victory over Ohio, as they won Saturday’s 1v1 crossover game, 14-10. Here’s what stands out about North Carolina’s win:
- Darkside was easily the deepest team at the tournament. While many teams either suffered a quality disparity between their O and D lines or had to play key guys both ways to overcome it, Carolina won games by sticking to its rotations. The early season depth is a byproduct of returning something like 23 players from last year and splitting off into an A team in early September. Also, on top of Thomas Sayre-McCord and Christian Johnson playing for Ring in 2010 and 2011 respectively, four of UNC’s guys played for Cash Crop this year while others played for 20s. More evidence that playing club can really expand a college player’s ability…
- Sayre-McCord was the best player at the tournament. He played offense for Darkside, and while I remembered him for his deep ability, it was cross-field throws in the wind that stood out last weekend. His ability to move the disc through the cup or reverse the field and hit a wide open wing kept his teammates well-spaced. Once wind died down and teams relied more on man defense, Sayre-McCord’s hucks to Johnson were Darkside’s offensive focal point. Finally, when he did go downfield, he consistently showed that his deep game is alive and well.
- North Carolina has now won Wolfpack and Fall Easterns, and are heading to this weekend’s Classic City Classic as the 2 seed overall. “With [UNC]’s second tournament win of the fall while Virginia and UNC-Wilmington had lackluster performances,” said Fall Easterns TD and UNC-W coach Greg Vassar, “UNC has the momentum going into the spring. They’ve got to be the favorites in the Atlantic Coast region as of right now.”
- Ohio had an impressive weekend despite falling short to North Carolina on Saturday and again on Sunday. They had a tough road to the final, facing home team UNC-Wilmington in the quarter and tournament surprise South Carolina in the semifinal.
- Mitch Cihon, a senior who plays club with Madcow, is Ohio’s standout player. He typically makes the first cut out of the team’s horizontal stack, and his throws, especially breaks, are instrumental in keeping the flow going. He also cuts deep well. That said, I came away from watching Ohio feeling that the team is full of guys that don’t give up on defense, run hard to the disc, and make smart choices across the board. They’re the good kind of nondescript.
- After a strong start in 2010 that included wins over Georgia and North Carolina at Queen City Tune-Up and an Easterns Qualifier win, Ohio fizzled out. With much of last year’s squad returning, I expect them to build on their talent and experience and peak later in the 2011 season. They could use a bit more height, but I expect them to give Pittsburgh a tough game somewhere down the line.
Sorry for the delay on this one. If you were there, comment away.