Chesapeake Invite: Pool D Preview

by | August 23, 2012, 11:50pm 0

Sub Zero:

2012 Regular Season Record: 4-4 (4-3 Sanctioned), lost to NexGen 10-15
Current USAU Ranking (Regional Ranking):  #14, (NC1)

Sub Zero comes into the weekend on the fringe of being in the top 16 of the rankings, while also representing the automatic qualifier for North Central. Unfortunately they will be without top play maker Eric Johnson, who has an affinity for taking hunting trips in the middle of the season (see Luther without EJ in 2012). While he will be a big loss for the weekend, Grant Lindsley and company are still around.

So far Sub’s season, which has consisted of ECC, has been a clash of styles. At times, the athletes seemed to be rolling against easier opponents, but tougher defenses disrupted any natural rhythm. Standstill hucks were thrown, the offense wasn’t flowing, and the Snowmen were not meeting our own expectations. Chesapeake is a different time, one where the chemistry of  a couple weeks together should make a big difference.

Sub Zero really is an effort to make multiple college teams and styles come together, and they are full of young talent. While Chesapeake is no slouch of a tournament, when worst comes to worse, the Snowman will be able to match-up athlete on athlete and win against lesser seeded opponents. The real test  is whether this Sam O’Brien-led team can pull together the likes of Ben Feldman, Danny Miesen, and Julian Childs-Walker to beat someone like Chain Lightning or Ring of Fire.


2012 Regular Season Record: 0-1 (0-0 Sanctioned), lost 17-24 to NexGen
Current USAU Ranking (Regional Ranking):  N/A, (MA)

One of the biggest story-lines heading into Chesapeake is the emergence of Philadelphia Southpaw after the AUDL season. Two Saturdays ago, when a portion of the nation’s best teams were in Seattle for the Emerald City Classic, Trey Katzenbach was leading the Philadelphia Spinners to the AUDL Championship in the league’s inaugural season. When the league was first coming together, there was a ton of disagreement about the AUDL’s choice of locations for the first eight teams. Lots of discussion ensued about Josh Moore ignoring hotbeds of ultimate which transitioned into the question about how the teams at ultimate’s “professional” level would fair against the best in the club scene. Now that the dust has settled and the Spinners are crowned kings, we get to see how they stack up against some of the top competition that the sport has to offer.

Looking at the Southpaw roster, there are only three returners from the 2011 quarterfinals run at Nationals that were not on the Spinners roster: Nick Purifico, Fred Brasz, and Kyle Salasko. Seventeen out of the twenty-six on Southpaw are Spinners veterans while Lucas Murphy and Isaiah Bryant join in after a season with the Connecticut Constitution (Bryant also played with PoNY last season). The remaining four players are completely new faces: Mark Browning, Pat Diviney, Christian Millichap and Rutgers’ freshman powerhouse Jibran Mieser. Defensive star Trent Dillon was in a boot during the AUDL Championship game so we’ll to see if he suits up for this weekend’s action.

Southpaw is well known for their high level of conditioning over the past two years and you can bet that the Spinners players are going to show up in shape. These 17 are sure to have a high amount of chemistry together after practicing and playing with one another for over half a year. While I’m sure Purifico, Brasz and Salasko will fit in relatively seamlessly, the 6 new faces for Southpaw may not gel right away. With their entire regular season squished into back to back weekends, as Southpaw will also be attending Labor Day, they’ll need to find one another fast in order to help the Mid-Atlantic get a second ticket to Sarasota. Normally, one could write off these things as irrelevant for the Philadelphia squad, but since Coach Jeff Snader has decided to focus on the Spinners organization in the AUDL off-season, the mental aspect of the game may become a large point of failure for Southpaw.

Luckily for Philadelphia, they were put as a two seed despite their lack of results, giving them a relatively easy pool to work with. While Sub Zero may be a reach game this early in the Southpaw season, taking down Florida United and Boost Mobile are goals that are within reach. If Philadelphia shows up in shape, incredibly tight on defense and working hard for their looks as we’ve seen in the past, we’ll see them making it at least making it to quarterfinals.

Boost Mobile:

2012 Regular Season Record: 6-0 (5-0 Sanctioned), did not play NexGen
Current USAU Ranking (Regional Ranking):  #9, (SW2)

The last of the three teams attending Chesapeake from the Southwest Region is the second team out of the bay area, Boost Mobile. Stacked with California and Stanford players like Carson Schultz, James Pollard, Ben Funk and Chris McCarty, Boost is ready to make their mark after a very disappointing 2011 Northwest Regionals. In their first tournament of the season, Boost Mobile took down rivals Streetgang, LA Renegade and Condors on their way to a SoCal Slammer championship. With their ticket punched to Labor Day, as the Slammer was an unofficial qualifier, Boost has the next two weekends to keep the good results coming and get the Southwest a second bid to Nationals.

Similar to Sub Zero, Boost Mobile is a conglomerate of rival teams Stanford Bloodthirsty and California UGMO. However, both of these squads have more similarities than their Wisco/CUT counterpart. Both college offenses run a break heavy vertical stack that patiently waits for the deep shot to develop. Similar offenses and the cerebral defensive sets that you’d expect to come out of places like Stanford and Berkeley lead to young teams coming together faster. Skyd’s Joaquin Nagle told me that Boost preaches a hard-working and team first mentality. Though many squads boast this quality, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this team drawing a lot of parallels to their Bay Area neighbors Revolver. Superstars are certainly present on this team including Kris “Mateo” Thomson, whose agility, length and throws from the handler position were instrumental in the downfall of the 2010 Oregon Ego squad in at College Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin.

If Boost can match Southpaw’s hard working attitude toe-to-toe, their talent level may be high enough to break seed. While definitely capable of strong results, this young team needs to avoid crumbling in trap games like their last pool play game against Florida United. At the risk of sounding like a broken record: Boost Mobile needs to play the top teams tight and crush the competition below them, as they may be the Southwest’s best hope at sending another team besides Revolver to Sarasota.

Florida United:

2012 Regular Season Record: 4-8 (2-8 Sanctioned), did not play NexGen
Current USAU Ranking (Regional Ranking):  #31, (SE5)

Florida United comes into Chesapeake as the last seed of the Invite. With only two sanctioned victories to their name and sitting at the fifth spot in the Southeast, earning a strength bid for their region may be a little out of the question. With the number of bids out of their control, Florida has the ability to be internal and focus on developing and finding their identity. United is stacked to the teeth with big names like Travis Catron and Bobby Ley of Florida, Cameron Amey of Tanasi and Andrew Roca, Matt Reedy, Quint Wharton, John Best and Mischa Freystaetter of Central Florida.

The boys from Florida haven’t played in a tournament since Terminus which took place a month ago, so captains Morgan Bambace, Jack Dupell, Anthony Gutierrez and Jimmy Price will have United in top form. Expect Florida to be in shape and ready to battle like they have nothing to lose, no matter the opponent.  United’s last result was a 9-14 loss to regional rival Cash Crop, which should have been enough to awaken this sleeping giant.

Predictions:  1. Sub Zero 2. Boost Mobile 3. Southpaw 4. Florida United

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