Sunday morning saw quarterfinal matchups between U Victoria v. Lewis and Clark, Oregon v. Oregon B, Oregon State v. Gonzaga, and Western Washington v. Utah.
Western, OSU, and Oregon walked through to the semis while the match between Uvic and Lewis and Clark grinded out. Sophomore Colin Featherston came up with three huge assists and three big D’s for Victoria in the first half. Ben Lohre and Kelly Van-Arsdale fought to keep Lewis in the game. After Uvic went up a commanding 5-0 and took half 8-4, Lewis and Clark clawed their way back to within one. Even with captain Kevin Underhill on the sideline with a high ankle strain Canada’s Victoria dug deep to a 13-11 victory in the cap.
Plagued with dropped pulls, first throw turns, and general offensive disconnection Western couldn’t find the offensive formula needed. The pressure of a screw tightening Oregon defense was too much for DIRT. Western Washington’s best chances came from Harry Howell and Casey Bateman launching long balls on under encroaching Oregon defenders. Not a great game plan against a young, athletic Ego.
Western was able to force a few turns themselves, but ultimately were unsuccessful in converting defensive goals. Western broke Ego only once during the game. Ego’s key offensive connection was between John Block and Camden Allison-Hall. Block’s cannon of a backhand set up receive after receive for endzone strikes.
6’ Allison-Hall showed his speed and dominance on both sides of the disc, burning defenders out of Oregon’s isolation flood stack as well as cleaning up a 50/50 ball or two on defense.
Oregon wins 15-6 with an hour and a half rest before the final.
On the other side of the bracket a point trading battle between Victoria and Oregon State ensued. Victoria took half by squeaking off two breaks. Yet, Oregon State threw zone effectively in the second half and chopped away at the lead right out of half with three consecutive points.
Drew Larson came up big in the endgame for Oregon State. During the last four points Larson had two hand blocks, one goal, two assists, and a few position saving layouts. OSU pulled away to win the semi final of their home tournament 14-11 in the cap.
Bet it all on Green
In the final, Oregon’s fresh legs consumed the very weary Oregon State cutters. Oregon State had almost zero success moving the disc unless Larson, Buermeyer, and Meshnick were on the field at the same time.
Zealous for big D’s even while ahead, the Oregon players made huge bids at the disc all game. A spectator would have thought that Ego was still in tryouts and looking for playmakers. It will be exciting to see how this defensive athleticism and energy translates to top 20 opponents at the Stanford Invite in March.
Ego capped the weekend with a 15-2 victory over their state rivals.
The University of Oregon’s Fugue flexed their championship bound legs again only allowing opponents score a total of 7 points in 3 games, finals included.
Both of Oregon’s men and women’s programs showed the promise many NW ultimate fans hoped for in these early season games. Coaches Burruss and Janin still both have some refinement to do before the series, but they are off to a great spring.