March 23, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in Recap with 0 comments
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WILMINGTON — Minnesota Grey Duck came into Easterns with just one loss on the season, to Arizona in the finals of the President’s Day Invite. They would have an even bigger test in the first round: a matchup with Oregon, the nation’s #1 team and the tournament’s top seed.
With a mix of tough defense and efficient, smart offense, Minnesota jumped out to a 6-3 lead. They were patient at the beginning of the game, hitting their under cuts and flowing nicely down the field taking advantage of Oregon mistakes. But they started looking deep a little too aggressively later in the first half, and Oregon used the turnovers to tie the game at 7s.
Coming out of half up 8-7, Minnesota grabbed two quick scores after a Dylan Freechild throwaway. Oregon’s defense never looked sharp — a common problem for West Coast teams playing in the early round on the East Coast — and Minnesota never relinquished their three point lead, trading out to a 15-12 win. Minnesota’s deep game was working nicely in the second half, and they simply outran Oregon to the big first round upset.
Brown, the only unranked team at Easterns who got in by finishing fourth at the Easterns Qualifier, looks like a team that can at least hang with the rest of the field. They looked great early, jumping out to a 5-1 lead on Florida with good defense leading to quick scores.
But Florida cleaned things up, intensified their D, and closed the gap to take half 8-7. The second half was all Florida: they finished up with a 15-12 win. While that’s still a good result for Brown, they have to be disappointed by giving up a big lead.
Tufts and Ohio battled in a close game, with each team seeming to grab momentum back and forth throughout the first half. Ohio’s offense is as strong as any here, but their defense just suffers without some of their top players joining the line. Ohio’s D line was effective at generating turnovers, but they couldn’t get anything going offensively. But Ohio has to look to preserve their legs early with such as short roster.
In the second half, Tufts tight defense started to grind Ohio down, and Tufts pulled away to a 12-9 win.
Central Florida looks like a new team since Stanford. After jumping out to an 8-3 halftime lead against #2 Carleton, coach Andrew Roca had his team running sprints. They’re hungry to get back into top shape.
Carleton’s defensive deficiencies were glaring in this game, as UCF rolled past them for most of the game. Carleton did get some breaks back in the second half, mostly due to execution errors and drops from the Dogs of War. UCF finished up with the 15-11 victory.