Scrappy Dartmouth Stuns Texas In Prequarters

It’s been mentioned a few times by Dartmouth and opposing programs that Dartmouth is a team with a very specific identity and that it is very difficult to shake them out of that. Texas has been identified in a very similar way. Both teams are known for their ability to possess the disc for long periods of time and then strike when the time is right.

This was readily apparent in the Pain Train vs. Texas prequarterfinals where the first break of the game wouldn’t come until halftime, where Dartmouth broke to take half 8-7. The second and third break wouldn’t come until late in the second half where TUFF and Dartmoth got one apiece before Dartmouth closed the game down 15-13.

Texas’ twitter feed made reference to the difficulty that both teams were having on defense getting blocks and they were affirmed by Dartmouth coach Brook Martin after the game. Martin elaborated on TUFF’s ability to possess the disc and how Pain Train was going to great lengths to try and earn those tough breaks.

“We went with a pretty tight line,” Martin said. “We had to make a ton of adjustments defensively. We threw everything we could at them to get a block but it was really hard to get a block on them.”

Similarly, Texas, a team known for its height and size, featuring players like senior Will Driscoll, their 6’3” Callahan nominee, admitted on Twitter that it was having difficulty with Dartmouth’s small handler set. Sure enough, Dartmouth was able to move the disc alarmingly fast thanks to sharp handler cuts and quick break throws.

“They weren’t getting blocks on us,” Martin said. “Our offense was clicking. We were playing at a really fast pace. We were hitting easy open cuts and moving quickly.”

For that reason, Martin said, Pain Train was able to focus on the defensive side of the disc and gave Texas just about everything in its arsenal defensively. Dartmouth could be seen throwing several different zone looks, including a mostly effective clam look, as well as several different styles of man-to-man defense.

Dartmouth couldn’t generate a lot of turnovers and breaks but their outstanding offensive performance would eventually be enough to outshine Texas, which is a perennial powerhouse program and advance to quarterfinals. Pain Train is one of three teams that almost no one would have picked to make it this far at the College Championships and that doesn’t surprise Martin but he thinks it shows volumes about his team.

“They believe in what we do and work really hard,” Martin said. “They’ve played a lot of high-quality teams. We’ve taken what I call ‘good losses,’ where we’re losing with an open rotation but we’re getting deeper and that’s been our focus from Day One.”

  1. Michael Aguilar
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    Michael Aguilar is a reporter for Ultiworld. He began playing ultimate in the summer of 2008 at the urging of a few University of South Carolina players. He played for USC in the spring of 2009 and for LSU in the spring of 2011. In his spare time during those years, he ran one of the first ever ultimate news blogs, Movin' On Up. He was the head coach of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, LA, from 2011-2016 and the assistant coach in 2017. He owes all his success to his loving wife Kendall.

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