Under the sunny California skies, #8 Oregon Ego defended their Stanford Invite title with an impressive Sunday performance capped by a 15-11 victory over #9 Carleton CUT in the finals.
March 11, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in News, Recap with 1 comments
STANFORD, CA — Under the sunny California skies, #8 Oregon Ego defended their Stanford Invite title with an impressive Sunday performance capped by a 15-11 victory over #9 Carleton CUT in the finals.
The final was a rematch of Saturday’s one-two matchup in Pool A, a game in which Carleton pulled out a universe point win in a back-and-forth duel. But Carleton’s legs weren’t as fresh for round two, and they couldn’t slow down a red-hot Oregon offense.
“We weren’t as tired today,” said Oregon captain Dylan Freechild, who led Ego with one goal and four assists. He was joined by Charlie Wilson-Moses (also with four) as assist leader.
That started to show early on after each team traded points to 3-3. Oregon took advantage of two Carleton mistakes to grab a quick 5-3 lead, one they would never relinquish.
After a huge bid from Carleton’s Simon Montague that left him limping off the field in a scary moment for the CUT sideline, Oregon would extend their lead to three as Brian Penner found Eric Norman for the break. Montague would return on the following point and continue to lead the Carleton offensive line, finishing with four assists and two scores.
After Oregon took half up three, CUT was looking to do what they had a day prior: make a run of their own. But Oregon came out firing in the second half, running the score up to 10-5. Carleton coach Phil Bowen said that was the difference maker in their loss: the two quick scores out of halftime. “They looked more efficient than yesterday,” he added.
Carleton would finally earn their first break to get back within three at 11-8, but Oregon would get it back two points later. Strong play from Montague and Nick Stuart (who had the throw of the game — a pinpoint 55 yard hammer from a standstill) kept them close, but their defense could never get much against a fluid Oregon offense.
Carleton looked to have some hope at the very end, getting a break with a nice deep shot to speedy freshman Jesse Bolton to make it 14-11 after Freechild narrowly missed a spectacular layout catch in the endzone.
But Ego’s offense was just too potent for Carleton’s defense to get a string of breaks going and Oregon closed the door, sealing the win and earning the Stanford Invite crown.
“Yesterday we didn’t really have an identity,” said Freechild after the game. “Now we have an identity.”
He explained that they hoped to make a decent showing this weekend, finishing among the top four or five and hoping to show up to Easterns in two weeks with something to prove. “I think we were riding on the coattails of last year,” he said.
The 2012 Oregon team lost just one game during the regular season, but fell to Wisconsin in the semifinals of the College Championships. It was a crushing defeat for Ego.
Freechild said they have refocused on a more team-oriented (rather than individuals-oriented) mentality. “Every single player has to work,” he said.
Oregon is now the only one-loss team ranked in the top 25, as the other undefeated teams coming into the weekend (#1 Wisconsin, #5 Arizona, #6 North Carolina, and #20 Texas A&M) all lost multiple games.
Check out more photos from the 2013 Stanford Invite at UltiPhotos.